First-ever Aviation Africa to bring together world’s leading airlines, ministers and authorities including IATA, Rwandair, CAA Ghana, to discuss untapped market’s significant opportunities
Aviation Africa 2015 which opens on 10th May at Le Meridien Hotel, Dubai will underscore the immense potential of the African aviation market. The two-day event, held under the patronage of HH Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed al Maktoum, President of Dubai’s Department of Civil Aviation and Chairman of Emirates Airline, has been established to forge a crucial dialogue among the aviation industry’s leading stakeholders on the social, economic and political benefits to be gained from wide-ranging improvements to the infrastructure in Africa.
Aviation in Africa currently supports more than 6.9 million jobs and over $800 billion in GDP across African nations. But this is nothing compared with what it can become. Annually, a further 155,000 jobs and $1.3 billion in GDP can be added through the effective liberalisation of just 12 key markets, including Ghana, Kenya and South Africa among others, according to an independent report published by the International Air Transport Association (IATA).
“If you look at the sheer potential of just a handful of African airlines, routes and airports, you realise just how enormous an impact Africa can have on the future of aviation, and moreover you can clearly see just how beneficial a progressive aviation industry can be for the socio-economic future of the continent,” says Alan Peaford MBE, event organiser and summit Chairman.
“Geographically, it’s ideally located right next to well-established hubs in the Gulf, and is able to capitalise on the passenger and cargo traffic already streaming through the region.
“Aviation Africa 2015 will fill a void in the aviation calendar and give Africa a real chance to progress quickly, effectively and safely,” he adds.
Africa’s prospective growth, as well as the potentially vital role the Middle East’s aviation industry can play in the creation of a burgeoning African market will be the focal point of the various case studies and panels at Aviation Africa 2015.
Hon. Dzifa Aku Attivor, Minister of Transport for Ghana, will present the Keynote Address. The Ghanian transport minister is one in a long list of top-level industry speakers, delegates and experts who will share ideas and experiences with their Middle Eastern counterparts to bring Africa’s inevitably pivotal role in the future of aviation front and centre.
“There are many striking similarities between the Middle Eastern aviation market of 20 years ago and the African market of today,” says Alan Peaford
“The many experiences Gulf carriers, airports and regulators underwent as they grew to become the centre-ground of the global aviation space are bound to be similar to the issues that will arise in Africa as the continent’s nations begin to put their efforts and resources behind their aviation industry. Africa would do well to discuss, listen and learn from their Middle Eastern counterparts,” Peaford adds.
Discussing the role of the regulators at Aviation Africa 2015 will be Laila Ali Hareb Al Muhairi, Assistant Director General for Strategy and International Affairs, of the UAE’s civil aviation authority (the GCAA), Dr Hamdi Chaouk, former director general for aviation in Lebanon; Abdulai Alhassan, director general, Ghana Civil Aviation Authority and Mohamed Rahma, Undersecretary for international affairs, Egypt.
Speakers confirmed from African and Middle East airlines already include Girma Wake, chairman, RwandAir (formerly CEO, Ethiopian Airlines); Yves Naninque, CCO ECAir; Many other CEOs and COOs are attending including Africa’s leading cargo operator Astral Aviation, South African Airlines and Daallo Airlines.
One session of particular note will see Ed Winter, CEO of Fastjet – Tanzania’s low cost carrier which has been enjoying great success since its launch in 2011 – he is on a panel with Air Arabia’s group chief executive, Adel Ali, exploring the impact LCCs have had on the aviation industry in the region.
Alan Peaford, said: “We are really pleased with the support we are getting from the industry across all levels of government, as well as airlines of all shapes and sizes.
“This is going to be a great networking event and an intriguing summit. Of course there is a frisson between many African carriers and the local airlines in the Middle East but it wasn’t that long ago that the likes of Emirates and Qatar Airways were in the same position as the African carriers are now and they have found many different ways around global and regional challenges,” Peaford says.
“It’s really exciting to see some of the new and smaller carriers represented at the event. There is a great hunger for the knowledge that will get this growth challenge right.”
Dr Nicklas Dahlstrom, human factors manager, Emirates Airline, will be discussing the challenges of multi-cultural workforces and the threat to safety of human performance.
There are also senior figures from aviation authorities and associations, who include Hussein Dabbas, VP Africa & Middle East, IATA; Tawanda Gusha, Director Airports, Civil Aviation Authority, Zimbabwe and Paul Murphy, vice president, Africa, SITA.
The event also features an exhibition with over 40 companies including Boeing, Jeppesen, African Open Sky, Ethiopian Airlines and Astral Aviation. The event is supported by AFRAA – African Airlines Association, AfBAA – African Business Aviation Association and the Gold Sponsors are UAE International Trip Support and DAE – Dubai Aerospace Enterprise.
Distributed by APO (African Press Organization) on behalf of Aviation Africa 2015.
