The International Air Transport Association (IATA) and the African Union Commission (AU) have signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) to expand strategic cooperation to further the continent’s economic and social development with the benefits of safe, efficient and sustainable air transport in Africa.
The MoU was signed by IATA’s Director General and CEO, Tony Tyler and AU’s Commissioner for Infrastructure and Energy, Dr. Elham Mahmoud Ahmed Ibrahim.
According to a statement from IATA, the MoU was focused on exchange of information, expertise and capabilities in a number of areas including enhancing security through intelligence-driven, risk-based measures, enhancing safety, reducing accident rates in line with global levels of performance and promoting connectivity.
Other areas include facilitating collaborative decision making in air traffic management and improving the passenger experience through the deployment of IATA’s Fast Travel Program, a suite of projects designed to give passengers more control over their journey through a range of self-service options.
“Africa is set to be one of the fastest-growing aviation regions with 5 percent annual growth forecast over the next 20 years. Achieving this potential will not happen by chance; strong partnerships are the key. This MoU will help ensure that global standards and best practices form the backbone of Africa’s growth as well as position the continent’s 54 nations to promote economic and social development by unleashing the full power of aviation. I congratulate Dr. Ibrahim for her leadership, vision and foresight in driving aviation development in Africa,” said Tyler.
Ibrahim commented: “IATA is a strategic partner in the growth of African aviation. This MoU will commit our two organisations to even closer cooperation on the priorities for African aviation. In particular, we count on IATA to partner with us by providing the requisite technical support in the establishment of the Single African Air Transport Market as part of our long-term vision in the context of the AU Agenda 2063. We are, indeed, dedicated to global best practice as a fundamental for sustained growth in aviation in Africa.”
IATA said the MoU paves the way for further development in African aviation, adding that the industry already supports 6.8 million jobs and generates $72.5 billion of economic activity on the continent.