The Chairperson of the African Union, H.E. Paul Kagame, President of Rwanda, on 29 January 2018 at the sidelines of the 30th African Union Summit officially launched the first phase of the Single African Air Transport Market (SAATM) championed by twenty-three African States at the Headquarters of the AU in Addis Ababa – Ethiopia. The launch marks a historic and a vital milestone towards the continental effort to start the implementation of the 1999 Yamoussoukro Decision.
The SAATM will spur more opportunities to promote trade, improve intra-Africa connectivity, cross border investments in the production and service industries, including tourism resulting in the creation of additional jobs.
Mr. Abdérahmane Berthé, the Secretary General of AFRAA lauded the 23 States that are the initial members of the SAATM. “With operationalization of the SAATM, intra-African connectivity will develop and in turn, aviation’s role as an economic driver will grow significantly,” he said. He urged the States to go a step further to ensure they create an enabling operating environment for airlines so that they may realise maximum potential of the SAATM and take advantage of the benefits that aviation brings.
Mr. Berthé appealed to the remaining African states to join the 23 to help in the realisation of the farsighted vision of a Single African Air Transport Market that will help spur the development of African aviation.