The African Union Commission is set to launch the first AU Agenda 2063 Flagship project, the Single African Air Transport Market (SAATM), in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, on 28th January 2018 as a historic event at the African Union Summit, nearly two decades after the adoption of the 1999 Yamoussoukro Decision.
Speaking ahead of the launch event, Dr. Amani Abou-Zeid, Commissioner for Infrastructure and Energy at the African Union Commission said “With preparations continuing on schedule, the launch of the Single African Air Transport Market will spur more opportunities to promote trade, cross-border investments in the production and service industries, including tourism resulting in the creation of an additional 300,000 direct and two million indirect jobs contributing immensely to the integration and socio-economic growth of the continent.”
The Commissioner stated that the aviation industry currently supports eight million jobs in Africa and hence SAATM was created with the aim of enhancing connectivity, facilitating trade and tourism, creating employment, and ensuring that the industry plays a more prominent role in the global economy and significantly contributing to the AU’s Agenda 2063.
“The AU Summit will also see the adoption of the regulatory text of the Yamoussoukro Decision, that is, the competition and consumer protection regulations that safeguards the efficient operation of the market,” the Commissioner added.
An exhibition billed “Flying the AU Agenda 2063 for an integrated, peaceful and prosperous Africa” will be unveiled to mark the launch, as well as ribbon cutting and the inauguration of the commemorative plaque.
So far, 23 African countries out of 55 have subscribed to the Single African Air Transport Market whereas 44 African countries signed the Yamoussoukro Decision.