ACCRA, Ghana – The ministry of Aviation in Ghana, West Africa has celebrated Audrey Esi Swatson, 21, the youngest female pilot.
This move is to encourage young Ghanaians especially females to develop an interest in taking up various careers in the aviation sector.
Minister Joseph Kofi Adda at a Press briefing in Accra on Saturday, February 16 in honour of the youngest pilot, noted that there are more opportunities for about 500,000 pilots globally.
He, therefore, appealed to the youth to attain training to fill up this gap within the West African Sub- Region.
Kofi said was pleased that Swatson had charted a course for the upcoming youth in the country, and this has broken the notion that certain jobs are the preserve of men.
“We commend you strongly for what you have done. It is very good for us here in Ghana especially those of us in aviation. What is most important for us is that you have shown the way about women flying aircraft,” Adda asserted.
The minster further reiterated the government’s commitment to making the country an aviation hub for the whole West African Sub-region.
According to him, the ministry is holding talks with various stakeholders and investors in the sector to roll out plans to expand current facilities at the airport and establish a repair and overhaul facility which is currently lacking in the West African Sub-region.
The expansion project is expected to create jobs for youths who wish to take up various careers in the sector with other services such as security services, vendors and various construction works in relation to the sector.
The 21-year-old Swatson expressed gratitude to the ministry and other stakeholders who have contributed to the achievement of her goals
She appreciated the ministry’s gesture in recognising her efforts and wished that more should be done to support and encourage other female colleagues who are interested in pursuing courses in the aviation industry.
She said that even though the journey towards achieving her goal has not been easy, she was able to sail through with determination and support from her parents.
In 2009, Kimberly Anyadike, (then 15) an African American teenager of Nigerian descent made history and became the first African American female and the youngest African American to fly an aeroplane across the United States.
Kimberly, 25, achieved this great height and set the record after just two years of pilot training through a special after-school program.
She was also recognized for her achievements as a young pilot and received the Tuskegee Airmen’s inaugural Young Aviators Award in Tuskegee Alabama in 2015.