West African ministers, IPADIS strategise on air transport recovery plan

A high-level ministerial meeting of Western African States just ended with participants agreeing on a 15-point post-COVID-19 recovery plan for air transport in the region, including strategies for the long-term sustainable development of the industry.

The two-day virtual event on enhancing air connectivity and growth in West Africa was organised by the Federal Ministry of Aviation of Nigeria, in cooperation with the International Partners for Aviation Development, Innovation and Sustainability (iPADIS).

Also, participating were Central African and Caribbean States, international and regional financial and regulatory organisations, as well as industry stakeholders from air transport, tourism, trade, public health and related sectors.

Nigerian Minister of Aviation, Senator Hadi Sirika while speaking on the occasion had declared “Nigeria’s determination to host the high-level ministerial meeting is borne out of the desire to find a lasting solution to the challenges of this sector in our sub–region, especially at a time when the industry is unprecedentedly being impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, resulting in depressed travel demands and disruptions of businesses globally.”

Sirika called on states 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.

In the same vein, the founding president of iPADIS, Dr Olumuyiwa Aliu also stressed the need for strengthened levels of collaboration and decisiveness among West African governments and industry stakeholders in addressing the COVID-19 challenge and ensuring a rapid recovery of the air transport and tourism sectors, 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.

“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.

iPADIS is an independent, international non-governmental organisation (NGO) of public and private partnerships that operates on a not-for-profit basis to lead effective lobby for positive change in the global aviation industry.


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