Speakers highlight role of aviation in improving connectivity, economic growth

IATA Africa and the Middle East regional VP Kamil Al-Awadhi

IATA Africa and the Middle East regional VP Kamil Al-Awadhi

3rd July 2024

By: Sabrina Jardim

Creamer Media Online Writer


Font size: - +

The International Air Transport Association (IATA), on the first day of its Wings of Change Focus Africa conference, held in Johannesburg, South Africa, emphasised the need for African governments to take advantage of a strengthening aviation sector to maximise its benefits for economic and social development across Africa.

During a media briefing at the event, IATA senior VP for sustainability and chief economist Dr Marie Owens Thomsen described Africa as “hitting below its weight in terms of the global economy”.

She pointed out that, despite being home to about 18% of the world’s population, Africa contributes only about 3% of global GDP.

She added that improved connectivity, including through aviation, could go a long way in driving higher growth on the continent.

“Poor connectivity definitely equals poor economic outcomes.

“If we adopt aviation, and all forms of connectivity as a proper growth strategy, then we have a completely different picture of radical collaboration on this continent,” she said.

IATA Africa and the Middle East regional VP Kamil Al-Awadhi added that the Single African Air Transport Market, which is aimed at liberalising civil aviation across Africa, provides the continent with a “ready-made” mechanism to drive economic growth.

He noted, however, that few governments have taken the steps needed for its implementation.

“Non-compliance of bilateral air service agreements by African governments is a major obstacle to achieving seamless regional connectivity and growth in Africa’s aviation sector,” he said.

Meanwhile, Al-Awadhi also pointed out that African airlines were likely to earn a collective net profit this year for the second consecutive year.

He noted, however, that the anticipated $100-million profit translates into just $0.90 per passenger, pointing out that was below the global average of $6.14 per passenger.

IATA’s Focus Africa initiative seeks to provide a strategic framework to address the continent’s most pressing issues, paving the way for a robust aviation sector that can significantly contribute to Africa's economic and social development.

“The path ahead is quite clear . . . We have to work together in a collaborative manner. We can overcome the obstacles before us and realise the full potential of Africa's aviation.

“This is not just about transport. It's about unlocking the future of the continent. Let us commit to this vision for the benefit of Africa's nations, economies and people,” said Al-Awadhi.

Edited by Chanel de Bruyn
Creamer Media Senior Deputy Editor Online




From batteries for boats and jet skis, to batteries for cars and quad bikes, SABAT Batteries has positioned itself as the lifestyle battery of...

M and J Mining
M and J Mining

M and J Mining are leading suppliers of physical support systems as used by the underground mining industry. Our selection of products are not...


Latest Multimedia

sponsored by

Magazine image
Magazine round up | 12 July 2024
12th July 2024

Option 1 (equivalent of R125 a month):

Receive a weekly copy of Creamer Media's Engineering News & Mining Weekly magazine
(print copy for those in South Africa and e-magazine for those outside of South Africa)
Receive daily email newsletters
Access to full search results
Access archive of magazine back copies
Access to Projects in Progress
Access to ONE Research Report of your choice in PDF format

Option 2 (equivalent of R375 a month):

All benefits from Option 1
Access to Creamer Media's Research Channel Africa for ALL Research Reports, in PDF format, on various industrial and mining sectors including Electricity; Water; Energy Transition; Hydrogen; Roads, Rail and Ports; Coal; Gold; Platinum; Battery Metals; etc.

Already a subscriber?

Forgotten your password?







sq:0.294 0.35s - 171pq - 2rq
Subscribe Now