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Air transport contributes 6.2m jobs, $55.8b to Africa’s GDP

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President of International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO), Dr. Bernard Aliu, has described the African aviation industry as one of the fastest growing industries, as it currently provide 6.2 million jobs and contributes $55.8 billion to Africa’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP).

Speaking at the 50th anniversary celebration of the African Civil Aviation Commission (AFCAC) in Dakar Senegal, Aliu said African aviation market is one of the world’s most promising in terms of its overall growth potential, due largely to emerging industrial sectors and steadily increasing population figures.He said: “In accordance to ICAO’s long-term traffic forecasts, passenger traffic for the Africa region is expected to grow by 4.3 per cent yearly up to 2045, while freight traffic should also expand faster than world average, at 3.9 per cent yearly over the same period.

“These increases should see aviation-related employment in Africa rising to roughly 9.8 million jobs by 2036, and its air transport GDP impacts almost tripling to $159 billion over the same period.”Aliu added the trend underscored the tremendous potential of well-managed and ICAO-compliant air transport growth to lift this continent into a new era of promise and prosperity.

“Air connectivity is a unique and indispensable catalyst for socio-economic growth, and one which facilitates mobility and contributes to the development of trade, tourism, and services both within Africa and between it and the world,” he said.

Aliu attributed the progress to the direct routes air transport established between international destinations and local markets for its critical contributions to State’s achievement of the United Nations Agenda 2030 Sustainable Development Goals, in addition to the implementation of the African Union’s (AU’s) Agenda 2063.

He, however, noted that “we must also recognise and act upon the fact that the current status of connectivity on this continent is still sub-optimal, and thus hindering the realisation of the aviation benefits now awaiting African societies.”

He said in January of 2017, Africa began addressing this situation comprehensively through the establishment of the Single African Air Transport Market (SAATM), a flagship initiative under the AU’s Agenda 2063 and ICAO has being supporting the initiative alongside the implementation of the Yamoussoukro Decision.

He proffered that for Africa to further reap benefits of the air transport, it must optimise its aviation capacities and potential in the years ahead, increase air connectivity, updating of the common African Civil Aviation Policy (AFCAP), States to adopt aviation infrastructure development and related priorities, strengthen and support the African Civil Aviation Commission (AFCAC) and better-trained personnel.

President of AFCAC, Gabriel Lesa, in his remarks noted that it has taken AFCAC a long-time to be able to effectively run its affairs, to the chagrin of most stakeholders at times and even longer to engender confidence and provide assurances in the discharge of its mandate.


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