There can be few places around the world that are as misunderstood as Africa. But from the beautiful sun drenched Cape Town beaches on Africa’s southernmost extremities, right up to Morocco’s booming tourist industry on Africa’s northern flank, the continent’s economies are on the rise.
And with analysts and commentators disappointed by the performance of the BRIC countries in recent years, Africa is topping many people’s lists as the next big thing.
It’s not hard to see why, especially as the last few years have seen several of the larger African economies re-basing their GDP calculations, giving a truer account of the economic growth in the countries.
Overall, according to figures from the World Bank, African GDP growth over the course of the last 10 years was 5.1 percent, the highest growth rate of any continent. The 10 year forecast reads the same, with Africa maintaining its 5.1 percent growth, again the highest global percentage.
To understand the impact this has, and will have, on the African business jet fleet, the African Business Aviation Association (AfBAA) joined forces with JETNET, LLC to produce the first ever in-depth analysis of business aviation operations on the continent.
As well research into the fleets of African operators, the report, released in part at the recent EBACE conference in Geneva, included a survey that was sent out to all AfBAA members asking them to rank in importance the challenges that business aviation on the continent faces as it moves forward.
The overwhelming response from this was safety, with the top two answers being Improved training and skills development, and Improved safety and security. And with the report finding that the average age of the African business aircraft fleet is the oldest of any world region, that’s not surprising.
Safety is of course the main concern of everybody involved in business aviation, but with clearly defined responses from its members, AfBAA can now set about concentrating on addressing the issues raised. And let’s not forget that safety in Africa doesn’t just affect those directly involved with aviation on the continent, but everybody visiting as well.