The African Union is promoting the establishment of a single market for air transport in Africa, which will have the goal of liberalising air transport in the continent.
Some 28 African countries have already joined the Single African Air Transport Market (SAATM), with over 700 million people covered out of the over 1.2 billion population of the continent, according to the A U.
In a press conference on Friday February 8, the AU’s commissioner for infrastructure and energy, Dr. Abou-Zeid Amani, said the AU aims to have a membership of at least 40 member states joining the market by the end of this year, and all member states joining the market by 2021.
“Member states in the market have taken measures to harmonize their bilateral air service agreements with 16 countries signing a memorandum of implementation, removing all restrictions in their bilateral air service agreements to make them compliant with provisions of the Yamoussoukro decision on the liberalization of air transport markets in Africa,’ Amani said.
According to the commissioner, the African civil aviation commission along with the AU, are in the process of drawing up the competition and consumer protection regulations for the SAATM.
The SAATM is expected to speed up connectivity across the continent, leading to sustainable development of tourism industries, and will make a major contribution to economic growth, job creation, prosperity and integration in Africa.
Of the traffic out of Africa, 80% is carried by non-African airlines, and the commission will soon validate and disseminate the external policy guidelines for the negotiation of air service agreements with non-African countries or regions.
With regard to energy development in Africa, the commissioner said about 30 renewable energy projects have been launched across the continent, with the capacity of generating 27,000 MW and the commission’s geothermal facility will inject $117 million to those projects.
Africa accounts for about 12% of the world’s technically feasible hydro power potential that could generate over 1,800 TWH/yr of electricity, solar energy 11TW, biomass is estimated at 70 billion tonnes and geothermal over 15,000MW.