Adeyemi puts Nigeria on Africa’s aviation map, elected AFCAC scribe

Another Nigerian has again put Nigeria on the African aviation map as the African Civil Aviation Commission (AFCAC) has announced the election of Adefunke Adeyemi as the new Secretary General of the Commission.

The Bureau and the Secretariat of AFCAC informed AFCAC member States, International Organizations, States Partners, and all aviation and affiliated stakeholders of  Adeyemi’s as the new Secretary General of the continental body.

Adeyemi’s election as the new Secretary General of AFCAC was announced at the 34th AFCAC Plenary in Dakar, Senegal. The new AFCAC Secretary-General takes over from the former Secretary General, Mr. Tefera Mekonnen TEFERRA whose tenure ended in January 2022, following which Ms. Angeline Simana steered AFCAC as Interim Secretary General.

Adeyemi remarked shortly after her election that her objective is to build on the progress already made by previous Secretaries General and teams of AFCAC to see a new dawn for change through positive action for AFCAC and African aviation.

“The vision for African aviation is to enable a fully connected, prosperous, and united Africa. We have made so much progress and we must stay the course and build on the current momentum to strengthen existing partnerships and create new mutually beneficial relationships. We are stronger together and I am fully committed to collaboration, multilateralism, and fostering cooperation with all States, partners, and relevant stakeholders to move African aviation forward.”

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With an international career spanning over 20 years, Adefunke began her career as a practicing lawyer in Nigeria and then as Company Secretary and General Counsel to Virgin Nigeria Airways before joining the International Air Transport Association (IATA) where she has worked in different roles over the last 12 years. In her current role as Regional Director, External Affairs and Sustainability for Africa, she advocates for the sustainability of air transport, trade, tourism, and business across the region, highlighting its positive socio-economic impact and value as strategic enablers and accelerators of development and growth across Africa and beyond.

Up until her appointment, Adeyemi had been the IATA focal point for the implementation of the Single African Air Transport Market (SAATM) and a Private Sector Champion of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AFCFTA), two strategic policy initiatives of the African Union designed to promote intra-African connectivity and trade to secure Africa’s integration and prosperity.

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“We must all work together to tackle the challenges that African aviation has faced and harness the opportunities that abound to translate Africa’s aviation potential into reality. The time is now. Africa must fully connect, for its own survival and prosperity. Civil aviation must continue to focus on its core areas and also work much closer with the tourism and trade sectors. This synergy, which must be intentional, will ensure that African aviation survives, grows, and thrives for the benefit of Africa and its citizens”, Adeyemi said.

She is a lawyer and advocate, with extensive experience in regional and global strategy and policy development. She is also a global air transport and trade facilitation expert, focused on driving value, policy reform, best practices, and international standards to air transport and related sectors, businesses, and government. She holds a Bachelor of Laws (LL.B. Hons) from the University of Lagos, a Master of Laws (LL.M.) from the University of Cambridge, United Kingdom, and a Master of Business Administration (MBA) from Nanyang Business School, Singapore in collaboration with Wharton Business School, Philadelphia and Berkeley Hass Business School, California.

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AFCAC is the specialized agency of the African Union mandated to oversee matters related to civil aviation across Africa. AFCAC is also expressly tasked as Executing Agency with facilitating, coordinating, and ensuring the successful implementation of the Yamoussoukro Decision/Single Africa Air Transport Market (SAATM) to liberalize Africa’s air transport industry. It supervises and manages initiatives aimed at improving Safety, Security, Environment, Human Resources Development, Aviation Training, Aviation Financing, Infrastructure development in the air and on the ground), and much more.

Wole Shadare