Africa launches single air transport market
The African Union recently launched the Single African Air Transport Market initiative to open up air travel across the continent.
ADDIS ABABA, ETHIOPIA — Africa is finally taking a big step towards freeing their skies for air travel, nearly three decades after it was first proposed.
CNN reports that 23 African countries have signed on to the Single African Air Transport Market initiative, or SAATM, which was launched by the African Union on January 28. 32 other AU member countries have yet to join.
Africans make up 17% of the world population, but only 2-4 percent of global air travelers. Flights within the continent are often inconvenient and time-consuming.
But with the single air market, more direct routes are expected to open up between African countries, with lower ticket prices.
The increased service will result in more jobs, and a boost in intra-African trade and tourism could generate millions in additional spending.
The aviation initiative is part of the Agenda 2063 project, which aims for a unified Africa.
It successfully pushed for relaxed visa rules for citizens in several countries, and is now working to launch an African Union passport for all Africans by 2020.
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