The African Development Bank and representatives of the Central and West African economic communities inaugurated a major project to improve the safety, security and efficiency of air transport in the sub-region, last week. The project: “West and Central African Air Transport Safety and Security Program” (WCAATSSP) capacity-building program falls within a context of rapid growth of air transport in Africa.
It will enable operators in the sub-region to meet safety standards as defined by the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO). The program is particularly intended to strengthen the supervisory capacities of the various regional aviation safety agencies and the coordination mechanisms for air transport policy. Another aspect of WCAATSSP is related to the safety, security and certification of airports.
“In this context of globalization, where air transport accounts for a large share of the value of world trade, this mode of transport can spur growth and stimulate economic development,” said Amadou Oumarou, director of the AfDB Transport Department, on behalf of AfDB President, Akinwumi Adesina.
“Our regional organizations strive to provide users of air transport in our Member States with adequate access to quality air transport services,” said Augustin Tompieu Zouo, Commissioner of the Department of Community Regional Planning and Transport, and head of the West African Economic and Monetary Union (WAEMU) delegation, who spoke on behalf of the regional economic communities.
The launch workshop, held at AfDB headquarters in Abidjan, brought together all project stakeholders to ensure their full commitment in the preparation of a precise roadmap for the project’s implementation. Approved by the Bank in June 2015, WCAATSSP will be completed in 2019. It has a budget of US $16.1 million.
The African Development Fund (ADF) will provide US $11.7 million, while the regional economic communities (Economic Community of Central African States, the Economic Community of West African States and the West African Economic and Monetary Union) will contribute the remaining amount.