Cameroon has officially become the 25th African Union member state to sign the Memorandum of Implementation (MOI) for the Single African Air Transport Market (SAATM).
According to ethiopianmonitor.com, the historic signing ceremony unfolded at the AU Headquarters, with AUC Infrastructure Commissioner Amani Abou-Zeid and Cameroon’s Ambassador to Ethiopia, Churchill E. Monono, bearing witness to this momentous occasion.
Commissioner Abou-Zeid expressed commendation for Cameroon’s commitment to the cause, highlighting the importance of the MOI and the revised Constitution of the African Civil Aviation Commission (AfCAC). Recognizing the pivotal role of such decisive actions, Abou-Zeid emphasized their instrumental contribution to achieving the essential economic integration of Africa.
“Fast-tracking the operationalization and implementation of SAATM has been one of our topmost priorities,” stated Abou-Zeid. This commitment, she noted, aims not only to support the aviation industry’s recovery post-COVID-19 but also to reposition the African aviation sector for sustained growth, fostering socio-economic integration across the continent.
The AU’s Agenda 2063 flagship project envisions a unified air transport market in Africa, driving the liberalization of civil aviation and acting as a catalyst for the continent’s economic integration agenda. The initiative seeks to achieve this by dismantling barriers, reducing restrictions on market access, and enhancing air traffic rights for African airlines.
Cameroon’s inclusion in the SAATM signals a shared commitment among African nations to foster collaboration, connectivity, and economic progress. As the aviation sector gains momentum, the skies over Africa are set to become a symbol of unity and opportunity, facilitating a new era of growth and integration across the diverse landscapes of the continent.
‘With SAATM, we’re building the Africa we want’
Currently, 37 countries have signed the solemn commitment and 25 have signed the Memorandum of Implementation.
The member states that have joined the SAATM represent 90% of intra-Africa traffic and serve over 600 million people.
As more nations participate, the benefits will likely grow exponentially. Dr. Abou-Zeid said it “will be a game changer for the African Aviation Industry.”.
“With SAATM, we are building the Africa we want. An integrated Africa, where the free movement of people, goods and services is a reality”. She added that “African carriers will be able to realize their full potential”.
For his part, Ambassador Monono described the signing as a milestone for his country Cameroon.
“The implementation of SAATM means more flight options, greater connectivity and lower prices –more people across Africa traveling within Africa,” he said, reaffirming Cameroon’s commitment to the SAATM implementation.
Currently, air travel within Africa is limited by multiple bilateral agreements between each country that restrict access and competition.
By opening up intra-African air transport, AU Officials say the new agreement could provide economic benefits through lower airfares, more flight options, and increased connectivity.
The Commissioner seized the opportunity to call on the remaining member states to join the other signatories so that SAATM implementation will be accelerated.
Signatory Countries to SAATM MOI
Cameroon is now the 25th AU Member State that signed the SAATM Memorandum of Implementation.
The other signatories are Benin, Burkina Faso, Cabo Verde, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Côte d’Ivoire, Equatorial Guinea, Ethiopia, Gabon, Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Liberia, Mali, Morocco, Mozambique, Namibia, Niger, Nigeria, Republic of the Congo, Rwanda, Sierra Leone, Togo, Zimbabwe.
The states that have deposited instruments of ratification of the Revised Constitution of the African Civil Aviation Commission (AFCAC) are Angola, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cabo Verde, Cameroun, Congo, Gabon, Gambia, Kenya, Mali, Mozambique, Niger, Rwanda, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Sudan, Eswatini, Togo, Tunisia.