The launch three years ago of the African Business Aviation Association (AfBAA) moved business aviation in the region into the spotlight. Operators, financiers, lessors, owners, FBO and flight service providers now have a voice.
“Five years I had the vision of setting up an organisation to represent Africa’s business aviation family. Since AfBAA was created we have grown dramatically.
“AfBAA has become a force multiplier, allowing smaller African businesses to attend events like Ebace that they would otherwise not be able to attend,” Ragheb said.
He said business aviation develops in Africa like no other part of the world. It includes bush aircraft, medical evacuation, offshore support as well as traditional business aircraft.
Ragheb said: “We have to believe that entrepreneurs and leaders want to improve and develop the region. That’s why the vision from day one was to listen to the community.
“We surveyed them and asked how can be we best service Africa and its business needs? The top priorities were to improve skills and training, safety and security, infrastructure and reduce fees and taxes.
“Getting easier access to finance was also key. We have brought together banking institutions and governments to help in this area,” he said.
AfBAA’s safety and training committee has also signed an agreement with Embry-Riddleto put together tailored training programmes for the industry.
“Business aviation is a barometer of economic development so we act as strong advocates too for the industry as an enabler,” Ragheb said.
He also invited the conference delegates to AfBAA’s next regional symposium on 24 and 25 September 2015 in Ethiopia’s capital, Addis Ababa.