Rwanda to host key continental aviation meet

Rwanda will later this month host the Africa International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) Symposium, an event that will bring together more than 300 major actors in the aviation industry from across Africa. 

This was announced during a news conference yesterday, which was addressed by officials from Rwanda Civil Aviation Authority (RCAA) and ICAO.

“We are here to see how far we have gone with preparations of the ICAO Symposium. We are aware that Rwanda is very good at organising meetings, and are confident that this will be a successful event,” Barry Kashambo, the ICAO regional director for Eastern and Southern Africa, told the media.

The high-level meeting, which will take place on May 22-25, will focus on safety management, bringing together top decision-makers and technicians to deliberate on issues surrounding safety in the aviation industry in Africa.

“This is a very important meeting when it comes to enhancing aviation safety on this continent,” Kashambo noted, adding that the four-day event will feature a Regional Aviation Safety Committee meeting, a Safety Management workshop, and a Symposium, the main component of the event.

He said the meeting partly seeks to prepare countries to observe safety standards to ensure the industry grows fast.

Silas Udahemuka, the director-general of RCAA, said hosting the event is good for a country like Rwanda that is trying to position itself as a regional aviation hub.  

“This symposium is coming at the right time and in the right location, because Rwanda sees aviation as one of key enablers to economic development,” he said. 

Even though safety management has been progressively improving in the region for the past three years, officials said there is a need to invest in preparing countries as traffic continues to increase with the growth in aviation industry.

The symposium will take place at the Kigali Convention Centre (KCC).

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