Former Ghanaian president, John Agyekum Kufuor says the West African country is ready to host the first ever Africa Air Expo here.
He disclosed here when event organizers, origin8, an advertising, marketing and public relations company paid a courtesy call on President Kufuor at his residence Wednesday afternoon to brief him on preparations being made to host the show which will assemble major players in the aviation industry.
“Ghana, even though we do not have an airline now, Ghana has always been central; it’s a cross road for travellers for airlines and I believe this is why most of the European airlines fly here. It’s a hub, so you have people coming from the immediate region of West Africa flying here to take the airlines to Europe and from here to the Middle East, from here even across the ocean to the United States of America (USA).
I believe Accra could stage an international air show because it is not the fact that you own an airline that will make for the qualification that you stage the show. The fact that all these airlines fly here, they crisscross here is what should make this place the market to stage the show,” President Kufuor said.
The hosting of the first Africa Air Expo, the former Ghanaian enumerates the benefits such an event adds to the economy of the West African country.
He said, “That the world will come here to stage an air show will expose what is available here. The centrality of Accra in global affairs, already we know that the meridian and the equator cross each other here and that could be claimed as making Ghana the centre of the world and is this factor that contributes to Ghana becoming the cross roads but more importantly, is the way our airport; Accra airport is being developed. It’s developed to a point now and I believe it provides the services for safe aviation, safety of flying to and fro for airlines.”
It is estimated that over 2 million people fly in and out of the Kotoka International Airport (KIA) annually and the former Ghanaian leader urged the investor community to take advantage of the market, the political stability and favourable economic policies of the government to invest here.
William Y. Ansah, Chief Executive for Origin8 observed the contribution of the aviation industry to a country’s economy which requires some special attention.
“For us as a company, we believe that it is a sector that is hidden from the public. The public doesn’t know much about what is happening in the aviation sector. If you look at the contribution of aviation to the economy of developed countries like Dubai, Qatar, US and UK then, you know that it’s a strategic sector that we need some form of concentration there. It’s a sector that is generating millions of cedis on daily basis.
If you have a company like Airport Company; you have just one single airport and a year you can register 5 million people moving in and out of that airport, you can’t consider that as a small sector and these are the things we need to make people know because it brings about the growth of other services. People have needs and wherever you find people, you have to provide those needs. So there are so many opportunities in there people do not know but we think with this kind of expo and what we are doing in terms of the awareness creation, people will come to understand and see the opportunity,” Ansah said.
The Africa Air Expo which will be held at the KIA from October 24 to 26, 2017 is expected to provide an opportunity for manufacturers and service providers in the sector to explore and meet potential customers.
Event organizers say 905 international exhibitors including Qatar Airlines, Royal Jet, Boeing have been registered to participate in the expo as well as airlines operating in the country.
Source: Francis Tandoh/NewsGhana.com.gh