Development bank prepares aviation plan for Africa

11 Apr 18

The African Development Bank is to prepare an aviation strategy to set out how the new Single African Air Transport Market can help to drive growth.

So far 23 countries have signed up to the aviation single market, which was launched by the African Union in January.

“We are keen to support practical efforts by countries, regional organisations and companies from the aviation sector to increase connectivity and open up the African skies,” said Pierre Guislain bank vice-president for the private sector, infrastructure and industrialisation.

The single market allows member state airlines to fly to airports in other member countries without restrictions on ownership and with uniform regulations.

Delegates at a bank conference discussed practical measures needed to achieve growth goals and remove persistent challenges facing African aviation, including high fares, fees and charges, poor infrastructure and expensive access to finance.

The bank said airfares in Africa were two or three times higher than those in other parts of the world for comparable distances.

Delegates called for a greater focus on fleet size, prioritising narrow body and regional aircrafts in aviation financing and urged governments to collaborate more over construction of airports and air navigation infrastructure.

An International Air Transport Association study in 2014 modelled the impact of an open skies agreement among 12 African countries and found passenger traffic was projected to increase by more than 80% to 11 million passenger movements a year and that gross domestic product would grow by US $1.3bn with the creation of 155,000 jobs.

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