The African Import Export Bank (Afreximbank) and the Russian Export Center (REC), yesterday in Nairobi, began a series of roadshows under a new partnership that will raise the profile of Russian aircraft and helicopters in Africa.
The roadshows, which will feature presentations, will showcase a range of cutting-edge Russian aircraft and helicopters, with demonstrations and flight experiences, over the next five days, starting in Nairobi, and continuing in Kampala, Lagos, Abuja and Bamako.
The roadshows are part of Afreximbank's effort to improve the air transport infrastructure across Africa, given that the continent's road and rail infrastructure suffers from significant limitations and that the aviation sector is considered critical to achieving the continent's trade, growth and development objectives.
It is estimated that a 10 per cent reduction in transport costs would increase trade by 25 per cent.
"Our partnership with the Russian Export Centre gives key players in Africa's aviation industry tremendous opportunities.
The 17-year average fleet age of African airlines is the oldest of any world region, and by showcasing state-of-the-art and more fuel-efficient aircraft, and the newest helicopters, together with our expertise and experience in aircraft finance, we can enable the upgrading of Africa's aviation industry.
"This upgrade is a key element in boosting economies and many industry sectors. We look forward to conversations with authorities and the aviation industry to discuss their development plans and identify areas where they require funding and technical assistance,"said Rene Awambeng, Afreximbank's Global Head for Client Relations.
Anna Belyaeva, Managing Director for International Development at the Russian Export Center, said: "African governments generally are aware of the need to develop their aviation infrastructure and we welcome the opportunity to discuss how we can help domestic and international airlines meet the challenges and opportunities that face them.
"We have experts from airline manufacturers and trade financiers at the roadshow and will be able to provide specialist advice and guidance on all aspects of aviation.
REC offers a wide range of support tools for Russian Exporters and already has success stories of supporting export of civil aircrafts and helicopters.
We see a considerable potential for Russian aviation industry products in Africa and are ready to together with Russian exporters and Afreximbank on this market".
Representatives of Africa's commercial aviation sector are expected to attend the roadshows, together with senior executives from ministries of tourism, civil aviation authorities, airline leasing companies and many more.
The in-person, interactive format is designed to stimulate co-operation and strategic engagement.