IATA applauds launch of Single African Air Transport Market initiative

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The International Air Transport Association (IATA) has welcomed the launch of Single African Air Transport Market (SAATM) in the framework of the ongoing 30th AU summit Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.

IATA’s vice president for Africa, Mr. Rapahel Kuuchi said the SAATM initiative will enhance connectivity, stimulate demand, improve the competitiveness of the African airline industry, and make air travel more accessible.

IATA’s vice president for Africa, Mr. Rapahel Kuuchi said the SAATM will enhance connectivity, stimulate demand, improve the competitiveness of the African airline industry, and make air travel more accessible.

“The SAATM has the potential for remarkable transformation that will build prosperity while connecting the African continent. Every open air service arrangement has boosted traffic, lifted economies and created jobs. And we expect no less in Africa on the back of the SAATM agreement. An IATA survey suggest that if just 12 key African countries opened their markets and increased connectivity an extra 155,000 jobs and US$1.3 billion in annual GDP would be created in those countries.

“We commend the 23 States that have signed up to SAATM. It is an important step forward. But the benefits of a connected continent will only be realized through effective implementation of SAATM—firstly by the countries already committed and also by the remaining 32 AU member nations still to come on board

“Today’s decision is momentous. SAATM is a decisive step towards greater intra-African connectivity and delivers the framework on which to achieve it. Now it’s time to get down to the work of implementation. Greater connectivity will lead to greater prosperity. Governments must act on their commitments, and allow their economies to fly high on the wings of aviation,” said Kuuchi.

The SAATM was inaugurated today in the framework of the ongoing 30th AU summit in Ethiopia’s Capital, Addis Ababa.

The current chairman of AU and president of Rwanda, Mr. Paul Kagame of Rwanda and chairman of AU Commission, Mr. Moussa Mahamat, unveiled the plaque on the premises of the AU headquarters in Addis Ababa, marking the inauguration of the SAATM.

The SAATM is a flagship project of AU Agenda 2063, which aspires to create a single unified air transport market in Africa, the liberalisation of civil aviation in Africa and as an impetus to the continent’s economic integration agenda.

The launch of SAATM is expected to spur more opportunities to promote trade, cross-border investments in the production and service industries including tourism, resulting in the creation of an additional 300,000 direct and two million indirect jobs.

In order to move the continent forward towards the concrete implementation of the AU Agenda 2063, the 24th Assembly of Head of States and Government, which took place between January 30 and January 31, 2015 in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, adopted the Declaration on the Establishment of a SAATM.

Eleven African Member States championed the Declaration by signing the Solemn Commitment to actualise the Yamoussoukro Decision creating the single market. These Member States were constituted as a Ministerial Working Group with the responsibility to follow-up implementation progress, provide guidance, and spearhead the advocacy campaign to urge more Member States to join the single market.

In May 2016, the AUC wrote to those States that have signed the Solemn Commitment to highlight a number of concrete measures for them to undertake to initiate operationalisation of the single air transport market in the continent as soon as possible.

Among these measures, each State is required to officially publish in accordance with its national regulations or gazette that they are committed to the immediate implementation of the Yamoussoukro Decision under the terms of the Declaration of Solemn Commitment in line with the AU Agenda 2063.

 

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