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Ghana too broke to fully own a national airline – Minister

Source: myjoyonline.com

Transport Minister, Dzifa Attivor

Transport Minister, Dzifa Attivor

Transport Minister, Dzifa Attivor, says calls on government to own a major stake in a new national carrier may not be possible since the country does not have the resources to do so.

The Transport Minister told Accra-based Citi FM that the country is cash-strapped to invest in a wholly-owned national airline. Earlier this year, the Minister underscored the need for a national carrier because of the country’s growing economy.

She explained that the erstwhile Ghana Airways during its time of operations faced several challenges such as bad management practices, and suggested the need for government to partner stakeholders in the private sector and investors in the aviation industry for the establishment of a new national carrier.

Since then, Ghana has been receiving funding from the World Bank to support a Public Private Partnership (PPP) project which is currently awaiting approval from the Bank to proceed to the next stage.

Under the PPP initiative, Ghana will own 10% of the airline. Although the Minister did not oppose calls for government to increase its stake in the new airline, she said there was need for caution.

She said government will consider increasing its stake in the new national airline when it takes off. “We are being careful with the process to establish a new airline because of our history with national carriers”, Citi FM quoted her as saying.

She added that “setting up an airline also requires a lot of resources and currently we don’t have the resources, so we want to have the private sector on board.”

13 companies have presented proposals to government to partner it to revive the national airline. Ms. Attivor said the evaluation process for all 13 companies have been completed awaiting a final confirmation from the World Bank.

She added that selection of an investor for the PPP initiative will not be based on preference for either a local or foreign investor, but purely on the investor’s ability to ensure the new airline’s sustainability

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