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Countdown to Aviation Africa Summit: Exploring African Aviation’s Growth and Challenges

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With less than a week to go, the anticipation is building for the upcoming Aviation Africa Summit, set to take place in the vibrant capital city of Abuja. The event promises to be a pivotal moment for the continent’s aviation industry, bringing together key stakeholders to discuss the lessons learned from Africa’s aviation growth success stories and the challenges that lie ahead.

At the heart of these discussions will be esteemed aviation veteran Ato Girma Wake, the former CEO of Ethiopian Airlines and chairman of Ethiopia’s national carrier. Wake, often referred to as the doyen of Africa’s airline business, is credited with steering Ethiopian Airlines to global success and helping shape Rwanda’s aviation ambitions. He will share his insights in a candid one-on-one armchair conversation with African Aerospace’s Alan Peaford.

One of the central topics on the agenda is West Africa’s ambitions, including the establishment of a new national carrier in Nigeria. However, these aspirations are not without their challenges and critics. Leaders from Nigerian regional and domestic carriers, such as Ibom Air, Air Peace, and Overland Airways, will convene to discuss the implications of these changes for the region’s air passengers.

RwandAir CEO Yvonne Makolo, the current chair of IATA’s governors, will lead a panel of CEOs, including Mesfin Tasew of Ethiopian Airlines, Yehia Zakaria Ismail of EgyptAir Holding Company, Edmund Makona of Air Zimbabwe, and Eduardo Fairen of TAAG Angolan Airlines. They will engage in a dynamic discussion with aviation journalist Mark Pilling, exploring the lessons learned and Africa’s potential to stake its claim on the international stage.

In addition to passenger aviation, the summit will delve into the thriving cargo markets of Africa. Derek Nseko, Founder & CEO of Airspace Africa, will moderate a discussion featuring Sanjeev Gadhia, CEO of Astral Aviation, Africa’s largest freight carrier, and other key players like Abel Alemu of Ethiopian Cargo, Kamil Al Alwadi of IATA, Martin Gitonga of Kenya Airways, and Catherine Odiase of Zipline Nigeria. Together, they will explore the future of last-mile deliveries across the continent, especially in challenging terrains.

The Aviation Africa Summit is a comprehensive platform that caters to various sectors within the aviation industry. Attendees can expect insightful discussions involving airports, MRO (Maintenance, Repair, and Overhaul) providers, regulators, business aviation operators, finance providers, and major manufacturers like Airbus, Boeing, and Embraer.

With the event just around the corner, the aviation world is eagerly awaiting the discussions and insights that will emerge from this two-day summit. The Aviation Africa Summit promises to be a pivotal moment for the continent’s aviation sector, offering a platform for stakeholders to shape the future of African aviation. Stay tuned for updates as the summit unfolds next week in Abuja.

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