Africa to implement single air transport market for economic integration -Sirika

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Hadi Sirika, minister of aviation, says Africa has agreed to implement a single air transport market (SAATM) to advance liberalisation.

 

Sirika said this at a five-day International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) air services negotiation event in Abuja on Friday.

 

The minister said SAATM, being a flagship project of the African Union agenda 2063, would boost the continent’s economic integration plans.

 

He said SAATM will ensure aviation plays a major role in connecting Africa, promoting its social, economic and political integration, and boosting intra-Africa trade and tourism.

 

Sirika noted that SAATM was created to expedite the full implementation of the Yamoussoukro Decision.

 

The Yamoussoukro Decision is a treaty adopted by most members of the African Union (AU) which establishes a framework for the liberalisation of air transport services between African countries, as well as fair competition between airlines.

 

“I am very excited for Nigeria to host this very important event,” Sirika said.

 

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“There are new developments that we derived from this, in particular, our resolve to implement single air transport market in Africa (SAATM).

 

“This is in the spirit of actualising agenda 2063 which will unify and integrate Africa and connect its people, future and posture.

 

“It will also open the borders to connect the whole world together.

 

“Aviation ought to play its role in connecting our markets, places, friends, and families among others.”

 

Sirika further said the series of engagements and negotiations during the event indicated that the “ICAAN 2022 was delivered objectively”.

 

He also said the achievement in human and services, improving some memorandum of understanding (MoUs) within the states during the event, would eventually co-increase air connectivity in Africa and globally.

 

On his part, Anthony Derjacques, minister of transport for the Republic of Seychelles, said SAATM would open up Africa’s skies and promote the value of aviation throughout the continent.

 

Derjacques also said opening air arrangements would boost traffic, drive economies and create jobs.

 

Meanwhile, Mohamed Rahma, director, air transport bureau, International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO), commended Nigeria and other stakeholders for their contributions towards a successful ICAAN 2022 event in Nigeria.

 

Rahma added that ICAO’s long-term vision for international air transportation liberation was to improve social and economic needs, expand markets and states collaboration across the world.

 


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