As part of efforts to improve the air transport infrastructure in Africa the African Export Import Bank (Afreximbank) and the Russian Export Center (REC), recently embarked on a series roadshow to raise the profile of cutting-edge Russian aircraft and helicopters in Africa.
The five-day roadshow, which took place in Nairobi, Kenya, through Kampala, Lagos, Abuja and Bamako, was intended to address limitations around the aviation sector, which is viewed as critical to achieving the continent’s trade, growth and development objectives.
The partnership was also aimed at reducing by 10 per cent, the cost of transportation which would increase trade by 25 per cent.
Speaking at the roadshow in Lagos, Head, Client Relations, Afreximbank, Mr. Rene Awabeng, said the partnership gives key players in Africa’s aviation industry tremendous opportunities.
He said the 17-year average fleet age of African airlines was the oldest of any world region, stressing that by showcasing state-of-the-art and more fuel-efficient aircraft and the newest helicopters, with their expertise and experience in aircraft finance, they can enable the upgrading of Africa’s aviation industry.
“This upgrade is a key element in boosting economies and many industry sectors,” he said.
Awabeng added: “We look forward to conversations with authorities and the aviation industry to discuss how their development plans and identify areas where they require funding and technical assistance.”
Also speaking, the Managing Director, International Development, Russian Export Center, Anna Belyaeva, stated that African governments were generally aware of the need to develop their aviation infrastructure, noting that the center welcomed the opportunity to discuss how they could help domestic and international airlines meet the challenges and opportunities facing them.
She added: “We have experts from airkine manufacturers and trade financiers at the roadshow and will be able to provide specialist advice and guidance on all aspects of aviation.
“REC offers a wide range of support tools for Russian exporters and already has success stories of supporting export of civil aircrafts and helicopters. We see a considerable potential for Russian aviation industry products in Africa and are ready together with Russian exporters and Afreximbank on this market.”