Zim pledges to improve region’s aviation sector

By John Nhandara

ZIMBABWE is hoping to leverage the SADC region’s aviation industry through its candidature in the International Civil Aviation Organisation Council (ICAO.

Zimbabwe is competing for a seat in the International Civil Aviation Organisation Council (ICAO) after SADC member states gave the nod for the country’s candidature.

A cocktail to drum up support for Zimbabwe was held in the Harare this Tuesday with heads of diplomatic missions and embassies in attendance.

Transport and Infrastructural Development Minister Honourable Felix Mhona spoke on the country’s commitment to improving the aviation sector, including the open skies policy that ensures air service connectivity.

“In line with President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s pronouncement of a bolstered foreign policy of engagement and re engagement anchored on economic diplomacy, we have deliberately adopted the open skies policy. This is being done through granting the 5th freedom traffic rights to airlines from almost all regions of Africa, the Gulf, the Middle East, and Europe. In view of this thrust, airlines from the countries you represent are free to consider Zimbabwe as a destination of choice,” he said.

Foreign Affairs and International Trade Permanent Secretary Ambassador James Manzou weighed in saying the country’s elevation into the council will serve the interests of the region’s aviation sector.

“We are soliciting for your support after Zimbabwe was duly endorsed by SADC at a summit held in Kinshasa in August. Zimbabwe will not only serve the interest of the country but of the region as a whole,” he noted.

The elections will take place during the ICAO assembly’s 41st session at its headquarters in Montreal, Canada, from the 27th of this month to the 2nd of October.