A three-day workshop on Single African Air Transport Market (SAATM) is being held from March 18-20, 2024 at the East African School of Aviation of the Kenya Civil Aviation Authority (KCAA).

The workshop was officially opened by Eric Ntagengerwa, Head of Transport and Mobility, African Union Commission, says an official release from the African Airlines Association (AFRAA).

Abderahmane Berthé, Secretary General, AFRAA thanked the African Union Commission (AUC), the African Civil Aviation Commission (AFCAC) and the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UN-ECA) for their efforts

towards the effective enforcement of SAATM through the installation of the dispute settlement mechanism (DSM) secretariat in Dakar during the last quarter of 2023, and the on-going process of appointment of the members of the DSM Administrative Council.

“It is critical to ensure that the decisions of the future Administrative Council will be binding to all parties. Otherwise, we will still depend on the goodwill of states to implement SAATM.”

He urged stakeholders to coordinate efforts to make air travel affordable for African citizens. “We need to continue addressing the main challenges which our industry is facing. Together we will be stronger," Berthé added.

The capacity building workshop, which is mainly on SAATM regulatory instruments, will be used to create awareness, and present all the regulatory text (powers, functions and operations of the executing agency), consumer protection regulations, competition regulations, DSM and the revised African Civil Aviation Policy (AFCAP).

The workshop will also present key performance indicators for the implementation of SAATM, and encourage eligible airlines to work together to expand their intra-Africa operations, the release added.

Likely workshop outcomes:

*Enhanced understanding and appreciation by the airline industry on SAATM regulatory instruments;

*Enhanced understanding and appreciation by the airline industry on the key performance indicators for the implementation of SAATM;

*Shared experience by regional competition authorities and consumer protection associations on the regulatory texts of the YD/SAATM;

*Understanding of the progress and challenges in the implementation of the YD and the approved key performance indicators for tracking the implementation of the YD and SAATM;

*Enhanced understanding and appreciation by airline industry on the opportunities and overall benefits associated with the liberalisation of the African air transport through the YD/SAATM;

*Promotion/advocacy on SAATM;

*Enhanced appreciation among stakeholders on the need for collaboration on sustainable development of air transport in Africa through full implementation of the YD and SAATM; and

*Enhanced awareness on the need and advantages of a harmonised YD regulatory texts environment.

Photo Credit: Maureen Kahonge/AFRAA

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