ADDIS ABABA – Cameroon has become the 25th African Union member state to sign the Single African Air Transport Market Memorandum of Implementation, or SAATM MOI, the AU says.
The signing took place at the AU Headquarters in the presence of AUC Infrastructure Commissioner Amani Abou-Zeid and Cameroon’s Ambassador to Ethiopia and Permanent Representative to the AU Churchill E. Monono.
Commissioner Abou-Zeid commended Cameroon for signing the MOI and the revised Constitution of the African Civil Aviation Commission (AfCAC).
Such decisive actions are instrumental to achieving the much-needed economic integration of Africa, the Commissioner noted.
“Fast-tracking the operationalization and implementation of SAATM has been one of our topmost priorities in order not only to support the recovery of the aviation industry after the COVID-19 pandemic but to also reposition the African aviation sector on a renewed path that will enable Africa’s socio-economic integration”, said Abou-Zeid.
The AU Agenda 2063 flagship project seeks to create a single unified air transport market in the continent to advance the liberalization of civil aviation and act as an impetus to Africa’s economic integration agenda.
It aims to achieve this by opening up African skies through the reduction of restrictions on market access and air traffic rights for African airlines.
‘With SAATM, we’re building the Africa we want’
Currently, 37 countries have signed the solemn commitment and 25 have signed the Memorandum of Implementation.
The member states that have joined the SAATM represent 90% of intra-Africa traffic and serve over 600 million people.
As more nations participate, the benefits will likely grow exponentially. Dr. Abou-Zeid said it “will be a game changer for the African Aviation Industry.”.
“With SAATM, we are building the Africa we want. An integrated Africa, where the free movement of people, goods and services is a reality”. She added that “African carriers will be able to realize their full potential”.
For his part, Ambassador Monono described the signing as a milestone for his country Cameroon.
“The implementation of SAATM means more flight options, greater connectivity and lower prices –more people across Africa traveling within Africa,” he said, reaffirming Cameroon’s commitment to the SAATM implementation.
Currently, air travel within Africa is limited by multiple bilateral agreements between each country that restrict access and competition.
By opening up intra-African air transport, AU Officials say the new agreement could provide economic benefits through lower airfares, more flight options, and increased connectivity.
The Commissioner seized the opportunity to call on the remaining member states to join the other signatories so that SAATM implementation will be accelerated.
Signatory Countries to SAATM MOI
Cameroon is now the 25th AU Member State that signed the SAATM Memorandum of Implementation.
The other signatories are Benin, Burkina Faso, Cabo Verde, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Côte d’Ivoire, Equatorial Guinea, Ethiopia, Gabon, Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Liberia, Mali, Morocco, Mozambique, Namibia, Niger, Nigeria, Republic of the Congo, Rwanda, Sierra Leone, Togo, Zimbabwe.
The states that have deposited instruments of ratification of the Revised Constitution of the African Civil Aviation Commission (AFCAC) are Angola, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cabo Verde, Cameroun, Congo, Gabon, Gambia, Kenya, Mali, Mozambique, Niger, Rwanda, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Sudan, Eswatini, Togo, Tunisia.
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