The Republic of Zambia’s Minister of Transport and Communications, Honourable Mutotwe Kafwaya is in Montreal, Canada to attend the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) 40th Assembly. The Minister is leading a delegation that comprises of the Ministry of Transport and Communications, the Civil Aviation Authority and Zambia Airports Corporation Limited.
When delivering his address to the ICAO Assembly today, the Minister said Zambia has a vision of transforming the nation into a prosperous middle-income country by the year 2030 as espoused in the Vision 2030 and the 7th National Development Plan. He said the Aviation sector in its economic catalytic role has been identified as a potential critical contributor to the attainment of the National Vision.
He said the Government of the Republic of Zambia, has a transport sector vision of transforming Zambia into a “Regional Transport and Logistics Hub and to achieve this, government has adopted an intermodal transport approach from which the aviation sector will both contribute and benefit significantly.
“In order to promote the aviation sector and make it ready to effectively compete in the intermodal transport approach, my Government, has injected over 1.5 billion United States Dollars into upgrading of the aviation infrastructure in the country”. He said
He added that this investment has included the modernization of Harry Mwaanga Nkumbula International Airport; the construction and upgrading of the Kenneth Kaunda International Airport as well as the construction of the new Copperbelt International Airport. In addition, the Zambian Government has been improving the provincial airports and aerodromes to increase the aviation accessibility across the country.
The Minister said the country understands and appreciates the importance of a safe, and secure international Civil Aviation which is largely dependent on the cooperation and commitment of Member States.
He said Zambia as a Nation has enjoyed a warm and cordial relationship with ICAO since joining the organisation in 1964 and Zambia’s aviation sector has experienced tremendous growth over the years through Technical and Financial support which has been offered by the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) and other cooperating partners.
He said Zambia will continue to commit herself to Regional and Global initiatives which are aimed at promoting and sustaining safety and security including all aspects of aviation development to take the industry to higher heights.
The ICAO Assembly started on 24th September 2019. Zambia is contesting for a seat on the ICAO Council and has fielded a candidate, Mr. Vincent Banda, who is currently the permanent representative of Zambia to ICAO to contest for a seat on the ICAO Council for the next three years. The ICAO Assembly takes place at least once every three years and is convened by ICAO’s governing body, the Council.
The Minister has also held various meetings with fellow Ministers of Transport as well as heads of delegations from other States on the sidelines of the ICAO Assembly to discuss different developmental issues such as bilateral and multilateral agreements; commerce and trade, issues of climate change as well as lobby for support for the Zambian candidate to be elected to the ICAO Council during the Assembly.