It may have taken almost a couple of decades, but the Yamoussoukro Decision was announced to be fully implemented today at a press conference that was held at the Bole International Airport. With 23 countries having already accepted the commitment to liberalise the African skies, the launch of the Single African Air Transport Market (SAATM) is a flagship project of the African Union’s action plan, Agenda 2063.
Tewolde GebreMariam (centre-right), CEO of Ethiopian Airlines Group, and Henock Tefera, vice president for strategic planning and alliance at Ethiopian Airlines, were at the occasion. Wosenyeleh Hunegnaw (Col.) (left), director-general of Ethiopian Civil Aviation Authority and Tefera Mekonnen (centre-left), director of Air Transport at the African Civil Aviation Commission (AfCAC), likewise attended the event at the headquarters of Ethiopian, which had around eight million passengers passing through last year.
The Yamoussoukro was adopted in November 1999, at a meeting between African ministers in charge of civil aviation in their respective countries in Cote d’Ivoire. The SAATM came 14 years later as part of Agenda 2063, which considers an integration of Africa’s airspace a critical step towards the socio-economic transformation of the continent over half a century. Such a single air market is expected to create 300,000 jobs.