Rwanda boosts its hub hopes with Centre of Excellence for Aviation Skills

Pursuing its constant development, Rwanda is now investing in capacity building to empower the African aviation industry labour force with the help of the African Development Bank (AfDB). A new training facility will take flight in 2025.

Rwanda's new training hub

Rwanda's new training hub. Pictures: Rwanda Board Investment

The AfDB will grant a loan of $23.6 million to build and equip the Centre of Excellence for Aviation Skills (CEAS) near Kigali International Airport.

This project, which is in line with Rwanda’s Vision 2050, will boost the country’s ambition to become a regional aviation hub. It will also draw international investment, while producing a skilled workforce to meet global aviation training standards and growing industry demands.

The centre will initially accommodate up to 500 students per year and will offer a large spectrum of courses, encompassing pilot training, maintenance instruction, air traffic control expertise and drone piloting proficiency.

There will also be dispatch and ancillary courses, including in airport emergency operations services and practical courses in simulators.

It will have an aircraft hangar and benefit from its partnership with well-established learning institutions to improve human capital and transform the workforce for higher productivity.

“The Bank’s financial support for this Centre of Excellence speaks to our commitment to investing in human capital to meet demands for the jobs of today – and tomorrow – in Africa’s aviation and related industries,” says Dr. Beth Dunford, the Bank’s vice president for agriculture, human and social development.

According to analysts, Africa will need about 50,000 aviation professionals (15,000 pilots, 17,000 technicians and 23,000 cabin crew members) during the next two decades.

The CEAS comes at time when Rwanda and the region are prioritising aviation development as a growth lever.

As Nnenna Nwabufo, the Bank’s director general for East Africa, underlines “Overall, the project aligns with the Bank’s Skills for employability and productivity in Africa action plan, which stipulates ways of elevating the skills level of Africa’s workforce”.

She calls upon the youth to seize these opportunities. The construction phase will necessitate around 1000 workers. Around hundred jobs will be created during the operation phase.

“There is a diversity of skilled and sustainable employment in the aviation industry that should be on the radar of Africa’s youth. We aim to scale up the infrastructure needed to increase access to the aviation sector skills training to succeed in securing decent jobs”, says Dr Martha Phiri, the Bank’s director for human capital, youth, and skills development.

Anuradha Deenapanray

Anuradha Deenapanray

Anuradha is a francophone editor for African and Arabian Aerospace magazines.