Mr. Mike Hammah, Minister for Transport, on
Thursday said the growth of the aviation sector within the African
continent required a lot of dedication and hard work.
"We need to invent ways of attracting, training and retaining our
workforce and also find ways to encourage young people into the industry."
Mr. Hammah said this when he inaugurated the Ghana Civil Aviation
(GCAA) Training Academy in Accra.
He noted that apart from inadequate human resource, which was a big
challenge so far as the aviation industry in Africa was concerned, African states also found it difficult to retain the few well-trained staff
available, due to reasons such as inadequate remuneration, among other
"As a result, Africa continues to lose skilled personnel for better opportunities outside the continent," he remarked.
The Minister said, although Africa had a variety of training courses in aviation on offer, "we are simply not training enough people, hence the
shortage of personnel".
Mr Hammah noted that, although there were several aviation academies
within the sub-region, the GCAA Academy was the first of its kind in the
region to offer courses in such core areas of aviation as air traffic
control, safety and security.
He said there was the need to develop programmes of cooperation of
aviation experts on continental and regional basis.
"The removal of barriers to enhance the deployment of personnel among
African states can go a long way to improve upon the availability of human resource within the industry on the continent."
Mr. Hammah said the establishment of the Academy came in handy to address
the perennial problem of brain drain to other countries, that were ready to offer better conditions of service.
He called upon the management of the GCAA to ensure regular and routine maintenance of the Academy, and congratulated the management of the GCAA as
well as all other stakeholders, who were involved in the establishment
of the Academy.
Mr Simon Allotey, Acting Director General of the Ghana Civil Aviation Authority, said the Academy, since its inception, had run courses for air traffic control officers which would have cost the GCAA over 200,000
dollars, if the officers had been sent overseas for training.
He said with regards to the kind of investment that had been sunk into
the project, the GCAA aimed at attracting both Ghanaian and foreign
organizations to train their staff at the Academy.
Mr Allotey urged operators and agencies at the Kotopka International Airport(KIA) to use the facility for the training of their staff.
"The convenient location of the facility at the KIA and our unbelievably moderate rates should definitely make the use of our facility your first choice," he said.
The academy was funded by the GCAA in collaboration with the Swedish Air Traffic Authority (SWEDEVIA) and the Swedish International Development Agency(SIDA).
It was originally established as an air traffic control school over forty
years ago, to train air traffic assistants, offer refresher courses for air traffic control staff and to prepare staff going on external courses.
The GCAA refurbished and expanded the existing facility and equipped it
with the state of the art training equipment, for the training of a number
of air traffic control and other aviation related courses locally at a
reduced cost, following the high cost involved in training air traffic controllers outside Ghana.