SECRETARY General of African Airline Association (AFRAA), Abderahmane Berthe has said one of the consequences of the myriad of challenges (including lack of corporate governance) that have bedeviled the airlines in the continent for years, is 11 consecutive years of non- profitability of carriers in the region.
He said this while speaking among an array of global industry players and investors in air transportation who graced the 3rd Aviation Leadership CEOs Forum/Aviators Africa Tower Awards themed Corporate Governance Structure: A Pathway to sustainability in African Aviation.
Berthe also said the role of responsible leadership in the sector cannot be over-emphasized stating that corporate governance is about making sustainable business decisions which take into account interest of all stakeholders.
He said,” Africa has been facing various challenges for many years; we don’t need to go into these challenges we all know already. The consequences is the non-profitability of African airlines for 11 consecutive years. We need extreme leadership to enforce the recommendations which we all know will move the industry.
Ethiopian Minister of Transport, Dagamawit Moges who chaired the occasion virtually in her address said that for a profitable and sustainable aviation industry in the continent, there needs to be modern corporate governance that prioritizes transparency, accountability, and security.
She charged African governments to proffer forward looking solutions for an effective aviation sector’s corporate governance structure stressing that among others, it is a key determinant of an airline performance.
Moges said, “For the success of an African airliner transparency, accountability, and security are critical ingredients. All these are important to form solid professional relationships among the aviation sector stakeholders which include board directors, managers, employees, and shareholders.
“As the Aviation industry has followed the principles of corporate governance in business operations through different administrative, it is a must that the industry considers an effective, transparent, and measurable administration which shall create confidence for Shareholders, investors, and stakeholders, which in turns, will be the key factors to generate return and maximize value as well as enhance competitiveness of the industry to sustainable growth,” she said.
Convener of the Aviation Leadership CEOs’ Forum (ALCF), Tony Ukachukwu in his welcome address said the intent is to correct the anomaly in the system in the continent stressing that a lack of corporate governance fuels unethical practices, indiscipline and contributes to low life span of airlines in Africa among others.
He stated,”To make this edition of ALCF achieve its intended objectives, we have attracted delegates of high aviation experts within the different aviation value chain to discuss leadership challenges in African aviation and proffer sustainable solution(s).
” Our belief is that no significant development can be made in aviation unless the leadership gaps are addressed. This is because many airlines in Africa are one man show with the owners in full (fist) control of decision making. This approach of leadership, which fuels unethical practices, fraud, indiscipline; lack of accountability and contributes to low lifespan of airlines in Africa.