Exactly one year after African Heads of State launched the Single African Air Transport Market (SAATM) in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, in January 2018, the African Civil Aviation Commission (AFCAC) announces that Cameroun has signed the Solemn Commitment.
AFCAC, the African Union Commission (AUC)’s Executing Agency (EA) of the SAATM and the Yamoussoukro Decision (YD), remarks: “We congratulate and commend Cameroun for being the 28th country to join the Solemn Commitment. We now urge the Cameroun Civil Aviation Authority to embark on the implementing the concrete measures to fully operationalize the SAATM.”
As at January 2019, Benin, Burkina Faso, Botswana, Capo Verde, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Republic of Congo, Côte d’Ivoire, Chad, Egypt, Ethiopia, Gabon, Gambia, Ghana, Guinea Conakry, Kenya, Lesotho, Liberia, Mali, Mozambique, Niger, Nigeria, Rwanda, Sierra Leone, South Africa, Swaziland, Togo and Zimbabwe, have joined the SAATM.
Also, The Gambia and Mozambique recently signed the Memorandum of Implementation (MoI) to remove restrictions in existing BASAs that are contrary to the YD, thus, increasing SAATM member States that have signed the MoI to sixteen. Fourteen member States including Benin, Cape Verde, Central African Republic, Congo, Côte d’Ivoire, Ethiopia, Ghana, Guinea, Liberia, Mali, Niger, Rwanda, Sierra Leone and Togo signed the MoI for the operationalization of the SAATM in May 2018 at Lome, Togo during the Fourth Meeting of the Ministerial Working Group (MWG) on SAATM.
AFCAC plans to hold the 5th MWG on SAATM in February 2019 in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia to further discussions on the execution of the SAATM. Already, AFCAC is engaging States yet to sign the Solemn Commitment to do so and join the SAATM. The EA also plans the mobilization and optimization of internal resources; the establishment of platform for all financial partners to define areasq of intervention as well as aggressive awareness program with RECs on Instruments of the YD, launch of studies related to operational rules and manuals of the YD, and training of personnel of RECs, and member States, among others.
AFCAC’s new Secretary General, Mr. Tefera Mekonnen, is also leading the Commission in engaging important stakeholders to further the execution of the SAATM. For instance, AFCAC took part in the European Union – African Union task force meeting on Air Connectivity and collaborative works on SAATM Prioritized Action Plan held recently. The outcomes of the meeting will be part of the Prioritized Action Plan for discussion among all Partners.
Photo Caption: Stakeholders at the EU-AU task force meeting on air connectivity and collaborative works on SAATM Prioritized Action Plan, recently