The 29th meeting of the Heads of State and Government of the African Union (AU) has designated 14 November each year as the Yamoussoukro Decision Day (YD Day) to be celebrated at national, regional and continental levels.
Against this background, the African Union Commission (AUC) and the African Civil Aviation Commission (AFCAC) today celebrated the Yamoussoukro Decision (YD) which came into force in 2000 after the approval of the Heads of State and Government of the African Union. for liberalization. of scheduled and non-scheduled air transport services within Africa and with an overall aim of lifting restrictions on traffic rights, capacity and frequency between city couples. The celebration was held under the auspices of HE Faure Essozimna Gnassingbé Eyadéma, President of the Republic of Togo and the champion state of the Single African Air Transport Market (SAATM). Leading participants from Africa and beyond attended the event, including a number of African Ministers in charge of aviation, Secretary-General of the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), the local vice-president of the International Air Transport Association (IATA), Secretary-General of the African Airlines. Association (AFRAA), Secretary-General of Airports Council International Africa (ACI-Africa) and other development partners.
The SAATM instituted by the Assembly of Heads of State and Government at the 24th Ordinary Session of the African Union in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia (30-31 January 2015), is one of the flagship projects implementing the 1999 Yamoussoukro Decision place on the liberalization of the air transport market in Africa within the context of the AU agenda 2063. SAATM aims to ensure the full implementation of the Yamoussoukro Decision (YD) on liberalization of air transport in Africa.
As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, the celebration of the 21st anniversary of the YD was virtually held by the African Civil Aviation Commission in collaboration with the African Union Commission.
In his opening speech, Mr. Tefera Mekonnen Tefera, Secretary General of the African Civil Aviation Commission (AFCAC) said: “Today’s event is intended for us to reflect on the journey we undertook 21 years ago on the liberalization of air transport in Africa. indeed focusing on the SAATM adopted to support the full implementation of the YD.
HE dr. Amani Abou-Zeid, Commissioner for Infrastructure and Energy on behalf of his Excellency, Mr. Moussa Faki Mahamat, chairperson of the African Union Commission, congratulated the 34 AU countries that have joined the SAATM so far and called on
to the remaining member states to join and enjoy the benefits of SAATM. The AU Commissioner congratulated and conveyed her best wishes to the President of Togo HE Faure Essozimna Gnassingbé Eyadéma – Champion of SAATM, AU member states, aviation stakeholders, partners and in particular the AFCAC for all the continued efforts to fully support the YD to implement. and SAATM.
“The time of Africa has arrived. The full implementation of the YD and the operationalization of the SAATM at continental level should no longer be delayed. The benefits to the continent may be unmistakable.” says HE Victoire Sidémého Dzidudu, Prime Minister of the Republic of Togo, speaking on behalf of HE Faure Essozimna Gnassingbé Eyadéma, President of Togo and the champion state of the SAATM.
During the three-hour webinar, AFCAC gave a detailed presentation on the operationalization of the Executive Agency (EA), the implementation status of the joint priority action plan developed with stakeholders and partners on the establishment of SAATM, and sustainable development of air transport in Africa. The webinar provided participants with an opportunity to discuss current challenges, including the delays in the operationalization of SAATM due to the COVID-19, and outlined the reloading and recovery strategies for the African air transport sector during and after COVID-19. consider. The participants also discussed the opportunities and overall benefits associated with the liberalization of African air transport through the full implementation of YD and SAATM. One of the key recommendations was to advocate for and facilitate the involvement of more AU member states in the full implementation of the Yamoussoukro Decision and entry into the Single African Air Transport Market (SAATM).
The event was marked by the signing of agreements for the implementation of the SAATM activities: (i) Operational assistance to SAATM states with regard to safety, security and environmental protection between AFCAC and ICAO; and (ii) Operational assistance to eligible airlines in SAATM states to achieve IATA Standard Safety Assessment (ISSA) and IATA’s Operational Safety Audit Program (IOSA) (IOSA / ISSA) between AFCAC and IATA
Mr. Gabriel Lesa, President of the Bureau of AFCAC in his concluding remarks read by Capt. Nuhu Musa, the DG of the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority closed the event by emphasizing the need for effective cooperation and coordination with stakeholders and development partners on the full implementation of the Yamoussoukro (YD) Decision. “Five years since the establishment of the SAATM, and the outcome of this event today, must be accepted. Our discussions here today have confirmed the need for the development of a sustainable air transport system in Africa,” Mr Lesa added. .
Notes to the editor:
Benefits of liberalization by air transport by the YD and the SAATM
Through the full implementation of the Yamoussoukro Decision, the SAATM will contribute to the socio – economic benefits of the African continent and will also promote the implementation of the integration of the continent, as proposed by Agenda 2063 of the African Union. Liberalization of air transport will lead to increased routes, reduced costs of travel to African citizenship, increased trade, tourism, increase in direct employment and investment, leading to economic growth (GDP) for the African states and the continent. So far, 34 member states have responded to the solemn commitment to implement the SAATM.
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