The aviation industry continues to be key to the transformation of African economies such as Zimbabwe, despite the country’s economic challenges, experts have said.
Speaking at the International Air Transport Association (IATA) day celebrations in Victoria Falls, African Airlines Association president and Air Zimbabwe acting chief executive officer Edmund Makona said aviation had created 6,1 million jobs on the continent.
“When we look at it from a continental perspective, 6,1 million jobs are being created directly and indirectly. The airline industry carries 70 million passengers per year. From a global perspective, aviation is contributing about $540 billion in direct revenue,” Makona said.
He said that African aviation industry had challenges and there was need to transform them into opportunities.
In 2016, the aviation sector contributed $36,4 billion in terms of profits and $145 billion in revenue.
“We believe African aviation has challenges but we want to make sure that these challenges are transformed into enablers for the transformation of our economies and even in the context of Zimbabwe, we believe aviation can transform the economy of Zimbabwe,” Makona said.
Makona said the aviation sector and airlines were facing a threat of extinction as currently Africa covered only 20% of transcontinental travel with the rest being held outside the continent.
Commenting on the state of the aviation industry, IATA vice-president for Africa, Raphael Kuuchi said on the scale of connectivity, Africa was doing poorly as compared to the rest of the world.
Kuuchi said some of the problems the aviation industry was facing were policy and industrial challenges which included safety, route disruption, infrastructure and technology adoption, which was very slow, as well as climate changes.
– The Standard
FOLLOW NEW AFRICA BUSINESS NEWS ON FACEBOOK @ New Africa Business News.com