Keyamo Advocates Inclusion of African Foreign Affairs Ministers in Implementing YD, SAATM

…As IATA Commends Nigeria for Clearing the Backlog of Foreign Airlines Trapped Funds.

Honourable Minister of Aviation and Aerospace Development, Mr. Festus Keyamo, CON, SAN, FCAirb. while making his contribution during the plenary discussion on the implementation of the Yamoussoukro Declaration (YD) and the Single African Air Transport Market (SAATM) advocated the inclusion of African Foreign Affairs Ministers in driving the full implementation and operationalization of the YD and SAATM. 

He stated that African Ministers of Foreign Affairs are responsible in drawing the Agenda of the African Union (AU) Summit and thus its expedient for them to be sensitized on the need to bring the issue of YD and SAATM to the front burner for political decision to be taken. He stated that African leaders are to surmount the problems besetting the full operationalization. He averred that YD and SAATM were not for African Ministers responsible for civil aviation to drive alone.

“To make SAATM work, it is not African Civil Aviation Ministers alone to drive them, we need to mobilise the African Union to remove the domestic restrictions, as the political leaders in Africa are the ones bestowed with the  power to give directive to their Ministers on the way forward” keyamo stated. The recommendation was well taken by participants as the best way to go in driving the successful operationalization of the two programmes geared towards connecting Africa and grow civil aviation in the continent.

Of note is the International Air Transport Association (IATA)  commendation of the Nigerian Government for clearing the backlog of foreign airlines trapped funds of over $831 million United States Dollars, within the short time of the current administration in office.

The commendation was made by Mr. Kamil Al-Awadhi, the Regional Vice President, Africa and Middle East of IATA, during his opening welcome address on Tuesday, 2nd July, 2024 at the ongoing IATA Wings of Change Focus Africa holding in Johannesburg, South Africa. Kamil, while noting the negative impacts of foreign airlines, trapped funds in some countries singled out Nigeria and commended the swift manner the Government of Nigeria addressed the issue, thereby bringing confidence in Nigeria among the comity of nations in the global civil aviation. This remark of his was well applauded by participants ranging from top government functionaries, airlines representatives, air navigation service providers, international and regional associations, aircraft manufacturers, and other stakeholders in the global civil aviation realm.

The IATA Wings of Change Focus Africa Conference themed “Towards a More Resilient and Sustainable African Aviation” serves as a premier industry event in Africa, gathering aviation leaders, regulators, and subject matter experts to engage in discussions on the key challenges and opportunities in air transport started on 2nd July and would end on 3rd July 2024.

Odutayo Oluseyi
DD/Head, Information, Press & Public Relations
Federal Ministry of Aviation and Aerospace Development

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