The IFATCA Africa and Middle East Women’s Support Group

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by Lumbiwe Hara

IFATCA Africa & Middle East Women Support Group

Statistics show that the field of Air Traffic Controllers in the Africa Middle East region is highly male dominated, as the old adage in African societies goes  “The woman’s place is in the kitchen.”

The IFATCA Africa and Middle East Women Support Group was created at the AFM regional meeting in Abuja, Nigeria, in December 2023 to foster a safe and inclusive workplace culture and to create support networks for women Air Traffic Controllers in the region. We want to change that adage- a woman’s place is also in ATM!

The group comprises two members from each of the four subregions of our AFM, namely the North, South, East, and West African Regions, so there is equal representation on the team.

  • Hamida Baragoita – Djibouti ( Co. Chair)
  • Loukkaci Kertali Annisa – Algeria
  • Tania Hough – South Africa
  • Juliet Wanjiru – Kenya
  • Kate Nnanna Ibemgbo – Nigeria
  • Eman Ayadi – Tunisia
  • Nadine Costa – Angola
  • Evelyn Oye Lamptey – Ghana
  • Esther Nanyongo – Uganda
  • Lumbiwe Hara – Zambia (Co-Chair)

Lumbiwe is also a member of the IFATCA Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Task Force. (EDI-TF)

The overarching objective of this group is to foster diversity and inclusivity within the region’s workforce, particularly focusing on the aviation industry. To achieve this, the group has outlined a multifaceted approach:

Firstly, the group aims to address issues of bias in recruitment and promotion practices by actively seeking out and implementing workable solutions. This includes the establishment of mentorship programs and support networks designed to create a more equitable and welcoming workplace environment for all.

Secondly, there is a concerted effort to advocate for the increased representation of women in leadership roles across various sectors of the industry. By emphasizing the importance of female voices in decision-making processes, the group believes that this will not only promote inclusivity but also drive innovation and progress.

Furthermore, the group organizes panel discussions featuring female Air Traffic Controllers from the region. These platforms serve as opportunities for sharing experiences, challenges, and successes, with the aim of inspiring and motivating other women within the industry.

Additionally, the group actively lobbies for the implementation of workshops and training sessions tailored specifically for women in air traffic control. These programs focus on skill development, leadership training, and networking opportunities, all geared towards enhancing the professional growth and advancement of women in the field.

Overall, the group is committed to making a positive impact on the lives and careers of women in the AFM region by championing diversity, inclusivity, and gender equality within the aviation industry in the AFM region.