Africa Needs a Single Air Transport Market Urgently: AFRAA
To unlock the economic and social benefits of air connectivity, African governments must urgently implement the African Union Single Africa Air Transport Market (SAATM) project to liberalize the continent’s skies. That was the message of Secretary General of the African Airline Association (AFRAA) Abderahmane Berthe speaking in a 15-minute interview with moderator Anita Mendiratta from CNN.
Journeys that should take a few hours can take days simply because the air connectivity does not exist, Berthe noted. This inefficiency has an enormous economic cost. The low density of the African intra-continental network makes it impossible to realize the potential benefits of a connected African economy.
Opening Africa’s borders to domestic passengers was also highlighted by Berthe as a priority. Currently, citizens of 35 countries including Sierra Leone, Egypt, Morocco, and Angola need visas to travel to at least 26 countries or more. Across the continent, only Seychelles and Benin offer visa-free access to all African travelers.