#ADDISABABA READIES TO HOST AFRICAN UNION AVIATION EVENT
(Posted 07th January 2018)
Under the overall theme ‘The Africa We Want – Integration, Peace and Prosperity‘ will the African Union roll out the launch of part of their 2063 Agenda when, between the 25th and 28th of January the AU will kick start the ‘Single African Air Transport Market – SAATM‘.
1. During the 24th Ordinary Session of the African Union (AU) Assembly which took place on 30th and 31st January 2015 in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, the Heads of States and Government adopted a declaration to establish a Single African Air Transport Market (SAATM) Assembly/AU/Decl.1(XXIV). The African Single Air Transport Market is a flagship project under the Agenda 2063. Eleven (11) Member States also declared their Solemn Commitment to establish the Single Market by 2017(Assembly/AU/Commitment (XXIV)). They further agreed to leave the Solemn Commitment open for other Member States to join later on.
2. Basing on the Solemn Commitment, the 11 Member States were constituted into a Ministerial Working Group by the Union Assembly in order to oversee and guide implementation of the agreed activities and road map for the establishment of a Single African Air Transport Market by 2017. The Ministerial Working Group has expanded to include Ministers from Member States that have since joined and is supported by air transport Experts from their respective countries, the AUC, AFCAC, AFRAA, and RECs in collaboration with other key stakeholders.
3. Through the advocacy activities of the African Union Commission, the African Civil Aviation Commissions and current members of the Ministerial Working Group, the number of countries that have signed the Solemn Commitment has increased from eleven to twenty-two, namely: Benin, Burkina Faso, Botswana, Capo Verde, Republic of Congo, Côte d’Ivoire, Egypt, Ethiopia, Gabon, Ghana, Guinea Conakry, Kenya, Liberia, Mali, Mozambique, Nigeria, Rwanda, Sierra Leone, South Africa, Swaziland, Togo and Zimbabwe. These Member States have been requested to implement a number of key steps towards ensuring the full implementation of the Yamoussoukro Decision, the initial condition for the establishment of the Single Market.
4. The twenty-two countries have a combined population of roughly 670 million, more than half the population (57%) of the Continent in 2015. Their combined GDP amounts to 1500 billion US$ in 2015, which is over 65% of the Continent’s GDP with average per capita income of 2,119.5 US$/capita as compared to the Continent’s average of 1888 US$/capita. In 2015, 63.5 million International tourists were recorded in the Continent and the twenty-two countries accounted for over 54% of international visitors (Source: Africa statistical yearbook 2016). The number of countries that have signed the solemn commitment offer a significant single air transport market space, in terms of traffic volumes and airport infrastructure. In 2015, Africa handled 180 million passengers with over 56% handled by airports within the current single market area whilst airlines within the twenty-two countries account for more than 80% of the intra-African traffic.
5. The Single African Air Transport Market was planned to be launched in 2017 as per the Assembly Decision (Assembly/AU/Decl.1 (XXIV) but was postponed to the January Summit of 2018. This concept note describes activities to mark the launching of the Single African Air Transport Market, as a side event of the 30th Ordinary Session of the African Union (AU) Assembly, scheduled from 25- – 28 January 2018 at the Africa Union Commission Headquarters in Addis Ababa.
The targeted participants at the launching event will include high level invitees from the African Union Member States (Heads of States and Government, Ministers and Ambassadors from the Solemn Commitment States,), the international media, representation of global aircraft manufacturers, civil society and the wider public.
The following organisations will therefore be invited at the launch:
a) Current and Outgoing President of the African Union;
b) Leaders of Member States that have signed the Solemn Commitment and their focal persons;
c) Invited SAATM Regional Champions;
d) Individual who have been involved at the conception of the YD and SAATM
e) African Union Commission;
f) United Nation Economic Commission for Africa
g) African Civil Aviation Commission (AFCAC);
h) Regional Economic Communities (RECs);
i) Members of the Monitoring Body of the Yamoussoukro Decision;
j) NEPAD Planning and Coordination Agency (NPCA);
k) African Airlines Association(AFRAA);
l) CEOs of Airlines in Solemn Commitment Member States and CEOs of airports, Aviation Training Centres and ANSPs;
m) African Development Bank (AfDB);
n) Pan Africa Parliament;
o) European Union;
p) Representatives of Foreign Missions in Addis Ababa
q) International Civil Aviation Organisation;
r) Invitation will also be made to all member States who are willing to sign up to the Solemn Commitment to the SAATM;
s) Special Invitees of the aviation industry (IATA, Boeing, Airbus, Transport Canada, EASA, FAA) and other regional aviation organisations; and
t) Other Partners as appropriate.
An aviation trade fair will run parallel with the conference event.
Notably have only 22 countries so far signed on to the AU aviation charter with two major blocks in West and South Africa, where the need to integrate aviation along the lines of the Yamoussoukro Declaration is most urgently felt.
In North Africa it is only Egypt which has come on board and in Eastern Africa, apart from Ethiopia, Kenya and Rwanda, are all other nations conspicuously absent from the accord.