IATA: Liberalised African air markets bring benefits

Report by InterVISTAS outlines the benefits that would accrue if 12 African nations were to implement the 1999 Yamoussoukro Decision.


IATA


The International Air Transport Association (IATA) published a report setting out the considerable social and economic benefits of intra-African air service liberalisation.

The report, by independent economic consultants InterVISTAS, outlines the benefits that would accrue if 12 African nations were to implement the 1999 Yamoussoukro Decision. The 12 nations in the report are: Algeria, Angola, Egypt, Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya, Namibia, Nigeria, Senegal, South Africa, Tunisia and Uganda.  The Yamoussoukro Decision committed 44 signatory countries to deregulating air services and to opening regional air markets to transnational competition. The implementation of this agreement, however, has been slow, and the benefits have not been realized.

“This report demonstrates beyond doubt the tremendous potential for African aviation if the shackles are taken off. The additional services generated by liberalisation between just 12 key markets will provide an extra 155,000 jobs and $1.3 billion in annual GDP. A potential five million passengers a year are being denied the chance to travel between these markets because of unnecessary restrictions on establishing air routes.  Furthermore, employment and economic growth are just the tip of the iceberg in terms of the benefits of connectivity. Aviation is a force for good, and plays a major role in helping to reach the African Union’s mission of an integrated, prosperous and peaceful Africa,” said Tony Tyler, IATA’s Director General and CEO.

“The study clearly highlights the crucial role air transport plays in driving economic and social development in Africa through enhanced connectivity. Governments should support the growth of the industry by fully liberalizing African skies as intended by the Yamoussoukro Decision, while providing other facilitator assistance like implementing global standards in safety, security and regulations, reducing high charges, taxes and fees and removing visa requirements for ease of movement across the continent,” said Dr. Elijah Chingosho, Secretary-General of the African Airlines Association.