Addis Ababa, Ethiopia-based flight support company Krimson is showing its commitment to the next generation. The company’s founder and CEO Dawit Lemma is doing volunteer teaching to students taking the Brevert d’Initiation Aéronautique (BIA) course at the Lycée Guébré-Mariam, an Ethiopian-French school teaching Francophone pupils from nursery up to high school age.
The BIA is certified by the French Ministry of Education, and every year in France around 3,500 high school students take this optional curriculum. The course consists of five main subjects: weather and meteorology; navigation; flight dynamics; aircraft systems; and aviation history.
Students complete a one-year course covering the fundamentals of aviation, with an examination that gives credit toward a private pilot’s license (PPL). A group of six 15- and 16-year-old students will sit for their exam in May this year, joining the 10 who took the exam last year—the first year the course was run at the Lycée in Addis.
Lemma, who is a pilot as well as a businessman (his company offers everything from ground handling and flight support to charter brokering), said that the weekly two-hour educational sessions are shared with fellow lecturer Pierre Lucas, chief of the United Nations Humanitarian Aid Service, UNHAS, in Ethiopia.
“It’s a great honor to be supporting the next generation of aviators here in Africa. It is well known that African economies are strengthening, and consequently, the need for aviation to support this growth will drive the need for more aviation professionals.
“Sharing our knowledge with the students is a real joy for us, and more importantly, it helps them understand the practical reality of working in the aviation sector,” he added.
He noted that the French-speaking students represent many countries “including Switzerland, Cote D’Ivoire, France as well as Ethiopia.” Lemma himself is a Swiss citizen with Ethiopian origins and is president of the Ethiopian chapter of the African Business Aviation Association (AfBAA), of which Krimson is a member (as well as being a member of the EBAA).
Visits have also been arranged for the students, the most recent of which was to see the headquarters of Ethiopian Airlines.