The African Civil Aviation Commission (AFCAC) and the African air transport industry today marked the 24th Yamoussoukro Decision (YD) Day Anniversary as part of the Yamoussoukro Week holding in Abuja, Nigeria from November 13 to 16, 2023.
Holding under the theme, “Africa Wants to Fly”, the high level Ministerial meeting called on African States to urgently implement the Single African Air Transport Market (SAATM) as a strategy to enhance economic and social integration of the continent, grow the economy of African States and improve the welfare of Africans.
This year’s anniversary is hosted by Mr. Festus Keyamo (SAN), the Honourable Minister of Aviation and Aerospace Development of the Federal Republic of Nigeria with Mr. Affoh Atcha-Dedji, Minister of Air Transport, Rail and Road of the Republic of Togo, the Champion State of the (SAATM), as the Guest of Honour.
Among other main highlights, the high-level event unfolded new successes in the continent-wide efforts to open up Africa’s air transport market for the benefit of African airlines and economies under the SAATM Pilot Implementation Project (SAATM-PIP) launched during the 23RD YD-Day in Dakar, Senegal in November 2022 by 14 African Ministers of Aviation and Transport.
Ms. Adefunke Adeyemi, the Secretary General of AFCAC, stated: “I encourage governments and all stakeholders at this year’s YD Week anniversary in Abuja to contribute to the implementation of the Single African Air Transport Market (SAATM) and its socio-economic benefits to States, African airlines, investors and air travellers.”
“As the Executing Agency of the Yamoussoukro Decision (YD) and SAATM, which is the flagship project of Africa Union’s Agenda 2063, AFCAC is focused on achieving 30% increased 5th Freedom connectivity in Africa by 2025. I am thrilled that more States are embracing the SAATM for its huge benefits. Africa must remain committed and fast track its efforts to achieve the noble objectives of the SAATM.”
The Secretary General remarked further: “Achieving integration in Africa cannot be over-stated as Africa’s unity, envisioned decades ago, is the bedrock of our continent’s economic transformation. The YD-Week in Abuja offers us the unique opportunity to fast-track the use of air transport to bring Africa’s regions, cultures and economies ever closer and more consolidated.”
The YD Week brought together AU Member States, African and global aviation institutions and partners, Regional Economic Communities (RECs), airlines, airports, air navigation services providers (ANSPs), technical and financial partners, industry associations and other aviation stakeholders to network and discuss the most effective way to fast-track SAATM implementation.
The YD Day was attended by Honourable Ministers of over 12 African States or their representatives and Directors General of Civil Aviation Authorities across Africa and over 200 delegates.
This year’s edition of the YD Day will also feature special awards to recognise efforts towards the success of SAATM implementation.
So far, 37 Member States which account for more than 88% of intra-African traffic and more than 800 million people in Africa have subscribed to the Solemn Commitment to unconditionally implement the YD and SAATM. Also, 23 States have signed the Memorandum of Implementation (MoI) for its operationalization and implementation.