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Zimbabwe air traffic volumes surge

by Staff reporter
03 Nov 2023 at 05:37hrs | Views
As Zimbabwe continues to experience the benefits of liberalizing air transport, such as improved service quality and increased air traffic, which in turn facilitates tourism, trade, investment, and growth in various sectors of the economy, other nations are encouraged to follow suit. This call to action emerged during a validation workshop that focused on reviewing national laws, rules, regulations, and policies to align with the provisions of the Yamoussoukro Decision in the Eastern Africa, Southern African, and Indian Ocean Region. This workshop was part of the program aimed at supporting the development of the air transport sector.

Organized by Comesa, the workshop took place in Cairo, Egypt, spanning from Monday to yesterday. It brought together sector technical experts from regional economic communities, aviation partners, and technical experts from departments and agencies responsible for formulating and implementing air transport policies in member states.

Chileshe Kapwepwe, the Secretary-General of Comesa, and Jean Baptiste Mutabazi, the Director of Infrastructure and Logistics, emphasized the crucial role of air transport as a vital mode of transportation both regionally and globally. Implementing the Yamoussoukro Decision offers several economic benefits, including cost savings for travelers, enhanced connectivity, time efficiency, increased convenience, and positive effects on various economic sectors.

Comesa and the European Union have signed a grant contribution agreement of €8 million to support the development of the air transport sector in Eastern Africa, Southern Africa, and the Indian Ocean (EA-SA-IO). This funding aims to enhance the region's air transport sector and strengthen the regulatory and institutional capacity of civil aviation organizations. It also targets the improvement of air navigation efficiency in the region.

Comesa recognizes air transport as a driver of economic development and a crucial engine of global socio-economic growth. It connects markets, fosters trade, integrates industries into global supply chains, and plays a pivotal role in global manufacturing and the swift transportation of perishable goods to global markets.

Air connectivity has become a significant value chain that promotes air transport and economic development. Improved air connectivity boosts productivity, encourages investment and innovation, enhances business operations, and improves overall efficiency. Air connectivity and infrastructure development align with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, particularly SDG 8 for decent work and economic growth and SDG 9 for industry, innovation, and infrastructure.

One of the flagship projects under the African Union's Agenda 2063 is the establishment of a Single African Air Transport Market (SAATM), designed to ensure intra-regional connectivity among African capital cities and create a unified air transport market on the continent. This initiative contributes to Africa's economic integration and growth agenda by fully liberalizing intra-African air transport services, expanding market access, traffic rights for scheduled and freight air services, and eliminating restrictions on ownership, frequencies, tariffs, and capacity.

Source - The Herald
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