Rwandan President, Paul Kagame has stressed the need for collaboration to expand and ease air transport in Africa and pointed out benefits expected from partnership between RwandAir and Qatar Airways.
According to en.igihe.com, the Head of State made the remarks on Monday as he officiated the opening of the 6th Aviation Africa Summit and Exhibition taking place in Rwanda together with the first ever World Airports Infrastructure, Equipment and Services Exhibition.
The two-day Aviation Africa Summit and Exhibition is held in Rwanda for the third time.
As he delivered remarks, President Kagame said that the last meeting held three years ago highlighted the importance of Africa’s aviation market for the continent’s ambition to become a single economic bloc.
The President revealed that the aviation was growing rapidly with a bright future before the outset of COVID-19 which severely affected the aviation with Africa being no exception.
President Kagame said that travel and tourism are now getting back to normal even through the industry is not back to where it was.
“The further liberalization of air transport in Africa can act as a catalyst to speed up the industry’s recovery, by increasing connectivity, stimulating demand and creating jobs,” he noted.
“In a wider context of the African Free Trade Area, open skies help to link our businesses to regional and global supply chains, boosting trade and investment,” he added.
The Head of State underscored that it is the reason why the full implementation of the Single African Air Transport Market must remain a top priority noting that Rwanda continues to do its part.
“Currently, RwandAir, our national carrier, serves 24 routes, 19 of which are in Africa. We intend to continue expanding within the continent and abroad,” he stated.
“We are working together with our partner, Qatar Airways, to grow RwandAir and build Kigali’s new international airport, currently under construction, into a regional hub for passengers and cargo,” added Kagame.
To accelerate the aviation industry, the Head of State said that the shortage of skills across the aviation value chain must be addressed.
He also stressed the need to prioritize the use of data and digital technologies to make African aviation safer, more reliable and affordable.
“The aviation industry has a role to play, in reaching our global climate adaptation goals and the use of sustainable fuels can help us get there, faster,” stated Kagame.
Rwanda’s Minister of Infrastructure, Dr. Ernest Nsabimana said that the summit is a great opportunity for the African continent to discuss avenues paving the way for the adoption of digital technologies in the aviation industry.
He highlighted that it is time for actors in the aviation industry from African continent to start working together to develop resilience against future shocks.
The summit brought together nearly 800 participants.