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AUC Stages Capacity Building Workshop on Liberalising Aviation in Africa

Dates: 
February 18, 2019

AUC Stages Capacity Building Workshop on Liberalising Aviation in Africa

Addis Ababa, 18th February 2019: The African Union Commission (AUC) has set into motion a three-day capacity building workshop for Member States and Regional Economic Communities (RECs) on the application and domestication of the Yamoussoukro Decision instruments in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia from 18 to 22 February 2019.

The overall objectives of the meeting were twofold: the first is capacity building on the Yamoussoukro Regulatory Texts including the Competition and Consumer protection regulations, scheduled for 18-20 February 2019. The second objective is to further facilitate consultative talks on existing bilateral air service agreements between Member States, which have subscribed to the Solemn Commitment.

The African Union Commission Director for Infrastructure and Energy, Mr. Cheikh Bedda in his welcome address highlighted the importance of the workshop and recalled that the decision establishing the Single African Air Transport Market (SAATM) directed the African Union Commission and the Executing Agency, the African Civil Aviation Commission (AFCAC), to expedite completion of the activities on the SAATM Road Map, ensure awareness and dissemination of key continental aviation frameworks especially the Yamoussoukro Decision Regulatory and Institutional Texts, the African Civil Aviation Policy (AFCAP) and the External Policy Guidelines as well as undertake capacity building of Member States and RECs on application and domestication of the Yamoussoukro Decision instruments.

“The AU Commission, therefore, looks forward to each entity to play its role in the implementation of the Yamoussoukro Decision, with the United Nations Economic Commission of Africa as the Secretariat of the Monitoring Body of the Yamoussoukro Decision, and AFCAC as the Executing Agency ensuring that these regulations are implemented effectively,” Mr. Bedda stated.

The Director, while reiterating the need for the capacity building workshop, also noted “Airlines and the consumers need to be sensitized on these regulations. The Executing Agency is expected to organize similar dissemination events in the regions in collaboration with the Regional Economic Communities,” the Director added.

Mr. Edward Olowo-Okere, Governance Director at the World Bank Group in his opening remarks complemented the role of the SAATM to support the AfCTA and Free Movement of Persons to facilitate trade in services, and movement of goods and cross border investments through the liberalization of the air transport market in Africa.

“I pledge the Bank’s support to mobilise additional financing in support of the operationalisation and implementation of the SAATM through skills development and awareness-raising activities in air transport policies”, Mr. Edward Olowo-Okere stated.

Also delivering opening addresses were Mr. Gabriel Lesa, President of the Bureau of the African Civil Aviation Commission and Mr. Abdérahmane Berthe, the Secretary General of the African Airlines Association.

Representatives from Cabo Verde and Nigeria shared their experiences on the regulation of consumer protections, whilst ECOWAS, EAC and ECCAS shared their existing regulation on the same subject.

Participants of the workshop appreciated the regulatory framework for managing competition within the Single African Air Transport Market and the rules on protecting the consumer.

More than ninety-five participants from the African Union Commission, AFCAC, UNECA, AFRAA, the World Bank, the Regional Economic Communities, the European Union and Member States attended the meeting.

The workshop was organized by the AUC, supported by the African Civil Aviation Commission (AFCAC), the World Bank and Airbus.

The Decision Relating to the implementation of the Yamoussoukro Declaration concerning the liberalisation of Access to Air Transport Markets in Africa, also known as the Yamoussoukro Decision (YD), was formulated by the African Aviation Ministers in the city of Yamoussoukro in Côte D’Ivoire in 1999. It was, subsequently, adopted by the Assembly of Heads of State and Government in July, 2000 in Lomé, Togo [AHG/OUA/AEC/Dec.1 (IV)].

Note to the Editor

The Declaration on the establishment of a Single African Air Transport Market, as a flagship project of the AU Agenda 2063, was adopted by the African Union (AU) Assembly in January 2015. Immediately thereafter, eleven (11) AU Member States declared their Solemn Commitment to establish a Single African Air Transport Market through full implementation of the Yamoussoukro Decision of 1999 that provides for full liberalization of market access between African States, free exercise of traffic rights, elimination of restrictions on ownership and full liberalization of frequencies, fares and capacities.

To date, the number of Member States that have adhered to the Solemn Commitment has reached twenty-eight (28), namely: They are: Benin, Burkina Faso, Botswana, Cabo Verde, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Chad, Congo, Côte d’Ivoire, Egypt, Ethiopia, Gabon, Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Kenya, Lesotho, Liberia, Mali, Mozambique, Niger, Nigeria, Rwanda, Sierra Leone, South Africa, Eswatini, Togo and Zimbabwe.

For media enquiry:
Sophia Nesri | PIDA Information Analyst | Department of Infrastructure and Energy | African Union Commission I E-mail: sophian@africa-union.org I Web Site: www.au.int I Addis Ababa,Ethiopia

For further information contact
Directorate of Information and Communication | African Union Commission I E-mail: dic@africa-union.org I Web Site: www.au.int I Addis Ababa | Ethiopia

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