2016 Safe Skies for Africa, an Aviation
Career Academy, set to take off

Named after the White House Initiative started by the President of the United States in 1998, “Safe Skies for Africa” is an Aviation Career Academy sponsored by the National Black Coalition of Federal Aviation Employees for students living on the continent of Africa specifically in Lagos, Nigeria. The aviation academy is now entering its 3rd year and is the brain child of NBCFAE NE Regional President and Nigerian American Ejide D. Fashina. Ejide is an Air traffic Front Line Manager for the Federal Aviation Administration based out the Philadelphia International Airport. Ejide has dedicated much of her career tTHE SKY IS THE LIMITo encouraging youth to pursue careers in aviation-related professions.

The annual event started in 2014 as a simple idea with two Americans and five Nigerian based air traffic controllers. With no idea what to expect or how this idea would evolve the event began. Three years later the aviation academy has blossomed into a large annual event. The 2016 Ace Academy has over eighteen American based aviation employees who plan to take the long journey to Lagos, 60 Nigerian based volunteers, over 1000 student participants and numerous sponsors. Even though the event is aimed at students, many of the 18 American participants have never been to the continent of Africa; therefore, they too are expanding their worldwide perspective and experiencing different cultures. The Nigerian Aviation Academy is aimed at raising awareness and interest of students in aviation-related careers with the hopes of developing future global leaders in aviation. In recent years Aviation Education in Africa has been a priority for the FAA Africa Office and the Department of Transportation. Just as in the United States, Africa is facing high demands for qualified professionals in the aviation sector.

The Aviation Academy provided a broad exposure of civil and military aviation careers to approximately 1000 high school aged students from the ages of thirteen to eighteen. They were also able to discover a variety of exciting professions that encompass aviation Throughout the week of the Academy, the employees will share valuable insight on the importance of pursuing a career in aviation, the many obstacles they overcame to achieve their goals and the gratification they received once those goals were met. The students will also have the opportunity to hear from Pilots, Air Traffic Controllers, Engineers and Military personnel. At the end of the camp, a $1000 scholarship will be awarded to a student. If you’d like more information about the program, please contact Ejide D. Fashina at ejide.fashina@nbcfae.org to learn more about future ACE initiatives.

 

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