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Ministry of Aviation held a workshop for stakeholders of west African airlines operators  at Moovenpick Hotel in Accra.

Hon. Cecilia Dapaah who is the current Minister for Aviation emphasized in her speech that, "air transport plays an important role in economic and physical integration of west Africa. If properly harnessed, it could become the key driver of socio-economic development of the 15 member states of the ECOWAS region which currently lacks efficient, reliable and affordable air transport system.

Air transport will facilitate the attainment of ECOWAS's regional integration agenda by providing fast connectivity to major cities in the sub-region whilst contributing to the expansion and deepening of intra-Africa trade and tourism. For these reasons, in July 2000, the conference of Heads of state and Government of the Organisation of Africa Unity( OAU) adopted the Yamoussoukro  Decision (YD) on the Liberalization  of Air Transport Market in Africa. The full implementation of the Decision which was initially approved in November 1999 by the African Ministers responsible for civil Aviation was expected to progressively eliminate all non-physical barriers in the industry, including those linked to the granting of traffic right, tariffs, and the number of frequencies and capacity of air services."

Unfortunately, some African countries are reluctant to fully implement the Yamoussoukro Decision because of the fear of competition from foreign airlines. I therefore wish to take this opportunity to commend the state (including Ghana) which have fully implemented the YD and to urge all ECOWAS member state to sign the AU solemn commitment to the implementation of the single African Air Transport Market (SAATM)  launched on 29th January, 2018, as it will lead to a full liberalization of the African air transport market with significant socio-economic benefits :At the Fourth meeting of the Ministerial Working Group on operationalization of the single Africa Air Transport Market SAATM which took place in Lome, Togo 28th May 2018, exactly two weeks ago, the 26 states which had signed  the solemn commitment to the SAATM further signed a memorandum of implementation the full operationalization of the YD,she said.

Furthermore, the single African Air Transport Market SAATM, matters more now than ever before in the face of global competition, partnerships, alliances and mergers by our foreign competitions."

Hon. Cecilia Dapaah concluded that, "the Republic of Ghana is committed in its efforts to help strengthen the airline industry in west Africa. My Government has accordingly embarked on a strategic development of Ghana's aviation industry :some key on - going projects include :

Construction a new Terminal 3 at the Kotoka International Airport with a thought of 5 million passengers per annum. The Terminal will be commissioned shortly.

The construction of a new Air Navigation services centre. The establishment of a Home-based carrier and upgrade of Kumasi and Tamale airports."

Source | Kofi Dwumah

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