Africa launches single air transport market
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Africa launches single air transport market

Posted ANDUALEM SISAY in Addis Ababa

on  Monday, January 29   2018 at  19:08

The African Union on Monday launched the Single African Air Transport Market (SAATM) in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.

The launch took place on the sidelines of African Union's 30th summit.

Rwandan President Paul Kagame, who took over the AU chairmanship from President Alpha Condé of Guinea, announced the take-off of SAATM.

He noted that the implementation of SAATM and free movement of people and goods in Africa were his priorities for 2018. SAATM is the first AU Agenda 2063 flagship project, which aims to create a unified air transport market to liberalise civil aviation on the continent and to advance Africa’s economic integration agenda.

AU hopes that SAATM will benefit passengers, the airline industry and aircraft manufacturers, while contributing towards the attainment of Agenda 2063.

"Eligible airlines of the 23 countries are, effective this season, entitled to conduct their business into the markets and fully operate the traffic rights provided for in the Yamoussoukro Decision. It is a notable milestone since the adoption of the Yamoussoukro Decision in 1999," AU noted.

The establishment of SAATM as a flagship project of the Agenda 2063, was adopted by the AU Assembly in 2015.

Eleven AU member states have made a commitment to implement the Yamoussoukro Decision that provides for full liberalisation of market between African states, the free exercise of traffic rights, the elimination of restrictions on ownership and the full liberalisation of frequencies, fares and capacities.

To date, 23 AU member states have adhered to the Solemn Commitment. They include Benin, Botswana, Burkina Faso, Cabo Verde, Congo and Cote d'Ivoire.

Other are Egypt, Ethiopia, Gabon, Ghana, Guinea, Kenya, Liberia, Mali, Mozambique, Niger, Nigeria, Rwanda, Sierra Leone, South Africa, Swaziland, Togo and Zimbabwe.