Addis Ababa, 4 April 2018: The Chairperson of the African Union Commission, Moussa Faki Mahamat, received yesterday the Minister of Infrastructure and Transport of the Togolese Republic, Mr. Ninsao Gnofam. The Minister delivered a message from President Faure Essozimna Gnassingbé, regarding the Single African Air Transport Market and the related decision of the January 2018 Ordinary Session of the Assembly of the Union appointing the latter as the Champion for this initiative. 

The Chairperson of the Commission expressed gratitude to President Faure Gnassingbe for having accepted to assume the role of Champion for the Single Air Market, which, along with the African Continental Free Trade Area and the Protocol on the Free Movement of Persons and the African Passport, is key to the integration of the continent. He looks forward to his leadership and support for the effective implementation of this flagship project of Agenda 2063, including the designation of regional Champions to strengthen advocacy. While noting that 25 Member States are now part of the Single Air Market and that others have already indicated interest in joining it, the Chairperson observed that a large membership was essential for the expected huge economic benefits to materialize. 

The Chairperson of the Commission and the Minister welcomed the ongoing efforts to mobilise all key stakeholders towards the effective implementation of the Single Air Market. They also underlined the need to address the challenges facing the African Civil Aviation Commission (AFCAC), which is the designated Executing Agency for the implementation of the Yamoussoukro Decision on the liberalization of air transport markets in Africa and the Single Air Market. Critical in this respect is the need for the expeditious appointment of a substantive Secretary-General for AFCAC. 

The Minister informed the Chairperson that President Faure Gnassingbe is planning to convene a ministerial meeting in Lomé, in May 2018, which will bring together all key stakeholders, to take forward the commitments made, including through the signature of a common agreement among the members of the Single Air Market that would render the recourse to bilateral air service agreements unnecessary. 

Posted by Limi Mohammed
Last updated by Abraham Kebede

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