Board directors at the African Development Bank Group (AfDB) have approved a $23.6 million loan for the construction and equipment of a new aviation training facility in Kigali, the Rwandan capital.
The proposed Centre of Excellence for Aviation Skills (CEAS) will partner with higher learning institutions to produce a skilled workforce to meet global aviation training standards and industry demands.
The centre will include an aircraft hangar and is expected to enrol up to 500 students starting from 2025 when it becomes partly operational.
Training for pilots, maintenance and cabin crew will be offered, and there will be dispatch and ancillary courses, including in airport emergency operations services.
The facility will also provide drone piloting training, flight simulator recurrent training, and other advanced pilot training for specialised missions.
Dr. Beth Dunford, the AfDB’s vice president for agriculture, human and social development, said: “The Bank’s financial support for this Centre of Excellence speaks to our commitment to investing in human capital to meet demands for the jobs of today – and tomorrow – in Africa’s aviation and related industries.”
The AfDB states that the centre aligns with the country’s Vision 2050 to improve human capital by providing high-quality training, upskilling labour, and transforming the workforce for higher productivity.
According to the AfDB, industry watchers estimate that Africa needs over 50,000 aviation professionals in the next two decades, including 15,000 pilots, 17,000 technicians and 23,000 cabin crew members.
Nnenna Nwabufo, the AfDB’s director general for East Africa, said: “Overall, the project aligns with the Bank’s Skills for Employability and Productivity in Africa Action Plan, which stipulates ways of elevating the skills level of Africa’s workforce.”
Dr Martha Phiri, the AfDB’s director for human capital, youth, and skills development, said: “There is a diversity of skilled and sustainable employment in the aviation industry that should be on the radar of Africa’s youth.
“We aim to scale up the infrastructure needed to increase access to the aviation sector skills training to succeed in securing decent jobs.”
The project’s construction phase will require up to 1,000 workers, and the operation phase is expected to create 98 jobs. The proposed site is close to other related structures, connecting project components to Kigali International Airport’s existing services and facilities.
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