The International Air Transport Association (IATA) and its partners recognize the pressing need for more than 50,000 skilled aviation professionals in Africa within the next two decades. As part of the Focus Africa initiative, they aim to foster enthusiasm among the youth, aligning aviation with the continent’s socio-economic growth.
One of the six key areas of the initiative is investing in “Future Skills,” wherein IATA collaborates with partners to promote aviation careers and ensure a continuous supply of talent to meet the industry’s future demands.
Africa’s youthful population, comprising 17% of the global total, is projected to double by 2050, driving increased demand for jobs, resources, and air travel services. Airbus estimates 1,200 aircraft deliveries by 2040, necessitating 50,000+ skilled aviation professionals. Developing infrastructure and raising awareness are vital for meeting future air transport needs.
IATA addresses the shortage of aviation professionals in Africa by supporting organizations and initiatives that inform and inspire young people about aviation careers. The Young African Aviation Professional Association (YAAPA) focuses on nurturing skilled personnel for a safe and sustainable African aviation industry. Efforts are also being made to encourage young women to pursue STEM subjects and careers in aviation. IATA promotes diversity through its 25by2025 initiative, with African stakeholders participating.
Ethiopian Airlines has transformed its flight training academy into a comprehensive aviation university to enhance training opportunities. Retaining African talent is crucial for the industry’s future, so efforts are underway to ensure trained professionals find employment in African airlines and organizations.
Stakeholders met in Addis Ababa to discuss the critical areas of the Focus Africa initiative, aiming to create a brighter future for the African aviation industry. Airbus, with its foundation and strategic partners, invests in aircraft production and engineering in Africa. Ethiopian Aviation University (EAU) will collaborate with Boeing and stakeholders to showcase resources and inspire young students to consider aviation careers.