These 28 African nations are ready to liberalise the continent's air transport

In order to foster a safe, secure, efficient, affordable and sustainable air transport industry in Africa, 28 nations have agreed to implement the Single African Air Transport Market (SAATM).

Nigeria's aviation minister Hadi Sirika, pictured July 2018. (File photo)

Hadi Sirika, Nigeria's Minister of State for Aviation, stated this during an interview at the end of the Second Ordinary Session of the AU Specialised Technical Committee on Transport, Transcontinental and Inter-regional Infrastructure, in Cairo, Egypt, the Nation Newspaper reports.

According to the report, Sirika called on more African states to adopt the single air transport scheme of the African Union (AU).

He listed the following countries that have indicated interest as Benin, Burkina Faso, Botswana, Cape Verde, Central African Republic, ChadCongo, Côte d’Ivoire, Egypt, and Ethiopia.

Others are Gabon, Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Kenya, Liberia, Mali, Mozambique, Niger, Nigeria, Rwanda, Sierra Leone, South Africa, Swaziland, Togo, and Zimbabwe.

He said the single air transport market will stimulate intra-regional connectivity between the capital cities of Africa by creating a unified air transport market and act as an impetus to the continent’s economic integration and growth agenda.

What is Single African Air Transport Market (SAATM)?

The Single African Air Transport Market (SAATM) is a flagship project of the African Union Agenda 2063, to create a single unified air transport market in Africa, the liberalisation of civil aviation in Africa and as an impetus to the Continent’s economic integration agenda, according to a document paper seen by Business Insider SSA by Pulse.

It was part of the projects ratified at the 50th anniversary of the OAU/AU in 2013 including the African Union Passport.

African nations are discussing many projects aimed at increasing economic ties, inter-trade and development. Chief among these projects include the African free trade agreement which is expected to kick-off in May 2019.

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