18 January 2019

Ghana: Sign Onto Single African Air Transport Market - African Governments Told

The Minister of Aviation, Mr Kofi Adda has urged African governments to sign onto the Single African Air Transport Market (SAATM) to ensure swift movement of passengers and goods at the ports.

Mr Adda said this on Wednesday when a delegation from Tunisia paid a courtesy call on him at the ministry in Accra.

He said the SAATM was a flagship project under the agenda 2063 of the African Union established to liberalise and unify the African aviation sector.

The sector minister said he was concerned that passengers spend much time travelling from one African country to another, adding that the challenge could be addressed if all 55 African countries signed onto the SAATM.

"Not all African countries have signed onto the SAATM yet, and due to this, we spend several hours and days just to get to one African country which should not be so," he said.

Mr Adda said the government's intention to bring back the defunct Ghana Airways was on course.

Mr Hatem Ferjani, a Secretary of State from Tunisia Foreign Affairs in charge of Economic Diplomacy underscored the need to establish a direct airline between Ghana and Tunisia to strengthen bilateral cooperation.

He asked Mr Adda to visit Tunisia to discuss the way forward about the direct flight between the two countries.

Mr Ferjani said Ghana was a preferred investment destination and attributed the accomplishment to good governance and stable democratic environment.

The Secretary of State noted that language was no longer a barrier to trade between countries and urged Ghana and Tunisia to deepen bilateral cooperation and strengthen the bond of friendship.

Mr Simon Allotey, the Director General of Ghana Civil Aviation Authority (GCAA) said the initiative would boost trade, commerce and tourism between the two countries.

He told the Tunisian that the type of commercial airline his country intends to operate between Tunis and Accra must meet the existing bilateral air service agreement.

Once the soon to be operationalised Tunisian-Accra airline meets the standard air service agreement, Mr Allotey said the government of Ghana would conduct safety and security assessment and inspect airline team operators before approval and certification.

The SAATM was launched during the 30th Ordinary Session of the Assembly of Heads of State and Government of the AU on January 28, 2018 in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.

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