16 October 2019

Note: This article first appeared on allafrica.com

President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has said the construction of new aprons at Ghana's International Airport, rehabilitation of Sunyani Airport and new passenger terminals in Kumasi and Tamale airports are all geared towards making the country's aviation industry competitive in Africa and beyond.

The President said in other to maximise the full potentials and the benefits of the aviation industry, his government re-established the Aviation Ministry to support and make the country's aviation competitive and an aviation hub within Africa and beyond.

Completing all aviation projects in all parts of the country, President Akufo-Addo said, would assure the realisation of the vision. He said Ghana's Aviation industry had seen considerable growth in recent years, possibly, because of the continuous creation of a stable and political environment.

Speaking at 28th Annual General Assembly and Regional Conference and Exhibition of the Airports Council International (ACI) in Accra, President Akufo-Addo urged the participants to incorporate cutting edge technologies to meet today's constantly changing technological world.

He said the forum should provide the aviation community on the continent, the opportunity to share and disseminate vital industry information to strengthen and improve the air transport industry.

President Akufo-Addo said his government has liberalise the regulatory framework of the domestic airlines to operate, "we abolished 17.5 percent Value-Added Tax on domestic airfares, which has almost double the domestic air passengers traffic in the country."

According to the 2017 figures released by the international Air traffic Association (IATA), the global air transport industry supported 62.7 million jobs worldwide. Air freight movement also grew by 5.9 percent.

More importantly, the air transport industry in Africa in 2017 supported 6.2 million jobs and contributed some $55.8 billion to Africa's GDP, with a 4.5 percent growth rate.

According to IATA, Africa by 2027, with an annual growth rate of 4.5 percent, will have a total market of 334 million passengers. Currently, 38 Airlines are operating in Ghana and connect directly to 30 different destinations around the globe.

President Akufo-Addo-Addo disclosed that 1.3 million tourists visited Ghana in 2017 and the industry contributed $2.7 billion to the Country's GDP.

He said the Country's Aviation Ministry had initiated plans for a dedicated programme dubbed "Aviation Driven Development" a strategic goal of using aviation as a driver of socio-economic transformation.

Mr Ali Tompson, Secretary-General of ACI-Africa, said the increased numbers that have characterised airport transport in Africa needed to be enhanced by adopting innovative technologies in other to guarantee the safety of passengers across the continent.

The two-day ACI Africa 28th & Regional Conference and Exhibition is held under the theme: "Smart Airports of the future, are we ready" had almost 400 aviation industry experts drawn from Africa, and the world to brainstorm on the safety, security, access and infrastructure on air transport.

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