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Montréal, 29 May 2017 – ICAO Secretary General Dr. Fang Liu highlighted this week that African States, with ICAO’s assistance and support, are achieving significant progress in complying with international civil aviation standards, but that much more can and should be achieved to help them better optimize the significant socio-economic benefits of safe and efficient global air transport connectivity.
Her message was delivered to the hundreds of government and air transport participants from 36 states and 21 international and regional organizations to the Fourth ICAO Africa and Indian-Ocean (AFI) Aviation Week, which was held from 22 to 25 May. The series of meetings was jointly organized this year by the Government of Botswana and ICAO under the theme “Strengthening aviation as a driver to economic and social development.”
The 2017 AFI Aviation Week provided an opportunity to jointly assess AFI Region’s challenges, and to harness applicable opportunities to pursue the global and regional goals. The participants recognized the improved level of compliance with ICAO Standards and Recommended Practices (SARPs) by several States as well as the commitments and actions taken by a number of them to resolve Significant Safety and Security Concerns (SSCs and SSeCs) identified through ICAO’s Safety And Security Oversight Audits.
“Since the last AFI Aviation Week, an increasing number of States have accepted ICAO Plans of Action, the implementation of which has resulted in an increase in the number of States that have attained and improved upon the 60% minimum EI target in ICAO’s Global Aviation Safety Plan,” Dr. Liu remarked. Pointing out the challenges ahead, Dr. Liu highlighted the importance of ICAO’s No Country Left Behind initiative, and the support of its Regional Offices in realizing its assistance and capacity building objectives, while recognizing the contributions of Botswana’s regional leadership on aviation developmental issues. “I would like to recall that the attainment of this target by at least 80% of States, and the resolution of all outstanding SSCs, are the key safety Goals for the AFI Region in 2017,” she highlighted.
The Secretary General then took the occasion to present Botswana with an ICAO Council President Certificate of Recognition for its recent efforts and the results achieved during the 2016 ICAO Universal Safety Oversight Audit Programme cycle.
Looking forward, the Secretary General stressed the associated need for greater allocation of resources, particularly towards the Human Resources Development Fund for Africa (HRDF).
“Under the HRDF, voluntary contributions are being used today to assure the skilled personnel required for future operational efficiency and continuous implementation of ICAO SARPs, and other programme activities in the civil aviation sector,” Dr. Liu remarked. “This is a very important capacity-building initiative for Africa’s civil aviation sector, and I would like to encourage support from States, industry partners and other interested parties.”
Dr. Liu further extended a special acknowledgement to ASECNA Member States (Benin, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Chad, Comoros, Congo, Cote d’Ivoire, Equatorial Guinea, Gabon, Guinea Bissau, Madagascar, Mali, Mauritania, Niger, Senegal, and Togo), as well as China, Kenya, Nigeria, Saudi Arabia, Seychelles, Sudan, Turkey, and United Republic of Tanzania, for having already made significant contributions in support of the HRDF.
While in Botswana, Dr. Liu also undertook high-level bilateral discussions with Botswana’s President and Head of State, H. E. Ian Khama, his Minister of Transport and Communications, the Hon Onkokame Mokaila, and the Chairman of the Board and the Chief Executive Officer of the Civil Aviation Authority of Botswana, Messrs Mark Sampson and Geoffrey P. Mashabesha, respectively. She also took the opportunity of being in the Region to hold a bilateral meeting in Cape Town with the Hon Mkhacani Joseph Maswanganyi, the Minister of Transport of South Africa where matters related to aviation status in the State and support to other States in the region were discussed. South Africa’s Representative on the ICAO Council Mr. Tshepo Peege attended the meeting.
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A specialized agency of the United Nations, ICAO was created in 1944 to promote the safe and orderly development of international civil aviation throughout the world. It sets standards and regulations necessary for aviation safety, security, efficiency, capacity and environmental protection, amongst many other priorities. The Organization serves as the forum for cooperation in all fields of civil aviation among its 191 Member States.
Montréal and N’Djamena, 13 September 2016 – At the invitation of the Government of Chad, the President of the Council of the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), Dr. Olumuyiwa Benard Aliu, was in N’Djamena, Chad, last week to visit with the Republic’s President and Head of State H.E. Mr. Idriss Deby Itno, who is also presently serving as the Chairman of the African Union.
Presidents Aliu and Itno, who were joined by the Honourable Minister of Chad for Aeronautical Development and National Meteorology, Mrs. Haoua Acyl Ahmat Aghabach, the Representative of Cameroon on the ICAO Council, Mr. Zoa Englebert Etundi, and ICAO’s Regional Director for Western and Central Africa, Mr. Mam Sait Jallow, discussed at length the importance of aviation for socio-economic development in African countries, and particularly for landlocked ones such as Chad which are faced with many concerns due to under-developed land-based transportation.
“ICAO has been grateful for the long-standing cooperation it has enjoyed with the Republic of Chad, and most especially for its Government’s strong support for the aviation sector and continuous compliance with ICAO Standards and Recommended Practices for global civil aviation,” President Aliu acknowledged. He then elaborated on ICAO’s continuing mission under its ‘No Country Left Behind’ initiative and stressed that human resources development remains a “key air transport challenge for African States.”
President Aliu also encouraged Chad to identify aviation as a priority sector within its national development strategy, and to provide appropriate infrastructure investment and support to facilitate enhanced air transport connectivity in coordination with other transport modes.
“ICAO’s AFI Plan (aviation safety and efficiency), AFI SECFAL Plan (aviation security and facilitation), and our Human Resources Development Fund for Africa, should all be looked to for comprehensive coordination and other support on all of these objectives,” he noted.
With respect to Africa’s more continent-wide challenges, President Aliu positively acknowledged the on-going collaboration between ICAO and the African Union Commission for the development of aviation airport and air navigation infrastructure. The two leaders also deliberated on the terrorist threat affecting Chad and some of its neighbours in the Lake Chad Basin, the implications for aviation, and ICAO’s related assessment missions in local States which had culminated in the development of a technical assistance programme.
The Council President reiterated the need to support the sector by strengthening the autonomy of the national Civil Aviation Authority and to ensure attainment of regional aviation targets for safety and security. Dr. Aliu reassured the Government of ICAO’s commitment and availability to assist Chad and other States in the region, and sought the support of President Itno in this regard.
President Itno acknowledged the great potential for aviation in Chad and reaffirmed his Government’s commitment to address the situation with urgency. With respect to the African Union, he pointed out that, with the support of ICAO, aviation issues are now being given increasing attention. It was agreed that a concrete roadmap be developed with the assistance of the ICAO Regional Office for Western and Central Africa.
The Council President also met with the Director General and senior staff of Chad’s Cvil Aviation Authority (CAA), and visited with senior executives of two locally-based Regional Safety Oversight Organizations (RSOOs) – the Autorités Africaines et Malagache de l’Aviation Civile (AAMAC) and the Agence de Supervision et de Sécurité Aerienne en Afrique Centrale (ASSA-AC).
While pointing out that the RSOO role is to complement, and not compete with local authorities, President Aliu encouraged Chad, as the host State for both organizations, to make effective use of their presence. He also highlighted the planned global RSOO meeting being jointly organized in Africa for 2017 by ICAO and the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA).
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