The International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) has projected Africa’s aviation sector to be one of the world’s fastest growing, supporting up to 9.8 million jobs and contributing $159bn to Africa’s gross domestic product (GDP) by 2036.
Nigeria’s born President of the ICAO Council, Mr. Bernard Aliu, disclosed this in a speech at the 50th anniversary celebration of the African Civil Aviation Commission (AFCAC) in Dakar, Senegal.
Mr. Aliu also said African’s aviation industry is projected to grow by 4.3 percent annually up to 2045. Freight growth will also be above the global average of 3.9 percent annually up to 2045; a growth that would largely be propelled by the rising industrialization and population growth of the continent.
In Africa today, he said “air transport supports 6.2 million jobs and 55.8 $bn in Gross Domestic Product (GDP), and the African aviation market is one of the world’s most promising in terms of its overall growth potential, due largely to your emerging industrial sectors and steadily increasing population figures.”
Thus, “in accordance with ICAO’s long-term traffic forecasts, passenger traffic for the Africa region is expected to grow by 4.3 percent annually up to 2045, while freight traffic should also expand faster than world average, at 3.9 per cent annually over the same period.”
These increases, he said, “should see aviation-related employment in Africa increasing to roughly 9.8 million jobs by 2036, and its air transport GDP impacts almost tripling to $159 billion over the same period.”
He however noted that for these benefits to be fully optimized, African aviation must also do a number of key things to catalyse growth.
“But we must also recognize and act upon the fact that the current status of connectivity on this continent is still sub-optimal, and thus hindering the realization of the aviation benefits now awaiting African societies,” he noted.
Also commenting, Mr. Gabriel LESA, president of AFCAC, said 50 years is a major milestone in the life of an organization, as it is for any individual.