JOHANNESBURG - The forthcoming Brics (Brazil, Russia, India and South Africa) Summit in July presents unlimited opportunities in aviation for those who will be present. 

South Africa is especially proud of hosting this rotating event and the country's aviation industry as well as the rest of Africa should try to take advantage of the event's presence in the southern-most part of the continent.

I call upon South Africans and African executives to be supportive of the event to make it a success and others intending to be part of the global gathering to ensure that they participate in huge numbers.

As the co-chairperson of the Regional Aviation Working Group of the South African Chapter of Brics Business Council (SA-BBC), I am working hard to ensure potential opportunities are not lost for aviation operators across the continent. I reckon that those with aviation in mind should leverage on the events coming to the African doorstep.

My role within the chapter is to ensure that opportunities presented are maximised and beneficial for both South African and Africans; that there is increased travel and tourism and good aviation connectivity in the pan-African continent and sound aviation links with the Brics in a global world. This year the summit is inviting African businessmen and women, and I encourage them to be well-equipped to network and interact to maximise on airline-specific and related opportunities.

The continent has the much-welcomed Open Skies Policy, which has resulted in a lot of people from outside and inside the continent developing a huge interest to come to the summit and hear for themselves - especially those with the drive to have a piece of the aviation cake on a continent that is much touted globally as the next biggest business area to experience high-growth rates.

My view is that South Africans and Africans have the chance to positively impact on the prevailing high-unemployment rates across the continent and there are likely to be golden opportunities at the summit to drive economic growth and prosperity from Cape Town to Cairo.

While the issue of sustainable jobs remains one of the major stumbling blocks for the entire continent to realise its full potential, there were countless aviation opportunities to be leveraged, such as in aircraft manufacturing, for both big and small commercial planes for passengers and cargo.

African cargo businesses include agriculture, mining and military industries. All these industries were anticipated to experience high growth and expansion as a result of the ever-increasing population numbers, which is reported to have surpassed the 1billion mark.

Given all this, there is unlimited aviation and related business potential, whichever way one looks at the emerging continent. There is no better timing to explore the potential than thoroughly preparing to register now and be part of the promising event.

The responsibility was on executives from the rest of the continent, since in several cases they had limited opportunities at their doorstep of Africa, and although the continent is very big, they should treat the hosting of the summit in South Africa as equivalent to having the event “right next door”.

With the Brics nations having one of the biggest populations globally - numbering over a couple of billion - the chance for aviation business-minded executives seeking to enhance African connectivity through this platform are high. Therefore, every potential business person or anyone who thinks big and wants to go into business or existing airlines and related businesses seeking to expand should consider to be counted as part of the summit's proceedings.

Aviation in the south of the continent and the rest of it readily offers an unprecedented experience in regards to growth and expansion.

I would like to urge all African executives or people with access to finances in aviation and related businesses to prepare themselves now. They should not blame anyone when the opportunity has gone should they not be part of this.

As a person who has been in the aviation industry for a long time and presenting papers at various gatherings I am speaking with authority that the timing is right for anyone who sees themselves having a stake in African aviation. Aviation in Africa has enormous potential for business growth opportunities.

I urge the rest of the continent to work in harmony or in close partnership with the private and public sector to leverage the aviation industry within Africa.

Considering that the Brics summit is being held in South Africa, which is a high-net worth economy, backed by its globally acclaimed and already existing and proven international facilities across the board, it is attractive for those with the best eye for aviation business growth or to initiate new and related airline operations.

Factor in the host country's greater aerospace industry, reportedly contributing up to R80billion to the economy, and you have a host country in good standing in global aviation. The sweetener for those who intend to participate is that this mark could well be surpassed when one considers positive factors, mainly around growth and expansion being recorded in aviation across the rest of the continent.

Globally, South Africa’s reputation is well documented, based on indisputable excellence and international best practice. Its aviation industry has all the trappings found in developed countries such as in technological capacity and innovation, which can be used to anchor any prospective or related business across Africa.

If one looks at the fact that growth of aviation traffic internationally is expected to hit the 5percent mark year-on-year into the next two decades, there is adequate scope to inspire the launch of scores of new airlines and related business players at the global scale.

By 2035, the current worldwide fleet of 25000 aircraft will be estimated at 50000 while the passenger numbers will be more than 7billion and Africa will definitely have a say as growth for air travel continues.

At the summit will be increased co-operation between African governments and the private sector that will result in robust aviation industries backed by well thought-out policies and regulation.

I, together with others, hope to see a successful Brics Summit and true African hospitality at play.

Javed Malik is the co-chairperson of the Regional Aviation Working Group of the South African Chapter of the Brics Business Council.

 The views expressed here are not necessarily those of Independent Media.

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