Aviation plays a crucial role in connecting people and facilitating economic growth; Africa stands out as the region with the greatest potential. The industry is estimated to support $63 billion in economic activity and 7.7 million jobs according to the Air Transport Action Group (ATAG).
Amid the potential and opportunities for growth, the air transport sector in Africa faces various challenges that impact the delivery of safe, secure and efficient operations, as well as the competitiveness of Africa’s aviation market.
It is on this backdrop that on 22 August 2023, the African Airlines Association (AFRAA) Secretary General, Mr. Abdérahmane Berthé, and Mr. Kamil Alawadhi – International Air Transport Association (IATA) Regional Vice President Africa & Middle East inked a Letter of Intent for the renewal of the existing Memorandum of Understanding between AFRAA and IATA.
Abderahmane and Kamil further formalised a letter of reciprocal commitment for mutual support towards the six focus areas of Focus Africa initiatives and AFRAA initiatives such as the Aviation Stakeholders Convention (ASC) and the Africa Safety and Operations Summit.
The MoU, which was initially signed in 2018, provides a framework to synergise joint efforts by AFRAA and IATA to aid Africa’s economic growth through a safer, more connected and sustainable aviation industry. Under the MoU, IATA and AFRAA will work on a joint action plan based on the following main areas of cooperation: Building airline resilience through capacity building activities; Attainment of cost containment on user charges and taxes; Enhancement of intra-African connectivity through supporting the implementation of the Single African Aar Transport Market (SAATM); Reduction of carbon emissions in aviation, as aligned with ICAO’s strategy on Environment; Various initiatives in safety, security and flight operations; Passenger and baggage facilitation; Training and commercial and Events.
“The renewal of the MoU between AFRAA and IATA is a noteworthy testament of the commitment of our two organizations to better serve the air transport industry and deliver our respective mandates for the African region. Through enhanced the collaboration, the MoU facilitates the realization of AFRAA and IATA’s common vision for the development of a safe, secure and sustainable aviation industry in Africa,” said Mr. Abderahmane Berthé, AFRAA’s Secretary General.
“Further collaboration on the AFRAA Aviation Stakeholders Convention (ASC) and the AFRAA Africa Safety and Operations Summit and the six focus areas of the Focus Africa initiative including: safety, infrastructure, connectivity, finance and distribution, sustainability and future skills will help unlock the economic opportunities that will drive the growth of the aviation industry across Africa. Together, we can make a difference and create a brighter future for the African aviation industry.” Mr. Berthé added.