Year 2017 has been full of excitement and optimism for the African aviation scene on several fronts.
The continent has had its fair share of entrants and exits in equal measure, safety records showed low accidents and incident rates, several airports have managed facelifts, expansion and new aviation infrastructure projects.
Most aviation forums on the continent have been drumming up the “Africa Open Skies” message, which should see more movement of people across borders and boost trade.
While making his opening remarks at the just concluded Africa Aviation 2017 conference in Kigali, President Paul Kagame threw his weight behind the Africa Open Skies crusade.
But he wasn’t just lending a voice to a cause that’s been much talked about — with little progress made towards its achievement — by African states, Kagame was also letting his peers know that his government was actively working with others who are willing to liberalise African airspace.
The highlight of his opening address was when he asked why an African travelling to another country within the continent should transit outside the continent, a question that left many policy makers hanging their heads in shame.