The long-awaited Single African Air Transport Market (SAATM) will be launched this week by the African Union heads of states that have converged in Ethiopia’s capital Addis Ababa.
SAATM which will be launched on January 28 will be the first AU Agenda 2063 Flagship project to be launched. It’s aimed at creating a unified air transport market in Africa.
Speaking ahead of the launch event, Dr. Amani Abou-Zeid, Commissioner for Infrastructure and Energy at the African Union Commission said;
‘‘As the first of the 12 African Union’s Agenda 2063 flagship projects to be launched, the implementation of SAATM will pave the way for other flagship projects as the African Passport and enabling the Free Movement of People, the Continental Free Trade Area (CFTA).’‘
The AU Commission believes SAATM will spur more opportunities to promote trade, cross-border investments in the production and service industries including tourism creating additional 300,000 jobs directly and 2 million indirect jobs for people across the continent.
“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.
The Yamoussoukro Decision was adopted nearly two decades ago in 1999.
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.
The 30th AU Summit kicked off Monday at the headquarters of the AU in Ethiopia’s capital Addis Ababa.
Several heads of states, ambassadors and officials of the 55 AU member states are meeting in Addis Ababa for the summit, under the theme, ‘Winning the Fight against Corruption: A Sustainable Path to Africa’s Transformation’.