Thursday, September 3, 2015
An ICAO Delegation led by Secretary General Dr. Fang Liu, and including ICAO’s Regional Director for Western and Central Africa, Mr. Mam Sait Jallow, and its Regional Director for Eastern and Southern Africa, Mr. Barry Kashambo, visited Nairobi, Kenya, and Addis Ababa, Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia, from 18–20 August 2015.
On 19 August Secretary General Liu met with H.E. Dr. Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, Chairperson of the African Union Commission (AUC). Also present at the meeting was Mr. Mankopane Daniel Tshepo Peege, Representative of South Africa on the ICAO Council. Their fruitful and friendly discussions covered the ongoing implementation of the Memorandum of Cooperation signed by the two organizations in 2010, as well as various goals common to ICAO’s current Strategic Objectives and the AU Agenda 2063. Skilled personnel training and technical assistance priorities were also high on the two leaders’ agendas.
Additionally discussed with AUC Chairperson Dlamini-Zuma was the concept of a dedicated Ministerial meeting to establish continental targets on aviation security, facilitation and air navigation services; ICAO technical assistance for the establishment of an African passport; the counter-productive impacts of taxes and fees imposed on aviation; and priority support to the eleven African States that have already declared their solemn commitments to fully implement the Yamoussoukro Decision towards the establishment of a single African air transport market. The two parties further agreed to develop and adopt an Action Plan for the implementation of the Memorandum of Cooperation.
After the AUC meeting, Secretary General Liu paid a courtesy call on the President of Ethiopia, H.E. Dr. Mulatu Teshome Wirtu, and had detailed discussions with the State’s Minister of Transport, Mr. Workenhe Gebeyhu. She also visited Ethiopia’s Civil Aviation Authority and Ethiopian Airlines facilities. The parties discussed the status of the aviation sector in the State as well as its planned airport and air navigation infrastructure developments.
Secretary General Liu commended Ethiopia for the growth of its aviation industry and the continuous improvement of its aviation safety oversight system – as determined by its recent ICAO Universal Safety Oversight audit. She encouraged Ethiopia’s government to consider further necessary support to its aeronautical authorities, with adequate resources and capacity in order for them to be able to oversee and manage the safe and efficient growth of its sector. She also requested that Ethiopia consider assisting neighbouring States in addressing their civil aviation needs. Secretary General Liu concluded by confirming ICAO’s commitment and readiness to continue coordinating and providing where appropriate the necessary technical assistance to Ethiopia and other African States, in order to improve the general safety, efficiency and reliability of their air services.
Ethiopia’s authorities expressed their State’s strong commitment to continue to collaborate with ICAO, and to provide the desired support to its aviation sector with respect to resources for capacity building and infrastructural developments, support for regional initiatives and programmes, and assistance to other States.
While in Nairobi, Secretary General Liu met with the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Transport, Engineer John Musonik, and Kenya’s Civil Aviation Authority Board and management. She also spoke with local air operator and IATA representatives and the Kenya Airport Authority. Accompanying her were the ICAO Regional RDs and the ICAO Council Representative for Kenya, Ms. Mercy Awori.
The Secretary General also took time for a special ICAO TRAINAIR Plus recognition ceremony for the East African School of Aviation in Kenya, which will henceforth be serving an important role as an ICAO Regional Training Centre of Excellence (RTCE). In her remarks Secretary General Liu recognized the significance of Kenya as a champion of aviation growth in the African region, called for continued compliance with ICAO SARPs and advocated for government support and recognition of the aviation sector as an enabler to economic growth.