The International Air Transport Association (Iata) and the African Airline Association (Afraa) have teamed up to pave the way for further development in the African aviation sector.
A memorandum of understanding (MoU) signed in Sydney, Australia, this week deepens the cooperation between the associations to exchange information, expertise and capabilities.
"Africa is full of potential. Unlocking the economic and social benefits of aviation is a critical element of the continent’s development. Achieving Africa’s potential, however, will not happen by chance,” Iata director-general and CEO Alexandre de Juniac said.
Among the critical components are continuous improvement in safety, an effective regulatory framework and fit-for-purpose infrastructure.
"Afraa and Iata share a common vision – the development of a safe, secure and sustainable aviation industry in Africa that facilitates business, trade and tourism and contributes positively to Africa's economic growth and development,” added Afraa secretary general Abderahmane Berthé.
The MoU commits both associations to collaborate on the main priorities for African aviation.
Iata and Afraa will jointly enhance safety by assisting airlines to successfully implement Iata’s Operational Safety Audit, Safety Audit for Ground Operations and Ground Handling Manual, as well as support the implementation of the Single African Air Transport Market to promote regional air connectivity.
The MoU encourages data exchange among aviation stakeholders to improve the passenger experience, while working to enhance security through capacity building.
Other ambitions outlined by the MoU are the liberation of airline funds blocked by governments from repatriation by advising governments on best practices to clear backlogs and to achieve reasonable levels of taxes and charges by helping governments to focus on the social and economic benefits of aviation.
“This MoU will strengthen Iata’s already close relationship with Afraa and help ensure that global standards and best practices form the backbone of Africa’s aviation growth," said De Juniac.
Air transport supports 6.8-million jobs and generates $72.5-billion of economic activity on the continent.