West African governments meet to map out recovery for aviation

Government ministers across West Africa have jointly issued a 15-point post-covid recovery plan for the air transport industry in the region.

Following a two day meeting, hosted by Nigeria, they said the outcomes included strategies for the long-term sustainable development of the industry.
The summit was organised by Nigeria’s Ministry of Aviation of Nigeria, in cooperation with the International Partners for Aviation Development, Innovation and Sustainability (iPADIS).
Hadi Sirika, Nigerian minister of aviation, called on fellow ministers to address the issue of financing and modernisation of aviation infrastructure and to attract support from private investors by “building a transparent, stable and predictable investment climate, as well as by include aviation in national development plans”.
Dr. Olumuyiwa Benard Aliu, founding president of iPADIS, also stressed the need for strengthened levels of collaboration and decisiveness among West African governments and industry stakeholders to address the COVID-19 challenge and ensure a rapid recovery of the air transport and tourism sectors which he said were vital to stimulating economic development in the region.
“I am confident that the 15 West African States have the potential and the resourcefulness to transform their region into a leading aviation market and to take full advantage of air transport as a major contributor to trade, tourism and GDP,” Dr Aliu said.
“What is required is political determination to turn the COVID-19 crisis into an opportunity to enhance the contribution of civil aviation to West Africa’s economic growth, social progress and integration, and overall sustainable development. Your collaboration and leadership will be critical to implement necessary strategies and synergies for a sustainable and resilient air transport system worthy of the great potential of this region.
Also, participating were Central African and Caribbean States, international and regional financial and regulatory organizations, as well as industry stakeholders from air transport, tourism, trade, public health and related sectors.

Dr. Olumuyiwa Benard Aliu - collaboration and deciveness is essential for recovery. (Image: Cyril Ndegeyu)