Rwanda Ratifies Continental Aviation Constitution, Eyes Bite of Tourism Cherry

20 October 2020

Last week, Rwanda approved the revised African Civil Aviation Commission (AFCAC) constitution, becoming the 13th African state to ratify this establishment.

The constitution, which seeks to promote coordination, better utilisation and orderly development of African air transport systems - will enter into force after the ratification of two more countries.

AFCAC is a continental consultative body on aviation.

In an interview with The New Times, Silas Udahemuka, the Director General of Rwanda Civil Aviation Authority (RCAA), said ratification allows a State to realise the benefits that are in the legal instrument, because without ratification, the duties and responsibilities are not assumed.

Among the benefits, Udahemuka said, Rwanda expects a boost in tourism revenues and jobs.

"Tourists benefit from enhanced air connectivity because of savings on air fares, more direct routes and frequencies," he explained.

This, he added, will ultimately lead to air travel convenience and shorter flight time.

Udahemuka also noted that the revised AFCAC constitution considers as important the Yamoussoukro Decision (YD) for liberalisation of air transport in Africa.

"The major element in the new constitution is that it empowers AFCAC as an Executing Agency of the YD to follow up on the implementation of the policy of air transport liberalization in Africa." He reiterated.

This, Udahemuka explained, "Once the policy of Africa's air transport liberalization policy is enshrined in such a high level continental legal instrument, the liberalization concept is expected to be supported by member states."

The YD is a agreement among the 44 African states which allows the multilateral exchange of up to fifth freedom air traffic rights between African Yamoussoukro Decision Party States using a simple notification procedure.

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