Ghana Elected to ICAO Council
Ghana has been elected into the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) Council following a highly competitive race at the ongoing 41st Triennial Assembly of the UN aviation agency in Montréal, Canada.
Out of a total of 175 votes cast, Ghana polled 150, one of the highest scores by a candidate for election into the ICAO Council, and an affirmation of the country’s leadership in the global aviation industry.
The ICAO Council is a permanent body of the Organization responsible to the Assembly and composed of 36 Member States elected by the Assembly for a three-year term. Its membership is categorised into three parts, with the first comprising States of chief importance in air transport. Part II contains States which make the largest contribution to the provision of facilities for international civil air navigation, while Part III has States whose inclusion ensures that all major geographic areas of the world are represented on the Council.
Ghana joins Ethiopia, Equatorial Guinea, Mauritania, and Zimbabwe as Part III members of the ICAO Council, with Egypt, Nigeria, and South Africa belonging to Part II.
In his address to the the 41st ICAO Assembly, Ghana’s Minister of Transport, Hon. Kwaku Ofori Asiamah, recounted the devastating impact of the COVI-19 pandemic on the global air transport sector, noting that Ghana was beginning to recover from the crisis. He recognised air transport’s pivotal role in the timely distribution of vaccines throughout the world, especially in Africa, and called for the implementation of measures to build resilience against future pandemics.
“But pivotal to sustainable air transport development is an effective regulatory regime that prioritizes compliance with ICAO Standards and Recommended Practices, human capacity development, and investments in appropriate aviation infrastructure,” he stressed. “Ghana will continue to enhance its safety performance after the last ICAO Coordinated Validation Mission (ICVM) in April 2019 gave us an Effective Implementation or EI rate of 89.89%, the highest by an African State.”
The Minister affirmed government’s commitment to an ICAO compliant regulatory framework in Ghana, noting that it was necessary for sustainable sectoral growth and in line with the vision to reposition the country as West Africa’s aviation hub.
He highlighted key infrastructure investments that are intended to enhance air connectivity and contribute to Ghana’s economic growth and success. In particular, he mentioned Terminal 3, which has increased passenger throughput to 5 million a year, with an expansion potential of up to 6.5 million passengers; the reopening the Sunyani Airport; Ghana’s membership of the ICAO Public Key Directory (PKD); and the construction of Africa’s second largest Air Navigation Services (ANS) Centre in Ghana.
While in Montréal, Hon. Asiamah and his entourage held bilateral discussions with the Secretary General of ICAO, Juan Carlos Salazar, President of the ICAO Council, Salvatore Sciacchitano, and several meetings with other Member States at which they canvassed support for Ghana’s Council bid.
Ghana’s delegation to the 41st ICAO Triennial Assembly included Ghana’s High Commissioner to Canada, H.E Anselm Ransford Sowah, the Chief Director at the Transport Ministry, Mrs. Mabel Sagoe, the Parliamentary Select Committee on Roads and Transport, represented by Hon. Kennedy Nyarko Osei and Hon. Hon. Kwame Governs Agbodza; the Director General of the Ghana Civil Aviation Authority (GCAA), Ing. Charles Ebo Kraikue, and the Deputy Director General (Technical) at GCAA, Mr. Daniel Acquah. The rest are Ghana’s Permanent representative to ICAO, Mrs. Anita Adjei Nmashie, the Managing Director of Ghana Airports Company (GACL), Madam Pamela Djamson – Tettey, and officials and representatives of the Boards of GCAA and GACL.
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Established in 1986, GCAA is the regulatory agency for air transport in Ghana. It licenses air transport operations, maintains oversight of aviation safety and security, as well as provides air navigation services within the Accra Flight Information Region (FIR), which comprises the airspace of Ghana and a large area over the Atlantic Ocean in the Gulf of Guinea.