Top five African airports
In late 2016, website The Guide to Sleeping in Airports ran its annual Best Airports in Africa survey. In this survey, travellers were asked to rate airports on overall airport experience. Respondents ranked their experiences on the following factors:
- Comfort (Rest Zones & Gate Seating)
- Services, Facilities & Things to do
- Food Options
- Customer Service
“The Best Airports in Africa are those that appear to have figured out how to offer travellers an efficient, clean and friendly travel experience. Though you won’t find a plethora of extravagant amenities here, you can expect these five terminals will offer reasonably comfortable chairs, clean floors and easy navigation,” the site states.
“Coupled with basic services like internet, restaurants, lounges and a few shopping spots, it becomes easy enough to spend your time at these airports.”
Here are the top five best airports in Africa based on overall airport experience, and justifications from TGTSIA.
1. Cape Town International Airport, South Africa (CPT)
“When reviewing the best airports in Africa, Cape Town International Airport is a long-standing fan favourite. Travellers are consistently happy with the terminals’ cleanliness and simplicity - and they’re pleased with the helpful and friendly staff. Amenities like 4 hours of free Wi-Fi, a few pay-to-use lounges, a small budget-friendly grocery store and a library are other welcome additions, not often seen in terminals across the continent.”
Airport Services/Facilities: Pay-per-use lounges • Free Wi-Fi (4 hours) • Showers • Flybrary • Baggage Storage • Prayer Room.
2. Kigali International Airport, Rwanda (KGL)
“Kigali International Airport’s 2014 facelift continues to serve travellers well, boosting its continental ranking for Best Airports in Africa from last year. Passengers are pleased with how clean and modern the terminals are, and by how helpful staff can be. The airport itself is decently easy to navigate, and services like e-clearing can limit the time you spend in line-ups. That said, the overall capacity of the airport for more passengers is limited, and a new national Rwandan airport is scheduled to start in June 2017. Hopefully, this new airport will include a few more entertainment options!”
Airport Services/Facilities: Pay-per-use lounges • Free Wi-Fi
3. Sir Seewoosagur Ramgoolam (Port Louis) International Airport, Mauritius (MRU)
“This “amazingly beautiful” airport pleases travellers with its solid customer service, good food, and a generally clean atmosphere. Though amenities and entertainment are a bit sparse, the indoor gardens make this a pleasant place to arrive and depart from - and apparently, the new custom officers’ uniforms make the whole place feel a bit more professional. As an airport with limited transit traffic, the easy-to-navigate terminals and variety of chairs makes Sir Seewoosagur Ramgoolam Airport one of the best on the continent.”
Airport Services/Facilities: Pay-per-use Lounges • Free Wi-Fi • Internet Workstations • Showers
4. Johannesburg O.R. Tambo International Airport, South Africa (JNB)
“O.R. Tambo Airport appears to have lost a few points in the hearts of travellers this year. People still praise it for being clean, easy to navigate and full of good shopping and dining options. However, as one of Africa’s largest travel hubs, the long immigration queues and maintenance issues seem to be wearing on those who travel through. That said, Jo’burgs airport does go above and beyond in the amenity department. Here, you can find luggage storage, a supermarket, a dry cleaner, a barber, several pay-per-use lounges, and a ton of restaurants!”
Airport Services/Facilities: Pay-per-use lounges • Transit Hotel • Free Wi-Fi (4 hours) • Showers • Prayer Room
5. Algiers Houari Boumediene International Airport, Algeria (ALG)
“This year, Algiers International Airport kept survey respondents satisfied by being reliably clean, spacious, comfortable and easy to navigate. Though some feel the facilities available could use “freshening”, there are enough shops, restaurants and lounges to keep the transit traveller entertained. Plus, there’s a great number of sleeper-friendly benches located throughout!”
Airport Services/Facilities: Wi-Fi ($)
Automation of repetitive tasks leads to higher value work
Two-thirds of global office workers feel they are constantly doing the same tasks over and over again. That’s according to a new study (2021 Office Worker Survey) from automation software company UiPath.
