IATA: Calling on African States to Harness the Power of Aviation

Published on : Tuesday, May 24, 2016

iata logoThe International Air Transport Association (IATA) has called on African governments to prioritize the development of aviation nationally and at a pan-African level to bolster economic growth and development.
Africa is set to be one of the fastest-growing aviation regions over the next 20 years, with annual expansion averaging nearly 5%. This opens up incredible economic opportunities for the continent’s 54 nations. By transporting some 70 million passengers annually, aviation already supports some 6.9 million jobs and $80 billion of economic activity on the African continent.
“Aviation has the potential to be a much greater strategic catalyst for growth if governments would stop milking the industry for taxes and enable it with smarter regulations focused on safety and the development of connectivity. The commitments are already there with the Abuja Declaration and the Yamoussoukro Decision. It’s time to achieve them in partnership with industry,” said Hussein Dabbas, IATA’s Regional Vice President for Africa and the Middle East.
“Enhanced Air Transport Connectivity is unarguably the key condition for any State’s progress and transformation. Studies have shown that there is clear correlation between connectivity and economic performance. In addition, improved connectivity attracts inward investment, which enables access to export markets and opens countries up to competitive forces. Air transport is a facilitator of international business and trade. Improved connectivity means more access to cities, markets, business and people as well as the integration into global supply chains, an important factor to attracting inward investment into any country,” Nigeria’s Minister for Aviation, Sen. Hadi Abubakar Sirika.
Sen Sirika and Dabbas was addressing the IATA African Aviation Day in Abuja, Nigeria. The event theme is ‘Driving African Economies through the Power of Aviation’. Key elements essential to air transport development in Africa are on the agenda:

Safety

Connectivity

Infrastructure development

Fuel surcharges

Sustainability

The aviation industry is calling for a mandatory global carbon offset scheme as its preferred measure. Already many African nations, including Nigeria, have rallied for the establishment of an equitable set of market-based measures to offset carbon emissions.
IATA urges all African governments to support a successful agreement on a GMBM at the 39th ICAO Assembly later this year.
The opening session of the Aviation Day featured participation from senior government and industry leaders including Nigeria’s Honorable Minister of State Senator Hadi Sirika, the Director General of the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority Captain Muhtar S. Usman, the Deputy Regional Director of ICAO, Mr. Gaoussou Konate, the Secretary General of the African Civil Aviation Commission (AFCAC), Ms. Iyabo Sosina.

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