Building a silk road in the sky in Central Africa has now become possible through the help of China’s Aviation Industry Corporation (AVIC), a state-owned aerospace company.
“Aviation is a high-end industry and an important element in cooperation between countries along the Belt and the Road, to promote their connectivity and industrial cooperation. As a pillar of the Chinese aviation industry, AVIC will do everything to provide our aeronautical products and services as well as our air transport solutions by building a silk road in the sky.”
said Tan Rusiong, Chairman of AVIC.
AVIC is supplying airlines across Central Africa and along the Belt and Road Initiative network with several Xian MA60 and Harbin Y-12 aircraft. The MA60 is a regional turboprop airplane designed for takeoff-and-landing to-and-from short airstrips, and excels at handling frequent commercial flights; this will lead to increased travel within Central Africa, boosting economic relationships in the region. The Y-12 can also be used for transporting passengers, but can provide many other services, such as transporting cargo, aerial exploration of terrain, and medical evacuation.
These planes are currently in operation throughout the region including countries in Francophone Africa that already employ or have placed orders for MA60 and Harbin Y-12 aircraft such as: Burundi, Cameroon, Republic Of Congo, Democratic Republic of Congo, Mali, Mauritania with more in neighbouring Anglophone countries too.
Through AVIC’s International Aero-Development Corporation subsidiary, AVIC continues to be actively involved in developing a silk road in the sky, playing an important local role in aerospace infrastructure projects such as the China-Africa Regional Aviation Cooperation Program.
To ensure quality service, AVIC International has established a customer service centre in Africa regarding its aircraft. As well, to further grow its presence across the continent, AVIC owns and operates Africa-based maintenance and technical support facilities for its aircraft and is in the midst of building three spare parts centres to additional support.
The goal of the Belt and Road Initiative of China is to promote economic cooperation among the countries in the Silk Road Economic Belt and 21st Century Maritime Silk Road. It aims to build a massive network connecting Asia, Europe, the Middle East, and Africa.
The development of a multi-continental transportation system presents a great opportunity for foreign investment in Central Africa. Personal and business travel will be much easier. As well, raw materials and manufactured goods would be more easily transported to-and-from the region. The potentially exponential impact on economic growth cannot be understated.
This growth will be further buttressed through academic development; China plans to build five transportation universities and an aviation school in Africa, empowering technical expertise across the continent.
Have any questions about taking advantage of these impending opportunities? Get in touch with John W Ffooks & Co for legal and business guidance across Central Africa.
- Camber.be: Des avions chinois MA60 en service en Afrique centrale.
- Quartz Media: There’s one major pitfall for African countries along the new Silk Road.
- Wikipedia: Xian MA60
- Wikipedia: Harbin Y-12