Whether emailing, inputting data, or scheduling calls and meetings, the majority of those surveyed said they waste on average four and a half hours a week on time-consuming tasks that they think could be automated.
Not only is the undertaking of such repetitious and mundane tasks a waste of time for employees, and therefore for businesses, but it can also have a negative impact on employees’ motivation and productivity. And the research backs this up with more than half (58%) of those surveyed saying that undertaking such repetitive tasks doesn’t allow them to be as creative as they’d like to be.
“When repetitive, unrewarding tasks are handled by people, it takes time and this can cause delays and reduce both employee and customer satisfaction,” Gavin Mee, Managing Director of UiPath Northern Europe tells Business Chief. “Repetitive tasks can also be tedious, which often leads to stress and an increased likelihood to leave a job.”
And these tasks exist at all levels within an organisation, right up to executive level, where there are “small daily tasks that can be automated, such as scheduling, logging onto systems and creating reports”, adds Mee.
Automation can free employees to focus on higher value work
By automating some or all of these repetitive tasks, employees at whatever level of the organisation are freed up to focus on meaningful work that is creative, collaborative and strategic, something that will not only help them feel more engaged, but also benefit the organisation.
“Automation can free people to do more engaging, rewarding and higher value work,” says Mee, highlighting that 68% of global workers believe automation will make them more productive and 60% of executives agree that automation will enable people to focus on more strategic work. “Importantly, 57% of executives also say that automation increases employee engagement, all important factors to achieving business objectives.”
These aren’t the only benefits, however. One of the problems with employees doing some of these repetitive tasks manually is that “people are fallible and make mistakes”, says Mee, whereas automation boosts accuracy and reduces manual errors by 57%, according to Forrester Research. Compliance is also improved, according to 92% of global organisations.
Repetitive tasks that can be automated
Any repetitive process can be automated, Mee explains, from paying invoices to dealing with enquiries, or authorising documents and managing insurance claims. “The process will vary from business to business, but office workers have identified and created software robots to assist with thousands of common tasks they want automated.”
These include inputting data or creating data sets, a time-consuming task that 59% of those surveyed globally said was the task they would most like to automate, with scheduling of calls and meetings (57%) and sending template or reminder emails (60%) also top of the automation list. Far fewer believed, however, that tasks such as liaising with their team or customers could be automated, illustrating the higher value of such tasks.
“By employing software robots to undertake such tasks, they can be handled much more quickly,” adds Mee pointing to OTP Bank Romania, which during the pandemic used an automation to process requests to postpone bank loan instalments. “This reduced the processing time of a single request from 10 minutes to 20 seconds, allowing the bank to cope with a 125% increase in the number of calls received by call centre agents.”
Mee says: “Automation accelerates digital transformation, according to 63% of global executives. It also drives major cost savings and improves business metrics, and because software robots can ramp-up quickly to meet spikes in demand, it improves resilience.
Five business areas that can be automated
Mee outlines five business areas where automation can really make a difference.
- Contact centres Whether a customer seeks help online, in-store or with an agent, the entire customer service journey can be automated – from initial interaction to reaching a satisfying outcome
- Finance and accounting Automation enables firms to manage tasks such as invoice processing, ensuring accuracy and preventing mistakes
- Human resources Automations can be used across the HR team to manage things like payroll, assessing job candidates, and on-boarding
- IT IT teams are often swamped in daily activity like on-boarding or off-boarding employees. Deploying virtual machines, provisioning, configuring, and maintaining infrastructure. These tasks are ideal for automation
- Legal There are many important administrative tasks undertaken by legal teams that can be automated. Often, legal professionals are creating their own robots to help them manage this work. In legal and compliance processes, that means attorneys and paralegals can respond more quickly to increasing demands from clients and internal stakeholders. Robots don’t store data, and the data they use is encrypted in transit and at rest, which improves risk profiling and compliance.
“To embark on an automation journey, organisations need to create a Centre of Excellence in which technical expertise is fostered,” explains Mee. “This group of experts can begin automating processes quickly to show return on investment and gain buy-in. This effort leads to greater interest from within the organisation, which often kick-starts a strategic focus on embedding automation.”