By Favour Nnabugwu
Co-Founder, Aviaten Initiatives Limited, Promoters of Miss Aviation African Pageant, Ossai Ilome is seeking increased participation of women in the aviation sector in Nigeria and Africa in general.
Ilome, during an interview with newsmen in Abuja recently said the organisation was an action advocacy network contributing to the development of aviation industry in Africa.
He said the aviation industry in Africa was currently dominated by men, stressing that only three per cent of managerial and executive positions in the sector was occupied by women.
Ilome said the NGO was determined to encourage active female participation in the industry through the creation of Miss Aviation Africa Pageant in order to re-orientate, encourage and mobilise young girls to take up careers in aviation.
He disclosed that the organisation, which was incorporated in the United Kingdom, had reached about seven countries in Africa that were prepared to participate in the pageant.
“We looked at the rate of women participation in the management to executive positions in the aviation industry and based on the statistics that we have, we only have about three per cent of women in the management/executive positions in the aviation industry.
“And so, we felt that a combination of all quality of core customer service and women empowerment can suffice and so we decided to use the platform of Miss Aviation Africa.
“We created the pageant to look at how we can promote and sponsor young girls to make career choices in the aviation industry.
“Thinking about this project, the African Union, AU, launched what they called the Single African Air Transport Market, SAATM and we felt this was what we have been waiting for.
“For us, when we talk about the pageant, we are not talking about the usual beauty-focused stuff whereby young girls are brought together just for the purpose of showcasing beauty.
“A platform that brings young girls together, it will be an opportunity for you to re-indoctrinate them, re-orientate them and empower them with the tools and the skills they need for their future,” he said.