||Kharas to host aviation centre

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Minister of Works and Transport, John Mutorwa has confirmed that the ||Kharas Region has been selected to host the Centre of Excellence in Aviation in the future.

He was speaking during the official opening of the Namibia Aviation and Connectivity Forum 2022 in Windhoek on Thursday, where he said the Centre of Excellence in Aviation will be a joint project between Namibia and Finland and will serve Namibia and the rest of Africa when it comes to training aviation experts.

“In early 2020 following negotiations and discussions here in Windhoek, Namibia and Finland signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with regards to the development of that centre. Cabinet has approved the efforts for the eventual establishment of the centre,” Mutorwa said.

He added that depending on the feasibility study, Keetmanshoop Airport will be developed to become the Centre of Excellence for Aviation.

This was confirmed by Ville Skinnari, Minister for Development Cooperation and Foreign Trade from Finland who is in Namibia to attend the forum, as well as leading a powerful government and private sector business delegation currently touring Namibia on various business missions.

Skinnari said the project will combine not just the know-how of the aviation industry, but various sectors, skills and partners in aviation.

“We will be innovating together with our African partners to establish a unique and modern aviation knowledge excellence centre which will cover development and manufacturing of biofuels, weather observations systems, highly developed air traffic control systems and related training and education skills,” Skinnari said.

He added that the Centre of Excellence would aim to increase the mentioned elements not only for Namibia, but for the whole continent.

“This will add skill level development and create local jobs for Namibians and Africans at large,” the Finnish minister noted.

He concluded that this aviation partnership is a milestone when one considers the trade commitment between Africa and the European Union which stands at over 300 billion Euros at the moment.

The partnership will also form part of trade between Africa and Europe, with the African air transport set to improve under the African Union banner through Namibia.

In October, Namibian project partners visited Finland to kick-start the project.

Source: The Namibian Press Agency