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'Zimbabwe working on open skies policy'

by Staff reporter
24 Jul 2023 at 13:15hrs | Views
ZIMBABWE is hoping to soon fully implement the open skies policy as envisaged by the African Union 2063 agenda, Civil Aviation Authority of Zimbabwe director-general Elijah Chingosho has said.

Speaking during the National Economic Consultative Forum (NECF) Infrastructure Summit and Expo held in Victoria Falls last week, Chingosho said government recognised the aviation industry's critical role in economic development.

"Aviation has become the lifeblood of our global economy. Zimbabwe is working towards the full implementation of the open skies policy as guided by the national thrust and the African Union 2063 agenda towards a single African air transport," he said.

"The government recognises the critical role of aviation in economic development and has embarked on a serious mission to ensure the country becomes an aviation hub in the region."

Chingosho said there was need to bring the aviation business back to its former glory days through the liberalisation of the industry to enhance strong airspace competition.

Zimbabwe Tourism Authority chief executive officer (CEO), Winnie Chakanyuka called for collaboration between destination accessibility and airlines, adding that the two have a chicken and egg relationship.

Zimbabwe Council of Tourism CEO, Paul Matamisa added that there was need for a public transport system to service airports.

"There should be decongestion in the city of Harare through the establishment of ring roads. Tourism strives when there is order, rail system, airlines, roads all should be ok," he said, adding that the tourism sector used to contribute 10-12% to gross domestic product, but that has dropped to between 4 to 5%.

Meanwhile, President Emmerson Mnangagwa, who officially opened the summit, said his Zanu PF-led government had made numerous positive economic reforms.

Despite the country's economy evidently heading south given the rising annual inflation currently at 175,8%, pushing more people to abject poverty, Mnangagwa said: "My government has made numerous economic reforms. I have declared that Zimbabwe is open for business, in other words Zimbabwe is open for making money. If you think there are still constraints in government policy for making money, tell me I will remove the constraints and you make money."

Persuading the business community to support his government he said: "I know there are people who do not like their own currency, we should forgive them because they do not know that countries are developed by their currencies. Let us all move away from talk shows but let us see the results, I would like to encourage all of you to play your part in coming up with responsive ideas to improve our infrastructure."

Mnangagwa took a swipe at senior government officials who go out of the country and admire other people's infrastructure while neglecting theirs.

The summit was held under the theme: Accelerating Transport Infrastructure Development Projects in Zimbabwe: Towards world class transport network by 2030.

Source - newsday
More on: #Zimbabwe, #Policy, #Skies