As the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) continues to gain momentum, stakeholders in West Africa’s aviation sector are actively pushing for measures that would strengthen the regional industry to boost intra African trade.
According to them, one key strategy African governments’ need to deploy is to incentivize local carrier operators, ensuring they play a pivotal role in the AfCFTA’s optimization.
Speaking at the grand opening of Air Cote D’Ivoire’s operations in Accra, Micheline Yahot, the Country Manager of the airline, underscored the urgent need for regional integration.
“I can’t end this speech without appealing to our African leaders and specifically our regional governments to think integration, Pan-Africanism and protection of our intra trade among ourselves, taking advantage of the birth of African Continental Free Trade Area,” she said.
“Incentives and priority should be granted to carriers who serve the continent. The African Continental Free Trade Area can’t move easily without a vibrant aviation industry,” she added.
On his part a Deputy Minister for Transport, Hassan Tampuli reaffirmed government’s commitment to enhancing the aviation sector with the aim of establishing the country as a prominent aviation hub. Hassan Tampuli emphasizes that domestic airline operators should capitalize on the ongoing expansions at local airports to better serve their passengers.
“Government has an obligation to provide policy direction to expand infrastructure and, in that regard, we have fully completed with some major works at Kumasi and Tamale airports as the other airports receive all in an attempt to enhance customer experience,” he said.