During an official ceremony held at the Office of the President and Head of State of Equatorial Guinea earlier this month, the President of the Council of the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), Dr. Olumuyiwa Bernard Aliu presented His Excellency, President Teodoro Obiang Nguema Mbasogo, an ICAO Council President Certificate in recognition of significant recent advances made by the State in resolving aviation safety oversight deficiencies and improving the effective implementation (EI) of ICAO Standards and Recommended Practices (SARPs). The new and improved Equatorial Guinea safety results were measured through ICAO Coordinated Validation Missions conducted in 2016 and 2017.
In delivering the award, the Council President emphasized that “conformity with ICAO Standards and Recommended Practices is a major enabler towards enhancing the effective participation of States in international air transport,” and that “this is particularly important for Small Island Developing States such as Equatorial Guinea.”
President Aliu also applauded “the decisive and effective actions taken by Equatorial Guinea to bring positive changes into its aviation sector, through airport, air navigation and airline infrastructure modernization and expansion, training and capacity building for aviation personnel, and safety oversight system enhancement.” He indicated that such commitment shown by the Government of Equatorial Guinea “demonstrates its appreciation of the crucial role of air transport for the socio-economic development of the country and its integration with the rest of the world to the benefit of its people and businesses.”
As safety enhancement and aviation development in general are a continuous process, Dr. Aliu encouraged the authorities of Equatorial Guinea to continue on the same track by actively implementing the State’s corrective action plan (CAP) and continuing to update ICAO on progress being made. He expressed deep appreciation for Equatorial Guinea’s excellent cooperation and collaboration with ICAO, and reaffirmed the commitment of ICAO to continue to assist Equatorial Guinea in areas such as Aerodrome Certification, Search and Rescue organization, Safety Management implementation, Aviation Security and Facilitation, and Environmental protection.
President Nguema thanked Dr. Aliu and ICAO for the support and assistance given to Equatorial Guinea, noting that this recognition through the ICAO President Certificate was an historic event. He reiterated his Government’s commitment to making aviation a priority and to pursue continuous improvement and advancement of air transport. He also commended Dr. Aliu for his good work as ICAO Council President. Highlighting the challenges associated with a lack of adequate manpower, despite significant efforts by Equatorial Guinea, he requested ICAO’s assistance in the development of young aviation professionals and to facilitate the acquisition of aircraft equipment.
The Council President thanked President Ngeuma for his leadership, and encouraged the government to ratify the Cape Town Convention for cost effective aircraft acquisition, and other relevant international air laws such as the Beijing Convention. Dr. Aliu noted the various civil aviation initiatives and programmes embarked upon by Equatorial Guinea and offered ICAO assistance to ensure effectiveness and compliance with international standards. He thanked the government for all the support it has provided to ICAO initiatives, in particular, the Human Resources Development Fund (HRDF) for Africa.
Dr. Aliu was honoured at the end of the ceremony with a decoration of the Commendatory Medal of the order of Independence of Equatorial Guinea.
At the invitation of the Government of Equatorial Guinea and accompanied by the ICAO Regional Director for Western and Central Africa, Mr. Mam Sait Jallow, and the Representative of Equatorial Guinea to ICAO, Mr. Estanislao Esono Anguesomo, the Council President visited the State’s capital of Malabo from 30 May to 2 June 2018.
During the visit, the Council President held further discussions with His Excellency the President and Head of State of Equatorial Guinea, the Hon. Minister for Civil Aviation, Mr. Leandro Miko Angüé, and senior government officials and diplomats. He also visited the new passenger terminal of Malabo international airport which is nearing completion.