President of the Ghana Institution of Engineers, Leslie Alex Aryeh, says the scrapping of the Aviation Ministry by President Akufo Addo will have some dire financial and investment consequences for the country’s aviation industry.
On January 21, the President explained that some of the special-purpose ministries under his first term – including the Aviation Ministry have been realigned because they have achieved the purposes for which they were created.
But speaking to my colleague, Charles Ayitey, Ing. Alex Leslie Aryeh argued that the realignment of the Aviation Ministry into the Ministry of Transport could be counterproductive to the growth of the aviation industry in Ghana.
“I have talked about Aviation being a catalyst for development. You either go back to create an aviation ministry or have a desk office at the presidency. The danger is that anyone who picks up the idea – that’s it! It just needs someone to take a bold step,” he stated.
Meanwhile, Engineer Alex Leslie Aryeh has hinted of an emergency meeting with President Akufo-Addo for the restoration of the Aviation Ministry.
“We will be making a presentation to Jubilee House on the way forward because this is a gold mine,” he added.
The aviation industry contributed between $2.7 billion and $2.5 billion to the country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) in 2017 and 2018 respectively.
The President of the Ghana Institution of Engineering (GhIE) has also related Ghana’s “slow economic development” to the over reliance on cash crops and the failure to leverage its strategic location in the north-south flight routes as well as the east-west routes.
Delivering the 50th Presidential address of the Institution on the theme: Aviation, A Catalyst for Structural Transformation and Sustainable Development in Ghana, Ing. Leslie Alex Ayeh, argued how using aviation as a vehicle for transformation had been instrumental in the rapid development of several nations such as Ethiopia, Singapore, UAE and Morocco, and that Ghana could achieve similar results if it got its strategy right.
“Improvements in the air transport infrastructure would help to raise living standards and alleviate poverty in Africa by lowering transport costs, supporting a more rapid economic growth and increasing personal mobility”.
“The aviation industry is particularly important for countries that adopt an outward–oriented development strategy in providing access to wider markets. Though there are six (6) generally accepted models for aviation development, the model or model combination that Ghana will choose must fit into the global agenda in a way that will encourage international players to buy-in,” he stated.