Mr. Kofi Adda, Minister for Aviation, says there is a high potential for developing the cargo business sector in Ghana, with a dedicated cargo terminal to be situated at the Tamale Airport.
Speaking to the media after a tour of some cargo handling companies at the Kotoka International Airport on Thursday, Mr. Adda said the potential in the sector was consistent with government’s plans to make Ghana an aviation hub in the sub-region.
He said the phase II of the Tamale airport project would begin soon and would have provision for the dedicated cargo terminal, although a similar project was not on the plans for the Kotoka International Airport due to space constraints.
Mr. Adda said there had been a number of investors who had expressed interest in and are ready to develop the cargo terminal in Tamale.
“We are going through the initial phases of entering into understanding with them for the construction,” he said.
Commenting on the cargo companies visited, he noted that while they were doing well, there were different levels of competition among the companies visited; Aviance Ghana, Swissport Ghana and AHS Menzes, with various company-level challenges including parking space for Swissport and space for new offices and a warehouse for AHS Menzes, as well as more space for Aviance to grow and expand.
“What we’ve seen from Aviance, to Swissport and here, shows that there is room for growth,” he said, adding that it meant Ghana had the potential to grow in the aviation sector and earn through cargo for the development of the nation.
He added that developing the sector would also ensure job creation for the youth in the country and that the Ministry would like to partner the cargo operators to develop programmes with training institutions for capacity building.
Mr. Adda noted that the main issue of concern raised by all the operators during the tour was that of land space and pledged that the Ministry would look into the specifics of these needs and take it to government for a possible solution.
He assured them, however, that these were matters that could be resolved in consultation with the Ghana Airports Company Limited.
He urged the operators to also feed the Ministry with information on happenings on the ground in order to enable them fashion the appropriate policies for the development of the sector. “We have to collaborate every time,” he added.
Mr. Paul Craig, Managing Director of Aviance Ghana, in an interview, while commending government for the investment in aviation infrastructure, urged government to create the conducive environment necessary for business.
“If they create an environment where Ghana is open for business, then, more airlines will come in,” he said.