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AfDB signs MoU with IATA to advance Africa’s aviation

The MoU focuses on capacity building, improved safety, connectivity and infrastructure development. (Image source: AfDB)

The AfDB has signed a MoU with International Air Transport Association (IATA) to establish a framework for collaboration to boost the aviation sector in Africa

The MoU was signed on the sidelines of the International Civil Aviation Organisation’s World Aviation Forum, “Financing the Development of Aviation Infrastructure.” Alexandre de Juniac, director general and CEO of IATA, and Akinwumi Adesina, president of AfDB, signed the agreement.

Under the MoU, IATA and the AfDB will work in partnership to further Africa’s economic and social development by helping build a safe, secure and efficient aviation industry. The two organisations commit to create and implement programmes and projects, including technical cooperation for capacity building. Priority areas will include improving connectivity, safety and aviation infrastructure.

The aviation industry in Africa currently supports US$72.5bn in economic activity and 6.8mn jobs. In the next 20 years, the industry is expected to grow at nearly six per cent per year.

“The MoU with AfDB will help in facilitating the growth and development of Africa’s aviation industry. In so doing, it will expand prosperity and change peoples’ lives for the better in the continent’s 54 nations,” de Juniac said the African aviation ministers, Africa aviation industry experts and airline executives present at the signing ceremony.

“The aviation sector is especially important as it opens up doors to investors,” said Adesina. “Very few invest where it’s difficult to travel to. That’s why ease of access via air travel is strongly correlated to economic growth. We must make regional aviation markets competitive and drive down costs, raise efficiencies and improve connectivity and convenience,” he explained.

The AfDB has invested around US$1bn in the past decade for the construction and expansion of airport terminals, as well as aviation safety and aircraft financing. Some other interventions of the AfDB in the aviation industry include grants for capacity building and coordination systems in 25 countries and 69 airports, to increase the number of International civil aviation organisation safety and security compliant airports from three to 20 by 2019.