Sep 11, 2018: The much-awaited event AIR CARGO AFRICA 2019 has unveiled its theme, titled ‘Liberalisation & Modernisation: The way to push frontiers of excellence in air freight industry in Africa’. The 5th edition of the event will be held from February 19-21, 2019 at the Emperors Palace in City of Ekurhuleni, Johannesburg, South Africa. It is organised by The STAT Trade Times, the flagship magazine of the transport and logistics specialist publishing company STAT Media Group.

Speaking on the occasion, RK Patra, Editor-in-Chief, STAT Media Group stated, “I am happy to announce the theme for AIR CARGO AFRICA 2019, at a time when there are many factors that support the African aviation industry in general and air cargo in particular. I believe that trade agreements like Single African Air Transport Market (SAATM) and African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA) should be seen in the context of the African Union’s (AU) Agenda 2063, which is a continental programme that aims to achieve a monumental shift in the improvement of Africa’s economy over the coming decades. The bigger goal, eventually, is to have free movement of people and goods. Enhanced connectivity will stimulate demand, improve the competitiveness of the African airline industry, and make air travel more accessible. In turn, this will enable higher volumes of trade, expanded tourism and growing commerce between African nations and with the rest of the world. The attempt in Africa right now is to stimulate economic growth with open skies to replicate Europe, which, I think, is ambitious but achievable."

AIR CARGO AFRICA has already attracted sponsorships from key air cargo stakeholders like Swissport Cargo Services, Miami International Airport (MIA) and many more.

The African states have made great strides in 2018 to make the continent's skies open and borderless to allow free movement of people and goods. Early this year, at the African Union Summit, 23 African states, including South Africa, Nigeria and Kenya, launched SAATM in a bid to boost connectivity, reduce fares and stimulate economic growth on a continent widely considered the most expensive and inconvenient to fly around.

The year also saw African leaders sign AfCFTA that would unite the 55-member countries of the AU in tariff-free trade across the continent. Launched in Kigali, Rwanda, AfCFTA would consolidate a market of 1.2 billion people and a gross domestic product of $2.5 trillion. This is part of the continent's ambitious drive to transform its economy, creating more effective integration of state and regions and realigning various economic sectors to ensure that the continent achieves its economic goal.

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