AFRAA’S 51ST ANNUAL GENERAL ASSEMBLY TAKES OFF IN MAURITIUS
(Posted 12th November 2019)
Uganda Airlines is attending their first AFRAA Annual General Assembly which started on the day the carrier added Mombasa to its growing network.
Cornwell Muleya, CEO of Uganda Airlines, is attending the 51st AGA which is taking place in Mauritius right now.
The airline was just recently admitted to the principal African aviation lobby group, which is based in Nairobi and serves as a platform for African airlines to interact with governments and the AU, among others.
Also attending for the first time are new members Safarilink from Kenya, Air Peace from Nigeria as well as Air Djibouti and Air Senegal. This brings the overall membership of AFRAA to now 42.
The assembly is held this year under the main theme: ‘Success in an integrated and interconnected Africa‘, aiming at increasing air connectivity among African countries and key cities and exploit the growing potential of intra African travel, now that many countries have started to relax Visa requirements in line with AU policy.
Speaking as Chief Guest at the Opening Ceremony, H.E Paramasivum Pillay Vyapoory, Acting President of the Republic of Mauritius said: “I am delighted that the AFRAA AGA is being held in Mauritius following a successful Stakeholder Convention last May. Our island state is a vivid example of the impact Air Connectivity can have on a country’s economy. Africa is a continent of opportunities. Only a collaborative effort from all of us can help unlock the potential of aviation and stimulate further economic growth on our continent. I wish all delegates a fruitful summit.”
In his opening speech, Mr. Abderahmane Berthé, AFRAA Secretary General said: “In an effort to boost the competitiveness of African airlines we have created the AFRAA consulting unit which will serve as a knowledge and expertise hub for the African air transport market. Furthermore, our vision, mission and strategic objectives have been revamped to ensure we can better meet the needs of African carriers so they can become key players and drivers of African economic development. He added that the governance framework of the Association has been redesigned to enhance efficiency and effectiveness.
On his part, Mr. Somas Appavou, CEO of host airline Air Mauritius said: “Most agree that in order for African aviation to achieve its true potential, a major paradigm shift is required; not only among key players, but also among all stakeholders within the continent’s aviation ecosystem. Improved collaboration among African airlines is probably the single most urgent target we must set for ourselves because alone, no African airline will successfully overcome the hurdles of scale and the high cost base that are holding back the African aviation industry.”
Mr. Appavou also reiterated his wish for the creation of a first African Alliance.
Deliberations over the course of the 51st AGA which feature high level partners such as the International Civil Aviation Organization, The International Air Transport Association (IATA), the African civil aviation commission and others will delve into matters of interest of the African air transport market including the reconciling of the Single African Air Transport Market, in short known as SAATM, with individual airline strategic plans, growth avenues to be found in positive synergies and the next steps towards enhancing competitiveness to boost employment creation, revenue generation and continued economic transformation.
SAATM, while showing some progress, has however not taken off as was anticipated by the crafters of this African Union policy tool and only 32 country have so far signed on to this convention. Of those only 18 have launched a Memorandum of Implementation and again only 8 of those have actually taken concrete measures towards the full implementation of SAATM in their airspace.
AFRAA currently represents more than 85% of the air transport market in Africa.