Kigali is set to host an international conference on the development of the continent’s aviation industry with the participation of 400 foreign aviation stakeholders.

Dr Elijah Chingosho, the secretary general of the African Airlines Association (AFRAA), said on March 10 at a press briefing at the Kigali International Airport that delegates from over 45 countries across the globe will take part in the conference that  will be held at the picturesque Kigali Serena Hotel from May 7-9.

An initiative of AFRAA, the 5th Aviation Stakeholders Convention will be convened under the theme: “Winning Together Through Innovation and Collaboration”, and will be co-hosted by RwandAir. The national carrier is also the official carrier of the event.

“The conference will provide a platform for users and suppliers of aviation products, solutions and services to showcase new developments and innovations, discuss industry trends, network and forge beneficial partnerships,” Dr Chingosho said.

The event, which will be held in Kigali for the first time in its five-year history, will provide an outstanding products exhibition and business opportunity for industry partners and suppliers of equipment, components, solutions and services, according to organisers.

“This conference is coming at a time when aviation in Africa is experiencing unprecedented growth in both passenger and cargo, spurred by huge economic growth and investments in many African countries,” RwandAir said in a statement.

The national carrier went on: “The continent’s airlines are positioning themselves to take advantage of these growth opportunities, with some modernizing their fleet and investing in capacity and infrastructure development. There is also a keen interest by investors (both local and international) in setting up new airlines in some countries.”

According to AFRAA, these developments informed the convening of the Aviation Stakeholders Convention to bring operators and support service providers together for win-win business interactions.

The continental aviation body said that the Aviation Stakeholders Convention aims to foster dialogue, build sustainable networks in supply chain management, create a competitive environment for business and improve the aviation support base in Africa.

John Mirenge, RwandAir’s CEO, said that the forthcoming conference is a very big vote of confidence in Rwanda.

“It means that Rwanda has become an important player in Africa’s aviation industry,” he said, adding that Kigali will play host to this event because RwandAir has stamped its mark on Africa’s aviation industry.

Hosting a conference of this magnitude also gives Rwanda a chance to showcase its infrastructure and tourist attractions to visiting delegates.

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