The African Union Commission is set to launch the Single African Air Transport Market (SAATM) in Ethiopia next week, the first AU Agenda 2063 flagship project.
BY BUSINESS REPORTER
The launch of SAATM comes nearly two decades after the adoption of the 1999 Yamoussoukro Decision to open up Africa’s airspace.
Speaking ahead of the launch event scheduled for Sunday, Amani Abou-Zeid, Commissioner for Infrastructure and Energy at the African Union Commission said: “With preparations continuing on schedule, the launch of the Single African Air Transport Market will 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 contributing immensely to the integration and socio-economic growth of the continent.”
Abou-Zeid said the aviation industry currently supports eight million jobs in Africa and SAATM was created with the aim of enhancing connectivity, facilitating trade and tourism, creating employment, and ensuring that the industry plays a more prominent role in the global economy and significantly contributing to the AU’s Agenda 2063.
“The AU Summit will also see the adoption of the regulatory text of the Yamoussoukro Decision, that is, the competition and consumer protection regulations that safeguards the efficient operation of the market,” she said.
So far, 23 African countries out of 55 have subscribed to the Single African Air Transport Market, whereas 44 African countries signed the Yamoussoukro Decision.