Greetings from Accra, Ghana. I arrived here Sunday for the annual ACI Africa meeting. In addition to speaking at the conference, I am also here to attend the first meeting of all ACI regional directors with the new ACI World Director General, Angela Gittens. We are also holding other ACI World committee meetings here.
After arrival on Sunday (and a very friendly greeting from the airport staff!), a number of us took a tour of Accra. We visited the Kwame Nkrumah memorial park and grave site (he is the first president of Ghana and is a father of post-colonial African independence.). We visited Independence Square, a market and also the national university.
On Monday after my remarks and a series of meetings; we were taken to a local restaurant for some traditional local food, which was excellent. Traveling so much is a great way to learn more about other cultures, break down barriers, and bring the world together.
Yesterday, Kirk Shaffer, Associate Administrator of the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) for Airports, delivered remarks about many FAA initiatives on safety and environment that were of great interest to attendees. The FAA has made assistance to airports globally on issues such as safety a major priority and Kirk was able to provide some good information to attendees. I very much appreciate the fact that Kirk came here and that the FAA is so active in that area.
After Kirk spoke, the Chairman of ACI Africa, George Muhoho from Kenya stood to close the session. He pointed out that no matter whether your airport is large or small, in the U.S. or Africa; there are still certain issues everyone faces. Safety, security, environment, wildlife management and others. He talked about how important it is for airport professionals all over the world to work together to face these problems. He is right and that is why it is a privilege to work within the only global organization for airports.
The conference exhibition opens today and tonight the Aviation Minister will join us. Tomorrow, the Vice President of Ghana will be here. Many of the session revolve around the issue of safety, a subject taken very seriously here. Kirk will speak again in a panel on Safety Management Systems.
I look forward to these next two days and will report further on what I learn here.