African Union Heads of State and Government meeting in Addis Ababa, launched the Single African Air Transport Market.
This transpired through 28th-29th January, 2018.
The Single African Air Transport Market is a flagship project of the African Union Agenda 2063 and was adopted by the Assembly in 2015.
It is intended to ease up intra-African air transport.
This is considered a step forward for transportation in Africa by the incoming Chairperson of the African Union and also President of Rwanda, H.E. Paul Kagame.
He said "Freedom of movement of people in Africa is important and it is achievable in 2018," he insisted, "by committing to break down these barriers, we will send a tremendous signal to Africa and beyond that it is no longer business as usual."
The goal in this is to achieve a single African air market into a common aviation area.
Intentions are to do away with the prominent bilateral service agreements between states and airlines, and instead have airlines flying intra-African routes based on economic and financial considerations of the market.
It would also result in revision of visa requirements to enable free movement of Africans in the rest of the African continent.
Hon. Jacqueline Amongin, a one Ugandan Pan African Parliament member attended the Summit, and did ascend to this as a positive step to quality aviation services in Africa.
Quality air transport services such as:
- Improved safety within the African continent.
- Cheap fares within the African continent.
- Increased traffic within the African continent.
In response to the summit, she assumed "for a harmonized air transport system in Africa to be achieved, corruption must be at zero level; and I do hope that the leaders of the various member states implement what they have agreed on."
"Mobility of Africans will be easy and this will promote interaction and trade in Africa because as of now, if one wants to go to certain parts of Africa, one has to go through Europe," one more Hon. Okot Ogong noted.
So far there are 23 countries out of the 55 Member States that have committed to the single air transport market, namely: Benin, Botswana, Burkina Faso, Cape Verde, Congo, Cote d'Ivoire, Egypt, Ethiopia, Gabon, Ghana, Guinea, Kenya, Liberia, Mali, Mozambique, Niger, Nigeria, Rwanda, Sierra Leone, South Africa, Swaziland, Togo and Zimbabwe.
During the Summit, the Heads of State also discussed progress of implementation of Agenda 2063.
This agenda entails more visions not forgetting the prospects of Smart Cities in Africa as a way to respond to the growing urban populations and climatic changes.
Find more details on Single African Air Transport Market here: https://au.int/sites/default/files/newsevents/workingdocuments/33100-wd-6a-brochure_on_single_african_air_transport_market_english.pdf
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