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Closing Ceremony of specially-designed e-ITEC training programme for SL Civil Aviation Authority (25 May 2021)

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(Press Release by Sierra Leone Civil Aviation Authority)

Indian-Sponsored Specially Designed Aviation E-ITEC Courses Ends Today

25th May 2021

SLCAA Conference Hall, Freetown 

With support from the Indian Government through her Resident Mission in Sierra Leone headed by HE Ambassador Rakesh Kumar Arora, staff of the Sierra Leone Civil Aviation Authority (SLCAA), Sierra Leone Airport Authority (SLAA) and the Republic of Sierra Leone Armed Forces (RSLAF) Air Wing benefited from three Specialized Aviation Training Courses aimed at providing the required competencies in carrying out their respective duties and responsibilities. 

Giving the purpose of the ceremony, Sheku Jabbie, SLCAA International Relations Officer, revealed the Indian High Commission offered scholarship for three areas: Aerodrome and Ground Aids, Aviation Security, and Accident and Incident Investigation, adding that 57 participants from the SLCAA, SLAA and RSLAF Air Wing participated in the three courses, which lasted for three weeks. 

Speaking on the importance of the training, one of the participants who attended all three courses, Sahr S. Gando, expressed elation on the content of the training, expressing thanks and appreciation to the India High Commissioner and the Director-General of SLCAA for facilitating these courses. He noted that one particular interest they developed as participants was not only to concentrate on their specific fields, but rather have a keen  interest in what other colleagues were doing.

The India High Commissioner to Sierra Leone, HE Rakesh Kumar Arora, in his keynote speech, commended the SLCAA Director-General for his interest in the training programme and for enhancing the capacity of his staff to make the Aviation Industry more efficient. 

HE Rakesh Kumar Arora maintained that India is committed to being a reliable partner of Sierra Leone in its developmental journey. “The Indian Technical and Economic Cooperation (ITEC) Programme is aimed at sharing India’s own development experiences with fellow developing countries based on partnership and cooperation. ITEC offers country-specific and institutional-specific courses which are demand-driven, as was this training programme”. 

“As India now has a resident Mission in Freetown, I take this opportunity to reiterate India’s commitment to strengthening and expanding our bilateral partnership, including the field of training and skills development,” the High Commissioner stated.   

Representing the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Jonathan Las-Lamin, Deputy Director of the Middle East and Asia Directorate, said that this was among the many supports the Indian Government had given to the people of the Republic of Sierra Leone. 

“The capacity-building assistance the Government of Sierra Leone has received from the Government of India, including the one we are witnessing today, will go a long way to contribute to the Human Capital Development programme in Sierra Leone which is the flagship programme of His Excellency the President, Dr. Julius Maada Bio,” he said. 

On behalf of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, he expressed the deepest sympathy to the many families that have lost their loved ones to the Covid-19 pandemic.

The Chairman Board of Directors SLCAA, Patrick Jaia Kaikai, maintained that as a Board, they were happy that even at this trial times India stands and supports the “No Country Left Behind” initiative by ICAO. He thanked, on behalf of the Board of Directors, the India High Commissioner and called for more support in the future. 

In his closing courtesy, the Director-General of SLCAA, Moses Tiffa Baio, expressed that within a very short period the India High Commission have been in Sierra Leone, they are making tremendous inroads in terms of support to the Government of Sierra Leone, and in particular, the Sierra Leone Civil Aviation Authority. “The provision of these training to me is not a surprise, judging by their interventions within this short period”.

DG Baio re-echoed capacity building as one of the major deficiencies in the CAA. “The State was audited in 2006 and since then we have been struggling to implement successfully the Corrective Action Plans with ICAO, and one of the issues we always have with ICAO is the capacity of the local staff,” he added. 

He underscored that SLCAA has been very aggressive in terms of addressing the human capacity deficiency which is in direct response to the call of His Excellency the President, Dr. Julius Maada Bio. 

DG Baio, on behalf of the Management of SLCAA thanked the High Commissioner for this timely intervention and pleaded for more support in other areas.

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