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The International Air Transport Association and African Development Bank on Tuesday signed a Memorandum of Understanding on development of airport infrastructure in Africa.

The President of the bank, Dr. Akinwumi Adesina. and the Director-General of IATA, Dr. Alexander De Juniac, signed the MoU on the sideline of the ongoing World Aviation Forum on Tuesday in Abuja.

Adesina said the MoU was a demonstration that infrastructure in the aviation sector was critical to economic growth in Africa.

He said IATA was a strategic partner in terms of financing for infrastructure for airports and navigation facilities.

According to him, the bank is interested in looking at innovative ways of financing aircraft but within a broader context of overall aviation financing for the industry.

He said: “Essentially, if you look at what we are signing today, we are making a statement that infrastructure in the aviation sector is critical to growth in Africa.

“We are also looking at the various areas in terms of building capacity within the sector so that we can guarantee safety and also how to structure financing for infrastructure for airport and navigation facilities.

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“We see IATA as a fantastic partner for the AfDB and we think that the aviation industry would play a big role going forward, especially for regional integration and helping Africa in terms of global competitiveness as we go ahead.

“This is the beginning of that partnership and we will try and look at the various elements of this in terms of training, capacity building and financing arrangement that we are going to put in order for aviation infrastructure in Africa.”

In his remarks, Juniac said the MoU was an important step as infrastructure was a critical issue in Africa.

He said the organisation contacted AfDB in a bid to build a strong and safe infrastructure through the combination of public and private funds.

He said: “We thought of who could be the better partner than the African Development Bank and saw none.

“We also strongly believe that by bringing public money, through your bank will attract private money so we can fund our airport infrastructure.”

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