On March 28-31, Roncevert Ganan Almond, Partner, and Connie Hunter, Senior Advisor, represented The Wicks Group (TWG) at the Second ICAO Meeting on the Sustainable Development of Air Transport in Africa held Accra, Ghana. Hosted by the Ghana Civil Aviation Authority (GCAA) and the International Civil Aviation Organization, a United Nations specialized agency, the conference brought together aviation representatives and industry stakeholders from 15 organizations and over 36 states and territories throughout the world to discuss trends, challenges and opportunities in Africa’s aviation industry.
Dr. Olumuyiwa Benard Aliu, President of the ICAO Council, opened the conference by urging participants to facilitate the creation of a Single African Air Transport Market (SAATM), through the implementation of the Yamoussoukro Decision -- a low-cost policy measure which can have dramatic economic results. The conference built upon the Declaration on the Sustainable Development of Air Transport in Africa adopted in Antananarivo, Madagascar on March 27, 2015 (the “Antananarivo Declaration”)--a strategic multilateral agreement mapping Africa’s way forward in several key areas, including market access, fair competition, consumer protection and adherence to international standards.
Speaking on the subject of stimulating demand for air transport in Africa, Ms. Hunter pointed out that the chronic non-implementation of major aviation liberalization accords such as the Yamoussoukro Agreement of 1999 continues to hamper the potential of West Africa’s air transportation market.
“As I see it,” Ms. Hunter remarked, “the failure to implement Yamoussoukro has led to an increasing proliferation of Africa-wide agreements that I believe would have been unnecessary if governments took on the work that would have broadly brought them into compliance with Yamoussoukro, and that includes safety, security and consumer protection.”
Rather than restate the consequences of reneging on aviation liberalization agreements, Ms. Hunter said, regulators and policymakers should explain the reasons why existing agreements are not being implemented. Ms. Hunter concluded with her hope that countries would start working together to remove the barriers that inhibit the growth of African air transport on the continent and across the globe.
Mr. Almond, former chairman of the 2016 Africa Air Cargo Summit, discussed ways to promote air links between African States and the Diaspora through harmonized air transport infrastructure. In his presentation, he urged stakeholders to build upon the platform of regional organizations like West Africa’s Banjul Accord Group Aviation Safety Oversight Organization (BAGASOO) and the East African Community Civil Aviation Safety and Security Oversight Agency (EAC CASSOA) in connecting the Diaspora with members of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM).
Mr. Almond noted that African and Caribbean regional institutions shared a common development pattern, utilizing model regulatory frameworks and facing similar challenges, such as sustainable financing. This presented, according to Mr. Almond, an opportunity for technical exchanges between African regional organizations and their counterparts in Caribbean and beyond. “The ICAO Assembly, via Resolution A39-14, encourages Member States to foster the creation of regional or subregional partnerships to collaborate in the development of solutions to common problems,” Mr. Almond noted, “And Africa and the Diaspora should do so via existing regional organizations, which will, in turn, enable the development of market opportunities.” Looking forward, Mr. Almond stressed that it was incumbent upon all stakeholders to build upon the ministerial declaration set forth at the recent ICAO conference in Swaziland on regional organizations.
TWG is a multi-disciplinary legal and consulting firm that provides specialized services to clients with aviation and transportation-related interests world-wide. TWG advises countries across the globe on achieving their civil aviation development objectives, whether achieving compliance with standards of the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) or establishing international best practices to foster economic growth.
For more information about TWG’s services related to implementing international standards and participation in the Second ICAO Meeting on the Sustainable Development of Air Transport in Africa, please contact Roncevert Almond at firstname.lastname@example.org or (202) 457-7790.