African Union launches first phase of Single African Air Transport Market

31 January, 2018

African Union (AU) chairperson and Rwanda's President Paul Kagame launched (30-Jan-2018) the first phase of the Single African Air Transport Market (SAATM) on 29-Jan-2018. AU Commission chairperson Moussa Faki Mahamat recommended the AU Assembly decide to establish SAATM within the AU Agenda 2063 and urged remaining countries to adopt the solemn commitment to implement the 1999 Yamoussoukro Decision. AU Commissioner for Economic Affairs Victor Harrison expressed optimism that SAATM would improve air connectivity in Africa and called for all stakeholders to implement the programme. Ethiopia's Minister of Transport Ambachew Mekonnen said: "The launch of the Single Africa Air Transport Market will have a huge impact on tourism potentials of rapidly growing economies and foster intra-regional cooperation in the continent". Representatives of AU member states, IATA, ICAO, Ethiopian Airlines, Airbus, Boeing and Embraer held a panel discussion on the benefits of SAATM for travellers, the required regulatory frameworks on safety and key strategic solutions for successful implementation. SAATM is expected to pave the way for other projects, including the African Passport, enabling the free movement of people in Africa and the continental free trade area. [more - original PR] [more - original PR - II]