AfDB Gives Wings to Aviation Training Centre in Rwanda

In a media release dated 19 October 2023, the AfDB announced that it has approved a credit of USD 23.6 million to the Government of Rwanda for the construction of a new Centre of Excellence for Aviation Skills (CEAS). The objective of the Centre is to produce a skilled workforce to meet growing demands of the aviation industry in Rwanda and the region while adhering to global standards.

“The Bank’s financial support for this Centre of Excellence speaks to our commitment to investing in human capital to meet demands for the jobs of today – and tomorrow – in Africa’s aviation and related industries,” 

AfDB VP Beth Dunford

The CEAS represents a significant step in the realization of the plan for Rwanda to become a regional aviation hub. By addressing the skills gap, Rwanda hopes to attract more #FDI into its budding aviation sector. The project is in line with Rwanda’s long-term national development plan (#NDP), entitled Vision 2050, which places emphasis on upskilling and upgrading of human capital to prepare people for higher value jobs. The proposed site for the Center is strategically situated near the Kigali International Airport.

Kigali International Airport
Kigali International Airport

The Centre is expected to be completed and become operational in 2025. As the initial cohort, it plans to enroll some 500 students from all across Africa. The CEAS will offer training for pilots, cabin crew and maintenance technicians. In addition to commercial aviation, the Centre will also offer training on drone piloting.

“Overall, the project aligns with the Bank’s Skills for Employability and Productivity in Africa Action Plan, which stipulates ways of elevating the skills level of Africa’s workforce,” 

AfDB DG for East Africa Nnenna Nwabufo

According to industry experts, Africa will need over 50,000 aviation professionals in the next two decades, including 15,000 pilots, 23,000 cabin crew members and 17,000 aircraft maintenance technicians. Many of these jobs will contribute to employ and empower the youth and women in Africa. The CEAS in Rwanda is an integral part of the larger Single African Air Transport Market (#SAATM), which is a flagship program under the AU’s #Agenda2063.

During the construction phase, the project is estimated to employ 1,000 workers. Upon operationalization, the CEAS will provide some 100 jobs, many of which will be high-paying posts.