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The Secretary General of the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) has hailed the Government of Uganda for prioritising the aviation sector as a major sector in the country’s efforts to accelerate economic growth.
Dr. Fang Liu, made the remarks while speaking at the 6th African-Indian Ocean Aviation Week and Fourth Aviation Security and Facilitation Symposium that was held at Speke Resort in Munyonyo.
She said: “I can see Uganda is seriously committed to promoting trade and tourism.”
Dr. Liu made the complementary remark after she learned from Works and Transport Minister Monica Azuba Ntege that the government of Uganda has taken numerous steps to modernise Uganda’s aviation sector through the revival of the National Career as well as upgrading Entebbe international airport.
Dr. Liu noted that although passenger traffic on the African continent remains the lowest at 4 percent of global aviation movement, the figure means that the continent has the greatest potential to grow its traffic.
She singled out recent ICAO resolutions that seek to modernise aviation infrastructure such as airports and air navigation equipment as critical in achieving ambitious targets in the industry such as the establishment of a Single African Air Transport Market. Although it has since passed its 2017 target deadline, the AU is still pursuing the single air transport market as part of its Agenda 2063.
It was the first time Uganda was hosting the ICAO organised event that attracted over 300 regulators, and industry stakeholders from across the African continent and the Indian ocean.
Dr. Liu, a Chinese National and first woman to be elected into the powerful position, also urged African governments to embrace and implement ICAO standards as a way to growing their aviation industry and the economies generally.
Uganda’s Minister of Works and Transport Ntege who presided as guest of honour at the opening ceremony of the event described the hosting of the AFI aviation week and Dr. Liu’s personal presence as a vote of confidence in Uganda’s commitment to upholding global aviation standards.
In her opening address, Dr. Liu noted that the meeting sought to discuss important issues related to terrorism and emerging issues related to cyber security, landside security and insider threats.
Uganda’s hosting of the event was seen as an endorsement of its track-record in implementation of ICAO’s standards.
For example, under ICAO’s Universal Security Audit Programme, Uganda scored 81.8 percent, higher than the global average of 65% and Africa’s average 59 percent.