The aviation industry in Africa is set to celebrate the anniversary of the Yamoussoukro Decision (YD) on Friday, November 14, 2020 online. The YD is a continent-wide decision for the liberalization of the air transport industry in Africa with the attendant improvement of the industry to catalyze economic development in Africa.
The 29th Assembly of the Heads of State and Government of the African Union (AU) endorsed the designation of 14th November of every year as the Yamoussoukro Decision Day (YD-DAY) to be celebrated at National, Regional and Continental levels.
“This year’s YD Day Anniversary is being jointly organized by the African Union Commission (AUC) and the African Civil Aviation Commission (AFCAC) with the Champion President of the Single African Air Transport Market (SAATM) H.E Faure Essozimna Gnassingbé Eyadéma (President of Togo) as the Special Guest of Honour,” AFCAC said.
According to AFCAC, “this special event will be hosted via webinar on Friday, 13 November 2020 at 11:00 (UTC) and it will provide AFCAC the opportunity to present the status of the operationalization of the Executive Agency of the YD.”
AFCAC explained further that the event will offer the opportunity to “foster awareness on the opportunities and overall benefits associated with the liberalization of the African air transport through the YD, as well as advocate and facilitate the involvement of more States in the full implementation of the Yamoussoukro Decision and joining the Single African Air Transport Market (SAATM), amongst others.”
The session would witness a Panel discussion on the implementation of the YD, operationalization of the Executing Agency (EA) of the YD and the various elements of sustainable development of air transport in Africa – The journey so far.
The Yamoussoukro Decision which entered into force in 2000 following its endorsement by Heads of State and Government of the African Union provides for the liberalization of scheduled and non-scheduled air transport services within Africa and aims at removing restrictions on traffic rights, capacity and frequency between city pairs.
The Single African Air Transport Market (SAATM) established by the Assembly of Heads of State and Government during the 24th Ordinary Session of the African Union in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia (30-31 January 2015), is one of the AU flagship projects of the Agenda 2063, which places the implementation of the 1999 Yamoussoukro Decision on the Liberalization of Air Transport Market in Africa within the context of the AU Agenda 2063. SAATM aims to ensure the full implementation of the Yamoussoukro Decision (YD) on air transport liberalization in Africa.
The Heads of State and Government also adopted the “Solemn Commitment” made by Champion States on the Establishment of the SAATM. SAATM was officially launched on 29 January 2018 by the 30th Ordinary Summit of the African Union held in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. SAATM is a crucial logistic infrastructure for the successful operation of the African Continental Free Trade Area, complemented by the protocol on the Free Movement of People and goods and the African Passport.
The webinar will drive full implementation of the YD and SAATM by all AU member States in order to contribute to the AU-Agenda 2063; enhanced understanding and appreciation by Member States on the opportunities and overall benefits associated with the liberalization of the African air transport through the YD; as well as enhanced understanding on the application, domestication and/or harmonisation of the Continental Regulatory Instruments with those of existing national and sub-regional regulations.
Furthermore, it will provide opportunity for shared experiences among Member States and/or RECs on implementation of Concrete Measures; enhanced understanding of the progress and challenges of the implementation of the YD and the eight (8) concrete measures of the SAATM among the member States; as well as more States to join the Solemn Commitment made on establishment and operationalization of the SAATM.
The event will seek to also improve AFCAC’s visibility as the Specialized Agency of the AU on all civil aviation matters in Africa and Executing Agency of the YD and SAATM; and foster appreciation among Stakeholders on the need for enhancement of collaboration for sustainable development of air transport in Africa through full implementation of the YD and SAATM. It will also promote common understanding among stakeholders on the Work Plan of the Executing Agency and the establishment of the SAATM, among others.
The event will be attended by high-level delegates from AUC, AUC-Regional Economic Communities, Ministries of Transport and Aviation, Civil Aviation Authorities in Africa as well as global and regional aviation organizations, among others.