Africa urgently needs to embrace the International Civil Aviation Organisation’s (ICAO’s) Comprehensive Aviation Security Strategy.
This includes developments in risk assessment, innovation and cyber security, said Prime Minister Saara Kuugongelwa-Amadhila at the Ministerial Conference on Aviation Security and Facilitation in Africa on Friday in Windhoek.
“Security is without a doubt the backbone of social and economic development in any country and Africa needs to embrace the ICAO Comprehensive Aviation Security Strategy without delay,” Kuugongelwa-Amadhila told aviation experts and policy makers from across the continent, who have been gathering in Windhoek since Monday for the conference.
A ministerial declaration, to be drafted at the conclusion of the conference, will be submitted by Namibia for an African Union Heads of State meeting scheduled for July this year.
According to Minister of Works and Transport Alpheus !Naruseb, who delivered the opening address at yesterday’s session, the draft ministerial declaration would hopefully have been concluded by yesterday.
“I have already received feedback on the technical deliberations thus far this week. My fellow minister colleagues and high-level officials from governments and international agencies, I am gratified to learn that a lot has been achieved.
“Indeed, the technical discussions have been most productive. This is proven by the fact that we can now consider a high-level draft declaration today. Hopefully we will be able to conclude the Windhoek declaration today,”!Naruseb said.
Recent ICAO statistics indicate that overall, available air transport capacity increased by 5.3 percent in December 2015, compared to the same period in 2014. In Africa, air transport capacity expanded by 7.8 percent over the same period.
“The current global acts of terrorism are in most instances carried out through the civil aviation mode of transport. Africa is, of course not immune to such developments,” Kuugongelwa-Amadhila said, adding that she was pleased to note recent developments on the continent are keeping abreast with best practices in aviation security.
Also speaking at the occasion, president of the African Civil Aviation Commission, Hany Yehia Eladawy, called for stronger cooperation on issues of aviation security.
“This way, we will be working towards ensuring there is no weak link in the global aviation security chain,” he said.