MONTREAL AND ABUJA – The Seventh Edition of ICAO’s annual AFI Aviation Week events concluded in Abuja, Nigeria last week driving multilateral progress and new capacity-building agreements addressing a range of key issues for the recovery and resilience of African aviation.
This year’s event, held in cooperation with the Federal Republic of Nigeria’s Ministry of Aviation, was attended by some 200 government, aviation, and industry officials, representing 46 States and 17 international and regional organizations, in addition to ten members of the ICAO Council.
2022 AFI Aviation Week comprised the ninth meeting of African Directors General of Civil Aviation, which reviewed the evolving aviation performance priorities in the AFI Region, the post-pandemic air traffic recovery in relation to outcomes from ICAO’s High-level Conference on COVID-19, and ongoing efforts to expand skilled aviation professional human resource development in Africa.
The week also included the meetings of the Steering Committees for the ICAO Comprehensive Regional Implementation Plan for Aviation Safety in Africa (AFI Plan) and Comprehensive Regional Implementation Plan for Aviation Security and Facilitation in Africa (AFI SECFAL Plan), the two most important aviation safety and security initiatives on the continent, and some important progress reports from key partners and stakeholders.
Lastly, this year’s event included a Symposium focused on the operationalization of the Single African Air Transport Market (SAATM), current environmental challenges and initiatives, and the status of States implementation of the ICAO Global and Regional Plans.
In his grand opening remarks to the event earlier this week, ICAO Secretary General Juan Carlos Salazar itemized some of the key current priorities for the full and sustainable recovery of African air connectivity, highlighting the many potential socio-economic benefits to be gained.
Mr. Salazar also stressed ICAO’s deep appreciation to its AFI Region partners for their important updates and valuable contributions, and expressed his appreciation for the new voluntary contribution received from Singapore to support AFI activities. A Memorandum of Understanding between the Government of Singapore and the African Civil Aviation Commission (AFCAC) on capacity building was signed during the opening session.
The ICAO Secretary General looked forward to the active participation of AFI States at the upcoming High-level meeting on States’ Long-term global Aspirational Goal (LTAG) for aviation emissions, which ICAO will host in Montréal from 20-22 July, and urged all African States and relevant organizations to attend the 41st Session of ICAO Assembly this September.
“This will help to assure that African aviation has a strong voice at the global table, and assist ICAO in underscoring, through a well-attended, in-person global event, that the aviation network is once again bringing the world and its peoples together,” he emphasized.
Mr. Salazar’s remarks were accompanied by opening speeches from the Director General of the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA), Captain Musa Shuaibu Nuhu, the Acting Secretary General of AFCAC, Ms. Angeline Simana and the Senior Minister of Sustainability and the Environment of Singapore, Dr. Amy Khor. They were followed by the official opening remarks from the Federal Minister for Aviation of Nigeria, H.E. Hadi Sirika.
During his stay in Abuja, Mr. Salazar paid a courtesy visit to the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, H.E. Muhammadu Buhari.