The 55th African Airlines Association (AFRAA) general assembly due to take place in Uganda from November 19 will focus on attracting more women to the aviation industry, the organisers have said.
Jenifer Bamuturaki, the Chief Executive Officer of Uganda Airlines, said men currently dominate the cockpit across the aviation industry on the African continent.
She cited Uganda’s case scenario which she says has only six women pilots compared to their majority male counterparts.
Bamuturaki said Uganda Airlines will cause a debate at the forthcoming general assembly of the African Airlines trade association to help the country attract more female aviators.
The summit will be held at Commonwealth Speke Resort in Entebbe under the theme, “Strides to Transform Aviation for Development.” The Aviation General Assembly which will be the first of its kind in Uganda is poised to be a game-changer for the country and promote the tourism industry.
Bamuturaki said hosting the AFRAA AGA is an opportunity for Uganda to shine on the global stage, present its progress, and contribute to the development and growth of the aviation sector within the country and the continent.
“It’s a chance for Uganda to foster relationships with global industry players, potentially attracting investments and partnerships that could benefit the country’s aviation sector and beyond,” she said.
Other discussions at the summit will include Sustainable Aviation Fuel (SAF), a hot topic across the refining and aerospace industries. Bamuturaki explained that by 2030, all airlines flying into Europe will be required to have SAF-empowered engines, an expensive venture that Uganda must prepare for.
SAF is a liquid fuel currently used in commercial aviation which reduces CO2 emissions by up to 80%. It can be produced from a number of sources (feedstock) including waste oil and fats, green and municipal waste, and non-food crops.
According to the International Air Transport Association (IATA), an agency that represents and serves airlines with advocacy and global standards for safety, security, and efficiency, SAF could contribute around 65% of the reduction in emissions needed by aviation to reach net zero in 2050.
At least 409 distinguished global delegates including aviation spare part manufacturers, technology giants, and finance companies among others have already confirmed attendance.
Binen Betty, the Acting and Business Development Officer at Uganda Wildlife Conservation Education Centre – UWEC Entebbe, said the assembly will provide an opportunity for the country to market its tourism potential to the visitors.
AFRAA was founded in Accra, Ghana, in 1968 as a leading trade association of airlines that hail from the nations of the African Union – AU. It is headquartered in Nairobi, Kenya. The primary purpose of AFRAA is to establish and facilitate cooperation between African airlines.
The Association has 50 airlines comprising all the major intercontinental African operators and the Association’s members represent over 85% of total international traffic carried by all African airlines.