Tony Tyler, former Director General and CEO of the International Air Transport Association (IATA), urges African governments and their stakeholders to continue investing in air transport so the continent can better realise its ideals of regional integration, peace and prosperity.
The great continent of Africa covers more than 30 million kilometres. It is home to more than a billion people. It is host to some of the most diverse and challenging terrain anywhere to be found – and in between its growing cities lie some of the most remote and inaccessible communities on earth. It is air transport that binds this incredible land together.
Aviation is the lifeblood of Africa, supporting 6.9 million jobs and US$80 billion in GDP. It sends African goods and its people out into the world, and brings in economic investment, tourism, trade and aid. Without aviation, Africa would be a more fractured and constrained continent; with aviation, it can better realise its ideals of regional integration, peace and prosperity.
But Africa’s aviation network is not without considerable challenges and troubles. We can celebrate the contribution of air transport to African development, but must not shirk tough decisions to improve it. Ill-conceived regulation, poor safety oversight, inadequate and costly infrastructure and restrictive air-service agreements are some of the most familiar issues…
*Statistics within article correct at original publication date of CHOGM 2015 Report.
Former Director General and CEO of the International Air Transport Association (IATA)