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5th AFRAA Aviation Stakeholders Convention kicks off in Kigali

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The long awaited 5th African Airlines Association Stakeholders Convention was launched Saturday night at the Kigali Serena Hotel  and Conference Centre with an informal get together cocktail party, allowing old friends from across the continent’s aviation and related businesses to meet and share updates from their lives and from their profession.

Business started in earnest yesterday and after some presentations and key note addresses. One of the key openers had experts discussing how aviation stakeholders can contribute to promote growth and sustainable connectivity across Africa.

Senior staff from IATA, the host airline RwandAir, notably the Kenya Civil Aviation Authority and from regional private cargo carrier Astral Aviation will discuss and look for ways forward in the space of an hour.


Africa is one of the fastest growing air transport markets in the world and its economic development is pulsating with an enhanced and dynamic commercial enthusiasm. The aviation industry on the continent is positioning itself for rapid growth and expansion. The economic transformation taking place all over Africa is indeed in part due to the ever growing aviation sector.

Africa is the second most populous continent with a population over 1 billion and home to an estimated one-seventh of the world’s population yet it represents just 3% of global airline traffic. The profitability of African airlines is weak, and intra-African connectivity lags behind the growth in connections from Africa to the rest of the world. Nevertheless, if it can be unlocked, one of aviation’s greatest potential markets is Africa.

Aviation is the best, and sometimes the only, option for efficiently connecting this huge market. As a whole, aviation growth in continent is set to outperform the global average with seven out of the ten fastest-growing markets in percentage terms being in Africa. But this tremendous opportunity can only be seized if the restrictions on where airlines are allowed to fly are swept away. Over recent decades the understanding of the damaging effect of the lack of connectivity has been increasingly understood by African governments.

ATC News by Wolfgang H. Thome

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