This century is always looking at improving new super high speed technology to make life easier. On the other hand, beckoning as an emerging fierce reversal force to equally match or dominate this life enhancing super new tech, comes swift human adversaries which seem to have come to make living on earth even more difficult.
The recent discovery of a pandemic, Covid-19, which moves at a pace of unimaginable and unpredictable proportions; locking people inside homes and barring human interactions with its dreaded death threat, is currently being felt.
Member of Parliament for Kanye North, Thapelo Letsholo has cautioned Government against excessive borrowing and poorly managed debt levels.
He was speaking in Parliament on Tuesday delivering Parliament’s Finance Committee report after assessing a motion that sought to raise Government Bond program ceiling to P30 billion, a big jump from the initial P15 Billion.
Government Investment Account (GIA) which forms part of the Pula fund has been significantly drawn down to finance Botswana’s budget deficits since 2008/09 Global financial crises.
The 2009 global economic recession triggered the collapse of financial markets in the United States, sending waves of shock across world economies, eroding business sentiment, and causing financiers of trade to excise heightened caution and hold onto their cash.
The ripple effects of this economic catastrophe were mostly felt by low to middle income resource based economies, amplifying their vulnerability to external shocks. The diamond industry which forms the gist of Botswana’s economic make up collapsed to zero trade levels across the entire value chain.
The Upstream, where Botswana gathers much of its diamond revenue was adversely impacted by muted demand in the Midstream. The situation was exacerbated by zero appetite of polished goods by jewelry manufacturers and retail outlets due to lowered tail end consumer demand.
This resulted in sharp decline of Government revenue, ballooned budget deficits and suspension of some developmental projects. To finance the deficit and some prioritized national development projects, government had to dip into cash balances, foreign reserves and borrow both externally and locally.
Much of drawing was from Government Investment Account as opposed to drawing from foreign reserve component of the Pula Fund; the latter was spared as a fiscal buffer for the worst rainy days.
Consequently this resulted in significant decline in funds held in the Government Investment Account (GIA). The account serves as Government’s main savings depository and fund for national policy objectives.
However as the world emerged from the 2009 recession government revenue graph picked up to pre recession levels before going down again around 2016/17 owing to challenges in the diamond industry.
Due to a number of budget surpluses from 2012/13 financial year the Government Investment Account started expanding back to P30 billion levels before a series of budget deficits in the National Development Plan 11 pushed it back to decline a decline wave.
When the National Development Plan 11 commenced three (3) financial years ago, government announced that the first half of the NDP would run at budget deficits.
This as explained by Minister of Finance in 2017 would be occasioned by decline in diamond revenue mainly due to government forfeiting some of its dividend from Debswana to fund mine expansion projects.
Cumulatively since 2017/18 to 2019/20 financial year the budget deficit totaled to over P16 billion, of which was financed by both external and domestic borrowing and drawing down from government cash balances. Drawing down from government cash balances meant significant withdrawals from the Government Investment Account.
The Government Investment Account (GIA) was established in accordance with Section 35 of the Bank of Botswana Act Cap. 55:01. The Account represents Government’s share of the Botswana‘s foreign exchange reserves, its investment and management strategies are aligned to the Bank of Botswana’s foreign exchange reserves management and investment guidelines.
Government Investment Account, comprises of Pula denominated deposits at the Bank of Botswana and held in the Pula Fund, which is the long-term investment tranche of the foreign exchange reserves.
In June 2017 while answering a question from Bogolo Kenewendo, the then Minister of Finance & Economic Development Kenneth Mathambo told parliament that as of June 30, 2017, the total assets in the Pula Fund was P56.818 billion, of which the balance in the GIA was P30.832 billion.
Kenewendo was still a back bench specially elected Member of Parliament before ascending to cabinet post in 2018. Last week Minister of Finance & Economic Development, Dr Thapelo Matsheka, when presenting a motion to raise government local borrowing ceiling from P15 billion to P30 Billion told parliament that as of December 2019 Government Investment Account amounted to P18.3 billion.
Dr Matsheka further told parliament that prior to financial crisis of 2008/9 the account amounted to P30.5 billion (41 % of GDP) in December of 2008 while as at December 2019 it stood at P18.3 billion (only 9 % of GDP) mirroring a total decline by P11 billion in the entire 11 years.
Back in 2017 Parliament was also told that the Government Investment Account may be drawn-down or added to, in line with actuations in the Government’s expenditure and revenue outturns. “This is intended to provide the Government with appropriate funds to execute its functions and responsibilities effectively and efficiently” said Mathambo, then Minister of Finance.
Acknowledging the need to draw down from GIA no more, current Minister of Finance Dr Matsheka said “It is under this background that it would be advisable to avoid excessive draw down from this account to preserve it as a financial buffer”
He further cautioned “The danger with substantially reduced financial buffers is that when an economic shock occurs or a disaster descends upon us and adversely affects our economy it becomes very difficult for the country to manage such a shock”