Ghana wants to retain not more than 10% stake in new national carrier – minister

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Ghana’s government will not retain more than 10 percent stake in a yet to be established new national air carrier.

According to Minister of Aviation, Joseph Kofi Adda, the government is not interested in taking a huge interest because it does not want the new company to be under state control, but is rather looking for credible private partners.

“What we are looking at is not more than 10 percent, that is the extent to which the government will be involved” he said in Accra.

He added: “We will have one or two representation on the board, but the government or the minister will not interfere in the operations of the new company in terms of policy, strategy and operations.”

Mr. Adda spoke on the sidelines of a stakeholder meeting on the establishment of a home-based carrier, with interested companies or potential partners, in Accra.

The event formed part of processes which will lead to the selection of a suitable firm to partner with the government to establish the home-based carrier.

Mr. Adda explained that the event was to allow interested companies indicate their interest in terms of how they want to participate; what percentage of shares, the sort of equity they are bringing onboard, among others.

“Ghana has travelled the road of having a national airline before. Indeed, more than once, Ghana Airways and Ghana International Airlines existed before, and we have learnt some lessons, and it goes without the saying that this time around, we would not repeat those mistakes. We intend to get it right and the government will not attempt to be involved in owning and running an airline. This is not a government’s business”.

“The lessons from the past are very clear and we all know them. Ghana Airways and Ghana International Airlines were companies set up and dominated by the state, and that made it difficult for the board and chief executives to manage it independently. The government was always interfering; telling them what to do and that was a real difficulty that we had in the past,” he stated.

He cited abuses, poor planning and misapplication, among others, as some of the lessons, adding: “We lost so much money running Ghana Airways and Ghana International Airlines but that won’t happen again”.

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