...Brussels, 10 – 11 December 2012
In implementing the EU-Africa Common Strategy adopted in 2005 and the Joint EU-Africa Partnership established in Lisbon in December 2007, the EU has provided through ACP, support to further develop the African civil aviation sector in the specific areas of aviation safety, security and air traffic management. To that effect, a total of nine million Euros (€9,000,000) has been approved by the ACP Committee of Ambassadors and endorsed by the European Commission under the 10th EDF.
This support will be implemented within the particular framework of the EU-Africa Infrastructure Partnership under the overall EU-Africa Strategic Partnership which is under the coordination of the African Union Commission (AUC) for the African side and the European Commission (EC) for the European Union side.
In that regard, a Consultative Session of stakeholders on Africa´s aviation industry development was held at the ACP House in Brussels on 10 and 11 December 2012 to consider implementation modalities for the aviation sector projects. The Session was attended by African and European Stakeholders. African Stakeholders were composed of AUC, EAC, ECCAS, ECOWAS, UEMOA, Madagascar, AFCAC and ASECNA. The AUC, which led the African delegation in the discussions, was represented by Mr. David KAJANGE, Head of Transport and Tourism Division and Mr. Adiron ALBERTO, Senior Policy Officer (Air Transport) from the Department of Infrastructure and Energy.
The progamme to be implemented under the aforementioned fund will cover project activities related to improvement of aviation safety, security and the introduction of European Geostationary Navigation Overlay Service (EGNOS) in accordance with the Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS). The latter is part of a key strategy to move Africa from terrestrial based air navigation systems to more efficient and safer satellite augmented navigation networks.
The meeting was informed that following a bidding process which was carried out by ACP through an independent consultancy firm, the project to provide support on aviation safety and security was awarded to the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) and the International Air Transport Association (IATA) while the one on GNSS/EGNOS was awarded to the Agency for Aerial Navigation Safety in Africa and Madagascar (ASECNA) and the United Nations Science and Education Commission (UNESCO). The projects are scheduled to start early 2013 for the period of three years with possible extension depending on availability of funds under the 11th EDF.
The meeting established a Steering Committee as well as for the management of the projects which is chaired by the AUC and composed of the ACP, EC, RECs, AFCAC and AFRAA.
This endeavor is yet another mile stone towards the enhancement of efficiency in air transport in Africa as well as making its skies safer and more secure in line with the African Civil Aviation Policy (AFCAP) adopted at the January 2012 AU Summit. Moreover, it will contribute significantly to the acceleration of the economic integration of Africa as envisaged in the Abuja Treaty.