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MoTL reiterates Ethiopia’s continued commitment towards implementation of SAATM

Addis Ababa, June 20, 2023 (FBC) – The government of Ethiopia will continue to play its role by taking the initiative endorsed by the African Union towards the implementation of Single African Air Transport Market (SAATM), State Minister of Transport and Logistics, Dhenge Boru said.

This was disclosed at the opening of the two-day Focus Africa Conference kicked off today in Addis Ababa.

Focus Africa has brought together airline CEOs along with aviation leaders, decision makers and influencers from Africa, the Middle East and globally to collaboratively drive the advancement of aviation in Africa.

At the opening of the conference, State Minister of Transport and Logistics, Dhenge Boru said the government of Ethiopia is committed to taking part in the initiative that AU is advocating to ease the movement of people and liberalize traffic rights.

He recalled that African heads of states have been promoting enabling initiative such as Single African Air Transport Market (SAATM) and the Africa Continental Free Trade Areas (AfCFTA) which are instrumental in enhancing people to people and economic ties within African nations, ENA reports.

He said “my government will continue to play its role in the initiative endorsed by the African Union towards the implementation of SAATM.”

Moreover, he elaborated that the home-grown Ethiopian Airlines is playing  its role to integrate several economies in the continent and beyond.

We value the importance of air transport to socio-economic development of our country and the continent, he underlined.

To this effect, he said Ethiopia has put in place the required infrastructure that facilitate the development of aviation.

The International Air Transport Association (IATA) Director General, Willie Walsh said on his part some 23 countries signed a Memorandum of Understandings in the implementation of SAATM.

“But none unfortunately have ratified this,” he said.

Full implementation of SAATM across the continent has the potential to generate nearly 600,000 jobs and over 3.9 billion US dollars in GDP, he added.

Walsh further said in Ethiopia alone, we believe SAATM could support an additional 21,000 jobs and contribute over 80 million US dollars to GDP.

“We have launched Focus Africa to strengthen aviation’s contribution to the economic and social development and to support the development of the market,” he noted.

CEO of Ethiopian Airlines, Mesfin Tasew said African airlines and partners have to work together with better cooperation to overcome challenges facing the airlines today.

He reaffirmed that Ethiopian Airlines is committed to advocating free movement of people and goods in the continent.

He called on all actors of African aviations to join hand and collectively voice for the fast implementation of SAATM and AfCFTA.

Focus Africa also seeks to develop a safer, more secure, and better-connected continent, driven by a diverse, skilled workforce to unleash aviation’s potential and unlocks the commercial and economic opportunities that will help grow the industry across the continent.

The conference will focus on Africa’s challenges and opportunities include improving safety and security, smarter regulations, strengthening connectivity, airlines modern retailing, among other issues.

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