The International Civil Aviation Authority (ICAO), development partners and 54 African countries on Wednesday adopted the Declaration and Plan of Action for Aviation Infrastructure Development in Africa.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the document titled “The Abuja Declaration,” was adopted during a High Level Session at the Third ICAO World Aviation Forum (IWAF) in Abuja.

It is expected to be forwarded to the Assembly of Heads of States and Government of the Member States of the African Union in 2018 for ratification and implementation.

Speaking at the session, the Minister of State for Aviation, Sen. Hadi Sirika, said the government of Nigeria would continue to do everything to promote aviation and transportation in the country.

“This declaration for a plan of action will of course be the problem solver and provide practical solutions to addressing the problem of aviation infrastructure development in Africa.

“With your kind permission, I hereby declare that this declaration should be known as the Abuja Declaration, ” he said.

Sirika thanked ICAO for deeming Nigeria worthy to host the forum which took place for the first time outside its headquarters in Montreal, Canada.

He said it had given African countries the opportunity to network with development partners on how to address the infrastructural deficit in the aviation sector estimated to be over $150 billion.

Also, the President of the ICAO Council, Dr Bernard Aliu, said the declaration demonstrates practical commitment by the member states and gives ICAO confidence that it would be implemented.

Aliu recalled that an earlier declaration made by African States on Safety in Abuja in 2012 had led to a significant improvement in that area to the delight of ICAO.

NAN reports that the declaration was adopted by the Ministers of Member States of the African Union (AU), representatives of the African Union Commission (AUC) and the New Partnership For Africa‘s Development (NEPAD).

Others include the African Development Bank (AfDB), the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA) and the African Civil Aviation Commission (AFCAC).

They declared support for the realisation of the AU Agenda 2063, and especially its goal to drive inclusive growth, sustainable development, and the accelerated integration of African economies.

The States affirmed support for the growth of intra-Africa and intercontinental air traffic through the implementation of the Yamoussoukro Decision and the establishment of the Single African Air Transport Market (SAATM).

They also expressed support for the realisation of the United Nations (UN)’s 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, and especially its Sustainable Development Goals (SDG).

They declared their commitment to building resilient infrastructure, promote sustainable industrialisation, foster innovation and reflect the priorities of the aviation sector in their economic development planning.

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