“Airports today are important vehicles for propelling economic growth. An airport, being the first point of contact by the visitors, be they tourists or businessmen, has a lot to tell about the community and country in which it is located. It can, therefore, influence positively or negatively the level in Foreign direct Investment and indeed the number of people wishing to visit a country….
My Administration is keenly aware of the aviation infrastructure deficit that currently exists not only in Kenya but also on our continent. Without sufficient aviation infrastructure, our region will remain unexploited and expensive for commerce and business.”
Full speech here:- President Uhuru Kenyatta’s Speech During the Groundbreaking of the Greenfield Terminal at Jomo Kenyatta International Airport
I have often laboured with this point on this blog a number of times (see previous articles here, here, here and here). And it’s because it’s a very important point. Before any economic development occurs, one of the critical factors which must be addressed by the leaders of African countries, and which must be a top priority, is the development of first points of contact such as airports to such a level of excellence that they meet global standards.
In other words our Airports across Africa should generally have the same facilities and be of the same standard as the airports in Bangkok, Durban, Moscow, Manchester, Santiago or Wellington.
When that begins to happen, Africa will have moved towards a place where it can compete with other countries across the world.
Manchester Airport : Fact Sheet