Nana Addo Wants Africa Air Space Liberalized
President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has called on African leaders to fully implement the Yamoussoukro Declaration and liberalize their air spaces if the continent is to fully realize the benefits of air transport.
Speaking at the maiden edition of the African Air show, President Akufo-Addo noted that the significant growth in the industry is set to create more jobs for the youth and attract more investors to the continent.
“The global figures of the air industry revealed that, the industry provides 62.7 million jobs. This includes 9.9 million direct jobs, 11.2 million indirect jobs, 5.2 million induced jobs and 32.2 million tourism related jobs,” he said.
On Ghana, Akufo-Addo explained that the industry contributes a large chunk to the nation’s GDP.
“The industry contributes 72.5billion dollars to GDP. It is significant to note that while the growth rate in the aviation industry is growing at 5 percent, Africa is growing at 6 percent and Ghana is at 7.9 percent growth per annum,” he said.
He added that his government intends to create conditions for the private sector to invest heavily in the aviation industry over the next three years.
“The aim is to make the industry very competitive with our up-coming concepts for the sector that will lead to enhanced trade relations,” he added.
Africa is home to 12% of the world’s people, but it accounts for less than 1% of the global air service market.
Part of the reason for Africa’s under-served status, according to a World Bank study, Open Skies for Africa – Implementing the Yamoussoukro Decision, is that many African countries restrict their air services markets to protect the share held by state-owned air carriers.
The Ghanaian leader, therefore, called on African leaders to commit to the “full implementation of the Yamoussoukro decision.”
In the Yamoussoukro Declaration of 1988, many African countries agreed in principle to air services liberalization. In 2000, the Decision was endorsed by heads of state and governments at the Organization of African Unity (OAU), and became fully binding in 2002. However, over the past decades implementation had fallen short.
Growth of aviation industry
The average growth of the aviation industry has increased from its initial 6.5% to 7.5%, which translates to US$75 billion in growth over the last two years.
Africa’s aviation market as a whole is growing at 6% but Ghana’s growth rate stands at 7.1 % per annum.