Kenya has announced plans to invest more in aviation infrastructure in order to boost economic growth.
Speaking during the opening of the 11th International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) Air Services Negotiation meeting in Nairobi, Kenya’s President Uhuru Kenyatta said that air transport, together with support services, contributed 0.4 percent to Kenya’s gross domestic product (GDP), translating into a turnover of 23.8 billion shillings in 2017 (around USD232 million)
“Our airports handled over 10.1 million passengers and over 290,000 tons of international cargo in 2017, an increase of 3.5 per cent compared to the previous year. This positive growth has been as a result of sound and resilient management and investment,” Kenyatta said.
The five-day event brings together delegations from 70 countries around the world to negotiate Air Service Agreements.
Kenyatta said that Kenya recognizes the transport sector as a facilitator and enabler of rapid economic growth, wealth creation, tourism and a source of foreign exchange.
“It is for these reasons that my government is committed to investing in the provision of suitable aviation infrastructure to facilitate the industry and enable it to play its critical role in boosting the growth of our economy,” he added.
Benard Olumuyiwa Aliu, President of ICAO Council urged the ICAO member states to take advantage of the exponential growth in the sector by embracing the principles of open borders and free trade through liberalization of air transport.
“The projected growth in the aviation industry presents new and tremendous opportunity for global development in the coming decades. However, to take advantage of this growth, and optimize it for economic development, we must address the challenges to liberalize the aviation sector worldwide and legitimately establish inter-connectivity among states.” Aliu said.