Statement in recognition of an achievement by a 22- year old senior high school graduate turned aircraft technician and pilot, Patricia Mawuli Nyekodzi.
It is a fact that, what men can do, women can do and probably, even better, and to borrow Patricia's own words "I dared to dream and now am flying round Ghana in a plane I built.""
Madam Speaker, we woke up early morning on Monday, 1st November, 2010 to hear on the airwaves about a light aircraft built here in Ghana by a young Ghanaian lady, who was embarking on a cross-country demonstration flight from Monday, 1st to Wednesday, 3rd November, 2010, through some selected cities including Takoradi, Mim, Sunyani, Wa, Tamale, Techiman, Kumasi and Accra.
Indeed, many witnessed this adventure and ingenuity of a Ghanaian daughter, trained here in Ghana, who built the light aircraft (registration no. Niner Golf Zulu Alpha Foxtrot), a 2-seater take-off and landing machine, operating on regular super-grade automotive fuel and flown round without any incident -- refueling only twice on the 2,000 kilometres round trip. This is a great achievement.
My curiosity led me to visit West African Aviation Solution and Providers Services (WAASPS) at the Kpong airfield site, located about 3 kilometres north of Akuse Junction in the Eastern Region, where the aircraft: was reported to have been built under approvals granted by the Ghana Civil Aviation Authority. I was amazed at what I saw; young Ghanaian girls are being tutored in aircraft engineering, flight training, airfield management, et cetera, and they will soon be learning robotic production techniques also.
Madam Speaker, a few days ago, we were informed by the Statistical Services of Ghana that our country had attained a middle income status; this is good news. But then, if we believe in ourselves as a nation and accept this achievement, then the country is poised, ready to produce light aircraft for domestic and international sales, in addition to other economic variables. It will not he too long for Ghana to be counted among the developed nations.
I have learnt from Jonathan Porter, also known as Captain Yaw, a British-born robotics engineer, who has helped to establish the Flying School and Aircraft Engineering Centre, that Patricia came into the company just over three years ago as a labourer, digging out tree stumps. But when she demonstrated her active interest in working on aircraft, the company decided to give her the chance to learn how to fly, build and maintain them.
Today, Madam Speaker, Patricia Mawuli Nyekodzi is the first woman to have obtained Ghana National Pilots Licence and the only woman in the world who has attained the highest ROTAX Aircraft Engines Engineering Certificate. This is an outstanding achievement for a young lady of 22 years, and therefore, must be celebrated.
The well-equipped aircraft engineering workshops at Kpong has the capacity to build 2 and 4-seat air-crafter for a variety of uses, such as flight training, domestic personal flights, basic air-ambulances, humanitarian aviation logistics (such as relief work, supply drops, reaching rural communities with health education and medical personnel), aerial dispersal for agricultural and public health applications, aerial survey and surveillance in the many different industries across our country.
I am appealing to the Government for support, and also to private investors to invest in our light aviation sector, in order