Jiang Zhouteng, Acting Ambassador of the People’s Republic of China to Ghana, has said China is ready to work with African countries to strengthen strategic cooperation.
He said it was also ready to further implement the China-Africa Regional Aviation Cooperation Plan and build a China-Africa Air Silk Road for the benefits of both Chinese and African people.
Mr Jiang was speaking at the opening ceremony of the China-Africa Joint Research Conference and Exchange Programme in Accra on the theme: “China-Africa Regional Aviation Cooperation: Prospects and Policy Recommendations”.
He said in 2014, the Chinsese Premier, Li Keqiang proposed the implementation of the China-Africa Regional Aviation Cooperation Plan, as a basic framework with long-term vision for Regional Aviation Cooperation between China and Africa.
He said in the past, China has been actively supporting the construction of transnational and Regional Aviation networks linking African countries and enhancing coordination and cooperation in the areas of making plans for the aviation sector, training special personnel, improving the infrastructure and operating joint airlines.
The Acting Ambassador said the coordination and cooperation have achieved fruitful results as they had taken into consideration the importance of job creation, localisation, capacity building and technology transfer.
Mr Jiang said China had signed a MoU on Aviation cooperation with many African countries and Regional Organisations and also concluded civil Air transport agreements with 18 African countries.
He cited the success story of China-Africa cooperation in the Aviation sector in Ghana with Africa World Airlines, a joint investment by China Hainan AIRLINE Group, China-Africa Development Fund and their Ghanaian partners.
“AWA has now grown up to the largest local airline in Ghana and is becoming a shining model of China-Africa Aviation cooperation,” he said.
He said Africa had a tremendous need for infrastructure development and to develop the Aviation industry and network in the continent would promote free flow of goods and personnel and was also essential to Africa Regional integration.
Mrs Cecilia Abena Dapaah, the Minister of Aviation urged China to have an increased focus on human capacity building and skills and technology transfer in its cooperation with Africa to ensure the accelerated growth and sustainability of Africa’s aviation industry.
She commended the Chinese government for the numerous annual fellowship provided to African Aviation experts to undertake various courses in China.
She expressed optimism that the forum would provide an innovative platform to formulate effective policies and strategies towards the strengthening of China-Africa cooperation in Air Transport.