28 countries join Single Africa Air Transport Market

The number of Africa countries that joined Single Africa Air Transport Market (SAATM) has reached 28 says, the Africa Union Commission.

Speaking to reporters in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, Amani Abou-Zeid, Africa Union Commissioner for Infrastructure and Energy, SAATM, which is as one of the mega projects of the AU Agenda 2063, has now joined by 28 countries from the continent.

“The commission has undertaken intensive advocacy for more states to join and about 28 members are at present in the market and covering over 700 million persons,” she said.

It was in 2015 that Africa leaders have adopted the declaration to establish Single Africa Air Transport Market. Initially it was signed by eleven countries namely: Benin, Capo Verde, Republic of Congo, Côte
d’Ivoire, Egypt, Ethiopia, Kenya, Nigeria, Rwanda, South Africa, and Zimbabwe.

SAATM aims to speed the realization of the Africa’s economic integration through easy and free movement of Africans and goods within the continent.

It is expected that by the end of this year the total number of African countries that join SAATM will reach 40. The Africa Union Commission, which has been promoting and facilitating of continental integration, expects that all member states will join SAATM by 2021 connecting the whole continent through air transport.

Ultimate goals
The ultimate objectives of the single market is expected to evolve into a common aviation area.

– It aims to abolish bilateral air service agreement between Member States for intra-Africa traffic with airlines able to fly any intra-African routes based on economic and financial considerations of the market;

– It aims to facilitates trade in services and free movement of goods, enhanced cross-border investment in the industry;

-It aims recognize community airlines owned by African nationals with efficient and effective regional safety oversight agencies;

It aims to apply high safety, security and technical standards, harmonized competition regulation and the revision of visa requirements to enable the free movement of Africans in Africa.