#Yamoussoukro Declaration celebrated in #Kigali as the #AFRAA #AGA49 draws to a close


(Posted 14th November 2017)

The 29th Assembly of the Heads of State and Government endorsed that 14th November of every year as the Yamoussoukro Decision Day and should be celebrated at National, Regional and Continental levels under the theme, ‘Launching the Single African Air Transport Market (SAATM) January 2018

The festivities are taking place today at Marriott Hotel starting at 6:00 pm as the #AFRAA Annual General Assembly is drawing to a close for which RwandAir was host airline, excelling as usual. The Guest of Honor will be the Minister of Infrastructure and present will be numerous attendees from the aviation fraternity across Africa.

In 2015, the declaration of solemn commitment by African states to open up their skies was initially signed by 11 states at the African Union summit in January 2015 and since then 12 more states have appended their signature to the solemn commitment.

These African states include; Rwanda, South Africa, Benin, Côte d’Ivoire, Kenya, Botswana, Burkina Faso, Cape Verde, Republic of Congo, Egypt, Ethiopia, Gabon, Ghana, Guinea, Liberia, Mali, Mozambique, Nigeria, Sierra Leone, Senegal, Swaziland, Togo and Zimbabwe but notably not Uganda or Tanzania.

This continuous commitment by African states, is a realization of the enormous benefits airports, airlines, passengers and related aviation services stand to gain by removing barriers through liberalization of the African skies. And of course the huge economic gains for countries.

This is a commendable dedication by the African Union and African Civil Aviation Commission which is worth celebrating since the first meeting in 1988 of the Yamoussoukro declaration in a first attempt to unify segmented African transport markets with a purpose to create a conducive environment for the development of the intra-African and international air services.

Then in 1999 in Cote d’Ivoire, came the endorsement of the Yamoussoukro Decision by the Assembly of Heads of state and Government of the African Union. It called for the liberalization of the African skies and the removal of market limitations brought about by Bilateral Air Service Agreements (BASAs), this was with an aim of establishing a single African air transport Market and ensuring that states reap maximum economic benefits from it.

This culminated into the signing of a solemn commitment by 22 African states which is a ground-breaking achievement as more African countries are expected to commit and take implementation strides like the Government of Rwanda which apart from signing the solemn commitment has also taken pragmatic steps to make implementations in regard to the YD like notifying other states in writing on the readiness to implement the provisions of the YD as well as reviewing 23 BASAs to provide unrestricted fifth freedom traffic rights.

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