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            september 20, 2019

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Air Cargo Africa 2011 opens up vistas of opportunities for Africa


Air Cargo Africa 2011 - the First Biennial International Conference and Expo concluded on 24th February on a very successful note at the Kenyatta International Conference Centre, Nairobi, Kenya. The event was conceived to showcase Africa as the land of opportunities for the Air Cargo industry. Dr. Titus Naikuni, Group Managing Director & CEO of Kenya Airways inaugurated the event. 
The event was themed “Air Cargo in Emerging Africa” and 54 exhibitors representing various sectors of the Air Cargo industry from 19 countries displayed their world class products and services, specifically designed for the air transport industry. 
The cream of the industry leaders dwelt upon various topics ranging from the status of the air cargo industry in Africa post the economic revival, Integrating Africa’s potential & global needs, Mega issues in Ground Handling in Africa, Role of IT in Developing Air Cargo in Africa. Speaking on Air Cargo in Emerging Africa, Emirates’ Divisional Senior Vice President Cargo & Chairman IATA-Cargo Committee said that close to 7.5 times more cargo is entering Africa than is leaving, depicting increased consumer demand as African economies grow. 
257 delegates from across the globe including Russia, China, USA, Europe, India, Australia, Canada, Singapore, and 12 countries from Africa took part in the deliberations stretched over the three days. 2,429 visitors from 23 countries across Africa and 19 countries from other continents visited the exhibition to explore business prospects. Middle Eastern representatives were conspicuous by the presence of delegates from Qatar Airways Cargo, Saudi Airlines Cargo, Etihad Crystal Cargo and National Air Cargo. 
The BBC World News presenter– Aaron Heslehurst and Harpreet A.de Singh, of Air India, were moderators for the conference and also anchored the evening networking functions. An interesting feature of the event is its coverage by BBC World News under “Africa Business Report” which is scheduled to be telecast in early March. 
STAT Times has always endeavored to promote excellence in the air cargo industry. In keeping with this objective STAT Times has instituted an International Award for Excellence in Air Cargo. These awards are being presented during the biennial international Air Cargo events organized by STAT Times. The STAT Times Gala Award Nite at Crowne Plaza in Nairobi witnessed as many as 21 awards being conferred upon achievers in different sectors of the AirCargo industry in Africa and internationally as well. The event was graced by the presence of Hon Amos Kimunya, Minister for Transport. “Air Cargo Africa is a platform for players in the industry to not only showcase their products and services but to equally discuss ways of capitalizing on the enormous opportunities in the continent,” he said. 
The worldwide readers of the STAT Times were called upon to nominate their choice online in different sectors of the air cargo industry. Swissport Cargo Services polled the highest number of nominations in the International Ground Handler of the Year in Africa. While Emirates’ Mercator won the nomination for International IT Systems Provider of the Year in Africa. India based IBS Software Services came a close second.­­­­­ 
Jomo Kenyatta International Airport won the nominations for STAT Times African Airport of the Year Award. Mohammed Parkar, Vice President Commercial & Finance received the award for Maximus Air Cargo as International All Cargo Carrier of the Year in Africa behind the European Giant Cargolux, who were the winners of this category. 
Astral Aviation based in Nairobi took the honors in the Africa All Cargo Carrier of the Year sector. Ethiopian Airlines Cargo and Kenya Airways Cargo were the best and the second best respectively in the African Cargo Airline of the year sector. Over the years, it has become a habit for Emirates SkyCargo to win awards. It was not an exception this time also. Ram Menen received the award for Emirates who won the International Cargo Airline of the Year in Africa award. There were also awards for the Best Booth Display. Saudi Airlines Cargo was the undisputed winner while Etihad Crystal Cargo were the runner up for the same category. 
The climactic moment of the event was the Life Time Achievement award presented to Girma Wake, former CEO of Ethiopian Airlines, for his excellent contribution to the aviation industry in general and the Air Cargo industry in particular. R.K. Patra, Editor-in-Chief of STAT Times presented the award to Girma Wake. 
The event concluded with the announcement of AIR CARGO AFRICA 2013 to be held in South Africa, at the Emperor’s Palace, Johannesburg. 
Rich encomiums were paid by all participants on the well organized event. Heide Enfield, of Marketing of Lufthansa Cargo Charter said “Very good exhibition with a good number of valuable contacts and visitors. For a first time show, it is really impressive. If this keeps growing, it will be a great success.”

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