IATA To Launch New Initiative For Africa’s Aviation Development
The International Air Transport Association (IATA) is set to launch a new initiative tagged “Focus Africa” to strengthen Aviation brands in Africa and aviation’s contribution to Africa’s economic and social development and improve connectivity, safety, and reliability for passengers and shippers.
According to IATA, the initiative would align private and public stakeholders to deliver measurable progress in six areas.
Speaking on the launch, the IATA Director General, Willie Walsh said “Africa accounts for 18 per cent of the global population, but just 2.1 per cent of air transport activities (combined cargo and passenger). Closing that gap, so that Africa can benefit from the connectivity, jobs, and growth that aviation enables, is what Focus Africa is all about.”
The IATA DG cited how the continent’s carriers suffered cumulative losses of $3.5 billion for 2020 with IATA further estimating losses of $213 million in 2023 while identifying Infrastructure constraints, high costs, lack of connectivity, regulatory impediments, slow adoption of global standards, and skills shortages as contributory factors to African airlines’ viability and sustainability.
He described the idea of sustainably connecting the African continent internally and to global markets with air transport as critical for bringing people together and creating economic and social development opportunities which he said will also support the realisation of the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (UN SDGs) for Africa of lifting 50 million people out of poverty by 2030.