The Aviation Africa 2017 forum opened this morning at the Kigali convention Centre attracting over 500 delegates who will be deliberating on challenges, trends and opportunities within the African aviation industry.
The two-day forum was opened by President Paul Kagame, who was hailed by several speakers for championing pro-aviation and open space policies on the African continent.
Participants were drawn from over 50 companies involved in the various aspects of the aviation industry, including manufacturing, maintenance, training, catering, among others.
Speaking at the opening of the forum, the Minister for Infrastructure, James Musoni, said that the forum will go a long way in addressing the existing challenges in the African aviation industry.
One of the main topics at the summit is the need to liberalise African airspace, promote infrastructure and address high costs of operations, among others.
Alan Peaford, the chair of the organising committee, said the African aviation industry has enormous potential that can help spur economic growth across the continent.
He praised Rwanda for its commitment to the aviation sector both at home and across the continent.
This is the second such forum to take place but the first to be held on the African continent, with the first one having taken place in Dubai in 2015.
Rwanda sees aviation as a vehicle to promoting the country’s vision of becoming a services hub and the country’s national career, RwandAir, continues to expand its wings, with Asia, Europe and US routes expected to open in the near future.
The government is also heavily investing in the construction of infrastructure to match a rising aviation industry, including the ongoing construction of the proposed Bugesera International Airport and the continued expansion of Kigali International Airport.