The handbook for the Single African Air Transport Market (SAATM) was officially launched on December 4, 2018, in Livingstone, Zambia. On the occasion of this important new step towards “one African sky” wanted by the African Union, Stake experts reviews the state of adhesions to the project.

SAATM: What is the situation?

The Single African Air Transport Market (SAATM) is a flagship project of the African Union Agenda 2063 (AU). It aims to create a single unified market for air transport in Africa, to liberalize civil aviation on the continent and to promote economic integration. It originated in the Yamoussoukro Decision (1999), which included among other things, the complete liberalization of air transport services within the African continent, free access to the market, and the removal of ownership restrictions in the sector. The 30th AU Summit held on 28 January 2018 in Addis Ababa, was the occasion to officially launch the project, which immediately won the support of 11 African leaders.

Nearly a year after the Addis Ababa Summit, only 27 of the 44 members adhering to the Yamoussoukro Decision signed the solemn commitment to join the Single Market. The others are rose concern to see the most advanced countries of the continent draw benefit of this opening of the African sky, to the detriment of those whose air transport is still groping. That concern had already been raised about the proposed Continental Free Trade Area (Zlec).

It should also be noted that the African Union estimates that nearly 2.5 million jobs (direct and indirect) could result from the introduction of the SAATM.

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