President of African Development Bank (AfDB), Dr Akinwumi Adesina, while speaking with newsmen in Abuja, revealed that African aviation sector accounts for about nine per cent of aircraft accidents yearly and 37 per cent of Aviation fatalities globally. Although the sector performed well in 2016, it still remained the riskiest skies to fly in.
According to him, the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) signed by the bank and the International Air Transport Association (IATA), during a forum themed: “Financing the Development of Aviation Infrastructure” was to seek ways to improve the African aviation sector to serve the teeming populace better.
He said, “First is we are very concerned about the issue of air safety. Africa did very well last year. It was one of the safest skies last year but it has not always been that way. We are improving but that does not mean that we must actually rest on our oars on this.”
One of the things to be focused on in the collaboration with IATA is how to enhance investments from the bank and others on air navigation infrastructure, improving safety records and also making sure that there is improvement in the training facilities for the engineers, the air control traffic managers. De-risking the market for approaching finance for infrastructure, especially aircraft acquisition, is also being looked into.
These are the broad terms of the things to be worked on with focus on making the aviation industry more competitive; deregulating the sector and making it more efficient and hopefully, having finance that allows aircraft expansion to be able to survive with the ever increasing number of passengers that Africa needs and would have.