“Ghana is a valued and critical member of the ICAO family, having been one of the premier African members of this esteemed organization.” Ghana joined the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), soon after independence. With a permanent representative at the ICAO Secretariat in Montreal, Ghana continues to play a central role in many of the organizations deliberations.
On the occasion of the 39th Congress of ICAO, Ghana’s representative in ICAO, Air Commodore Kwame Mamphe invited H.E Dr. Sulley Gariba, Ghana’s High Commissioner to Canada, to be part of a 5-member official Ghana delegation to the congress, led by Hon. Fifi Kwetey, Minister of Transport. This week-long conference (September 27 to October 7) is focused on addressing modalities for executing the vision and the priority initiative of ICAO, namely the No Country Left Behind (NCLB) campaign. This initiative highlights ICAO’s efforts to assist States in implementing ICAO Standards and Recommended Practices (SARPs). The main goal of this work is to help ensure that SARP implementation is better harmonized globally so that all States have access to the significant socio-economic benefits of safe and reliable air transport.
The NCLB effort also promotes ICAO’s efforts to resolve Significant Safety Concerns (SSCs) brought to light through ICAO’s safety oversight audits as well as other safety, security and emissions-related objectives. In this regard, the President of ICAO presented awards of merit to 14 countries for achieving high-levels of safety, as a result of the audit undertaken by ICAO for 2015.
Ghana’s Contribution to NCLB Initiative of ICAO
The Ghana delegation was the first to pay a courtesy call on the ICAO President, Dr. Olumuyiwa Benard Aliu (from Nigeria), and the ICAO Secretary-General, Dr. Fang Liu (from China).
The leader of the Ghana Delegation, Hon. Fifi Kwetey, conveyed greetings from H.E. President John Dramani Mahama, President of the Republic of Ghana, and congratulated the President of ICAO for his vision, wisdom and incredible technical foresight in launching the NCLB initiative. Minister Kwetey emphasized the utmost commitment that Ghana has devoted to advancing the objectives of NCLB, by:
Establishing and commissioning an ultra-modern Training Facility for the aviation industry, capable of serving Ghana, West Africa and, in deed, the whole of Africa. This facility will grow in depth, and apply latest technologies and standards in building Africa’s human resources core in the aviation industry
Ghana has provided valuable assistance and support to Liberia and also to Sierra Leone aviation sectors, as they are emerging out of civil war and Ebola
Ghana is nearing the completion of a new terminal 3, capable of receiving a larger volume of aircrafts, and providing higher quality services across the region.
Ghana has also embarked on an aggressive expansion and modernization of regional airports, with the expansion and elongation of the runway in Tamale airport and the one in Kumasi; and the opening of new airports scheduled for Ho and Wa.
All these initiatives, the Minister reiterated, are geared towards making aviation the cornerstone of Ghana’s transformation. The Minister also congratulated Dr. Fang Liu for being the first female to assume the position of Secretary-General of ICAO.
On her part, Dr. Liu (SG) lauded Ghana’s remarkable growth of more than 20% in its international aviation, and more than 150% growth in the domestic airline industry, with an enviable record of infrastructure expansion. She urged the Aviation industry in Ghana, and the Government of Ghana, to work hard towards integrating growth in aviation to the socio-economic development in the country. She suggested that, as Ghana is a leader in developing medium and long-term plans, it would be necessary to locate aviation sector in these plans, and to show how the development of the aviation sector is closely linked with rest of the sectors in the economy.
The President of ICAO, Dr. Aliu, rendered a passionate appreciation for Ghana’s leadership; and in particular, the highly influential role that Ghana played in his election as President. He cited the instance when the current representative of Ghana to ICAO, Commodore Mamphe, personally joined the Nigerian delegation to travel around the world to canvass for his election. This “historic gesture on the part of Ghana, symbolizes the brotherly bonds between our two countries; a bond that touches my heart, deeply,” said Dr. Aliu
In closing the discussion, Hon. Fifi Kwetey pledged Ghana’s commitment and willingness to host the conference of aviation industry leaders in March 2017. He urged the President, General Secretary and leadership of ICAO to attend the conference, both to witness Ghana’s progress in aviation, and also join in the celebration of Ghana’s 60th Anniversary of independence.