July 16, 2024

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R-L: The Interim Secretary General, SG, African Civil Aviation Commission, AFCAC, Ms Angeline Simana, handing over to Barrister Funke Adeyemi, elected SG, at AFCAC secretariat, Dakar

The new head of the Secretariat, African Civil Aviation Commission, AFCAC, Barrister Funke Adeyemi, has extended her invitation to all heads of government in the African continent to rethink aviation and see it for what it actually is, a catalyst with the capability to bring enormous social and economic growth and development to each of the sovereign states in the continent.

The brand new Secretary General of AFCAC, Funke Adeyemi, made the clarion call in her maiden statement issued when she assumed office in Dakar, on Thursday,1st September 2022.

She thus solemnly vowed to transform air transport in Africa, “I pledged that AFCAC in collaboration with its member states, RECs, stakeholders and partners both regional and international, will be at the heart of transforming air transport in Africa for the benefit of its people and the world at large”

The statement gave her out as a person focused but desired to move at the speed of a Concorde jet so that within a short time, appreciable ‘aeronautical miles’ would have been covered with tangible outcomes.

Barrister Funke Adeyemi, first day in office as the Secretary-General, African Civil Aviation Commission, AFCAC, Dakar

The AFCAC/CAFAC Secretary General, Funke Adeyemi, a barrister at law, craved to expunge a certain word that has turned into a slogan in describing Africa, or achieve a change from Africa being described as a continent with enormous potential to being described as a continent of abundant prosperity, as shall be induced by efficient, effective, safe, and economic air transport management.

In the very terse preamble released on her first day in office she wrote inter alia, “as we begin this exciting new journey, I look forward to collaborating with you all to translate the immense potential of African aviation into reality”. To move from potential to actuality.

Barrister Funke Adeyemi affirmed that in achieving her noble objectives, the entire AFCAC/CAFAC secretariat will be galvanized to work in unison. Her ‘flight plan’ she said: “will be guided by the President and members of the AFCAC bureau, who provide oversight and direction to the secretariat”.

Should the entire administrative and policy formulation machinery work in tandem, without an iota of doubt, a new glorious song shall burst forth from the “nouveau cruising height” Africa’s air transport will attain.

Hopefully, by the realization of that goal, not only Africa and Africans will be proud, but the global aviation community will also be excited.

The concluding aspect of the Secretary General’s preamble alluded to the notion that the entire AFCAC is there at the service of Africa’s air transport and for Africans to avail. We look forward to an open-door policy.

3rd Left: Barrister Olufunke Adeyemi, Secretary General, AFCAC, next is Mr Makhtar LAKH, Secretary General, Ministry of Transport, Senegal, played host to AFCAC SG and her entourage in his office in Dakar

Like a warrior in African folklore who returned from the battle front and on arriving home matched on twelve chickens who all died. When the village elders asked him for the report of events on the battlefront, he began a narrative deemed as an epistle. When those at the village square listening began to exercise reservation, the soldier asked his audience if the report of events at the battle sounded unfathomable. No response, he now asked rhetorically if none of the villagers heard or witnessed his arrival to the village and what transpired by his unintentionally matching with his boots 12 chicks to death.

Hence he declared that if exploits on the war front seemed farfetched, what about the one right in the village? Surprised that his audience missed the correlation.

However, our reportorial corps do not miss out on the link. On the SG’s first day in office, after a terse handing over witnessed through zoom by AFCAC President from Rwanda, Mr Silas UDAHEMUKA, barrister Adeyemi embarked on a courtesy visit to the Ministry of Transport Senegal. She was received by the Secretary General of the ministry, Mr Makhtar Lakh.

Reports had it that the discussion centred on the importance of collaboration and cooperation to enhance aviation in Africa. The two parties discussed the seated agreement, and the implementation of the Single African Air Transport Market, SAATM.

All of us at NTH also welcome Barrister Funke Adeyemi to the office. We look forward to some of the seemingly hard nuts being cracked under her watch.

We also look forward to seeing improvement in the execution of key agreements in the Yamassoukuro Declaration. Seems reading about African Continental Free Trade Area, AfCFTA, only provokes the desire and love of the letters and the spirit of the agreement but takes its performance away which is still being scouted for execution.

The mere mention of the Single Africa Air Transport Market, SAATM, without even reading its goals and objectives and modalities for achieving them, naturally strikes a chord that it’s a wholesome treaty to enable Africans to own air transport in Africa along with its awesome benefits yet, sovereign African states are at best still fidgeting with the great idea.

The ball is now in AFCAC Secretary General’s court. Progressives in African air transport are getting tired of waiting


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