Ghana’s President, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, says the vision of his Government is to establish Ghana both as an aviation hub within West Africa, and as the preferred destination of choice for travellers.
Delivering his speech at the 1st Aerospace and Aviation Industry Show in West Africa, held at the Kotoka International Airport. the president said he hopes to achieve this by working with the private sector to offer modern, attractive air transport infrastructure, and by building capacity and establishing institutional and policy framework to enhance safety and security of air services.
“It is in pursuit of this that Government has given policy approval for the establishment of a Home-Based Carrier with private sector participation, as part of efforts to fulfill our aviation-hub vision and also to enhance connectivity,” the president said.
During his speech the president noted that since assuming office in January 2017, and following his Government’s decision to remove the 17.5% Value Added Tax (VAT) on domestic airfares to make domestic travel affordable, airfares have some seen reduction, and the passenger throughput has increased significantly from 302,270 in September last year to September 2017, resulting in a 23.5% increase.
Additionally, the President noted that the number of international airlines operating in the country has increased from 35 to 37 this year, noting that other domestic airlines will, hopefully, follow suit soon.
“I have been reliably informed that the captain of our Senior National Team, the Black Stars, Asamoah Gyan, has obtained an Air Carrier License (ACL), and is working feverishly to establish an airline, called Baby Jet Airlines. I want to appeal to other Ghanaians, both home and abroad, to invest in the rapidly growing aviation sector,” he added.
“my Government has re-created the Aviation Ministry to develop the Ghanaian aviation industry, and make it highly competitive within the West African region. There are on-going and up-coming projects in Ghana’s aviation sector, which will lead to an enhanced air travel experience.”
These ongoing projects include: construction of Terminal 3 at Kotoka International Airport (K.I.A), designed to accommodate five (5) million passengers in the next 5 years to be completed in April, 2018; construction of Modern Air Navigation Services Centre at K.I.A, to ensure safety and security of aircrafts and passengers in our air space; and construction of Phase II of both Kumasi and Tamale Airports.
“Ghana has shown commitment to improving connectivity on the African continent, by being amongst those who signed the Yamoussoukro Decision. I, therefore, want to use this opportunity to urge all industry stakeholders to play their part in the full implementation of the agreement to improve connectivity on the continent,” he added.
The President continued, “With Ghana determined to fulfill its role as the gate way to West Africa, Government is poised to build the most people-friendly and business-friendly economy in Africa, to boost the confidence of the private sector to invest in the Ghanaian economy.