East Africa Airports COVID-19 Staff Training
Safety handling supported by German Government
East Africa Airports COVID-19 staff training on safety measures is being conducted with the aim being to equip them to handle passengers. This program is being happening at the busiest airports in East Africa following 3 months of closure and is being funded through the German Government.
The East African Community (EAC) airports are getting Standard Operating Procedure (SOPs) training that involves key airport personnel.
In collaboration with the East African Community (EAC) Secretariat in Arusha, Tanzania, the German government through its Agency for International Cooperation (GIZ) is conducting the training with a focus on the safety, security, and health of passengers mostly on arrival.
The German Ambassador to Tanzania, Regina Hess, said the ongoing training is aimed to impart COVID-19 preparedness at air terminals in East Africa that are ready to handle tourists and other air travelers.
Training of the EAC airport staff is part of the German government’s support of the EAC under the Euro 6 million “Support to the Pandemic preparedness in the EAC region” program launched in March 2017.
After the outbreak of COVID-19, the German government committed an additional 1 million euro to the Pandemic Preparedness program directed to equip the East African airports staff with preparedness skills when handling regional and international travelers.
The training will be facilitated under the COVID-19 intervention with 1 million euro added to the previous program.
The trainings will take place at key international airports in the EAC region to prepare them prior to resuming normal travel after COVID-19 restrictions have been lifted.
The training also involves the EAC Civil Aviation Safety and Security Oversight Agency (CASSOA) and is being implemented by AMREF Flying Doctors (AFD).
“These trainings are facilitated by the German Government through GIZ in an effort to support states in their response to COVID-19,” Hess said.
She said the training will equip the airport staff prior to re-opening air space for tourists and other passengers landing in East Africa.
The Abeid Karume Amani International Airport in Zanzibar was the first in the process to get the COVID-19 preparedness training after the Zanzibar government opened its airspace for international tourists in June.
Zanzibar Airport handles most tourists landing in Tanzania than the rest of the airports, mostly from COVID-19 pandemic zones of Europe and America. Over 75 percent of tourists visiting the island are sourced from Europe, the United States, and Southeast Asia where COVID-19 is still hitting.
The Zanzibar Minister for Tourism, Mr. Mahmoud Thabit Kombo, said that medical doctors on call for COVID-19 treatments have been stationed in big hotels on the island.
Both Zanzibar and mainland Tanzania have opened their skies for international passengers, mostly tourists.
Several tourist companies in Europe have written their appeal to the European Union (EU) secretariat seeking its all member states to relax travel restrictions to African countries.
Safari and nature-based tourism is often the only employer of rural communities that live in close proximity to Africa’s wildlife reserves and national parks.
Travel restrictions would stir poverty in Africa and trigger the next wave of economic refugees from Africa to the EU members, European tourist companies have warned.