AviAssist, the independent non-profit organisation championing the cause of aviation safety in Africa, has joined forces with the University of Rwanda, with a partnership that AviAssist director, Tom Kok, describes as “an unique opportunity.”

The two organisations announced their partnership during the Aviation Africa 2019 conference, which took place in the Rwandan capital, Kigali, last week (27-28 February).

“We feel privileged to bring Rwanda’s leading university on board of our ASPC-Rwanda partnership,” noted Kok. Other ASPC-Rwanda partners include RwandAir, Rwanda CAA and UTB University.

With the AviAssist Safety Promotion Centre (ASPC) aiming to become (East) Africa’s leading aviation safety resource centre, this latest partnership will focus on capacity building in aviation safety and engineering skills as well as business and leadership skills at ASPC in Rwanda. The centre offers training and safety courses that are crucial to support aviation professionals in their role as safety leaders and champions

Commenting on the cooperation, Prof. Philip Cotton, vice-chancellor of the University of Rwanda said: “We are exploring the development of aviation related courses in our university. This partnership will help us on our journey to design programmes for the current and next generation of aviation professionals that they will need to meet the aviation safety challenges of the next 15 years. The vision of ASPC fits with our objective to widen our international network and will give professionals in Rwanda and beyond better access to world class education and practical research capabilities in aviation safety.”

Meanwhile Kok concluded: “This partnership will bring great benefits for the continuous professional development that the Foundation brings to Africa.”

Last week also saw AviAssist sign an agreement with ATR, which has more than 120 aircraft operating in 22 African countries by 30 airlines. At the signing, Christopher McGregor, ATR Flight Safety Officer said: “As the leader in the regional aviation market, it is essential for ATR to share its expertise to improve flight safety in the regions we serve. ATR recognises the success of AviAssist in driving safety improvement.”

Emphasising his support for the partnership, Kok added: “This partnership demonstrates ATR’s leadership in flight safety. ATR aircraft play a crucial role in the development of new routes across the globe and in Africa. In turn, route development is promoted by the African Union with its Single African Air Transport Market (SAATM) initiative. SAATM aims to open up Africa’s skies and improve intra-African air connectivity. This partnership enables us to empower ever more safety champions throughout Africa to support SAATM.”

Header image: Deputy Vice-Chancellor Prof. Dr. Nelson Ijumba, Deputy Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs and Research and AviAssist Board chairman Ron Louwerse of the Schiphol Group at the signing ceremony

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