The International Air Transport Association (IATA) and the African Development Bank (AfDB) have inked a memorandum of understanding (MoU) to establish a framework for collaboration to improve the aviation sector in Africa.
The MoU was signed in Abuja, Nigeria, on the sidelines of the International Civil Aviation Organization’s (ICAO) World Aviation Forum, which adopted the theme, “Financing the Development of Aviation Infrastructure.”
The signatories of the MoU were IATA’s Director General and Chief Executive Officer, Alexandre de Juniac, and African Development Bank President Akinwumi Adesina.
Africa’s aviation industry currently supports US $72.5 billion in economic movement and 6.8 million jobs. Over the next two decades, the industry is projected to grow at nearly 6% per year.
“This creates significant opportunities. But achieving this potential will not happen by chance; strong partnerships are key. The MoU with AfDB will help facilitate the growth and development of Africa’s aviation industry. In so doing, it will expand prosperity and change peoples’ lives for the better in the continent’s 54 nations,” de Juniac announced in the presence the African Aviation Ministers, Africa aviation industry experts, and airline executives who graced the signing ceremony.
Under the MoU, IATA and the AfDB will partner to advance Africa’s economic and social development by committing to build a safe, secure and efficient aviation industry. The two organizations are also devoting themselves to formulate and apply programs and projects, including technical cooperation for capacity building. Priority areas will include improving connectivity, safety and aviation infrastructure.
“The aviation sector is especially important as it opens up doors to investors,” Adesina said.
“Very few invest where it’s difficult to travel to. That’s why ease of access via air travel is strongly correlated to economic growth. We must make regional aviation markets competitive and drive down costs, raise efficiencies and improve connectivity and convenience.”
“From Abuja, a new voice has arisen through this partnership: Africa’s aviation time has come! Together, let’s open up the skies of Africa, and together let’s integrate Africa. By so doing, we will build stronger and more resilient economies,” he added.
The African Development Bank has put in close to US $1 billion over the past decade in the construction and expansion of airport terminals, as well as aviation safety and aircraft financing.
Additional Bank mediations in the aviation industry include grants for capacity building and coordination systems in 25 countries and 69 airports, that will increase the number of International Civil Aviation Organization safety and security compliant airports from 3 to 20 by 2019.