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Building resilience in Africa’s civil aviation: lessons from COVID-19 initiatives

29 April, 2024
Building resilience in Africa’s civil aviation: lessons from COVID-19 initiatives

Addis Ababa 29 April 2024 – The United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (ECA) in collaboration with the African Union Commission (AUC), the African Civil Aviation Commission (AFCAC) and the African Airlines Association (AFRAA) hosted a webinar in Addis Ababa on April 28 to discuss the resilience of the African Civil Aviation Industry during and after the COVID-19 pandemic.

Aviation is crucial for effective implementation of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA). However, strong collaboration among stakeholders of the aviation industry is essential to optimise the benefits of AfCFTA, said Robert Lisinge, Acting Director of the Private Sector Development and Finance Division of ECA.

The event assessed the effectiveness of strategies for the survival and recovery of the aviation industry initiated by various organisations during the COVID-19 pandemic. “It is crucial to undertake an in-depth review of strategies and policies initiated during the pandemic, to determine the extent to which they contributed to build the resilience of the aviation industry, and identify lessons learned from implementing the strategies” said Lisinge.

The Fourth Ordinary Session of the Specialised Technical Committee (STC) on Transport, Transcontinental and Interregional Infrastructure and Energy of the African Union was held in Zanzibar, Tanzania, in 2023. The session deliberated on the impact of COVID-19 on the aviation industry, and the strategies and policy measures that were initiated. The Ministerial Session of the STC meeting adopted the Zanzibar Declaration, which recommended that identify innovative practices and initiatives that emerged in the African aviation sector during the pandemic.

Angeline Simana, Director of Air Transport of the African Civil Aviation Commission (AFCAC), highlighted efforts by AFCAC to coordinate initiatives from various partners and also to launch the recovery of the aviation industry in Africa.

On his part, Eric Ntagengerwa, Acting Head of Division, representing the Director for Infrastructure and Energy of AUC, underscored the series of high-level policy dialogues initiated by AUC to support African airlines during the pandemic and the imperative for stakeholders to take stock of what transpired during the pandemic. The goal is to strengthen the resilience of the industry to future shocks, he said.

Issued by:
Communications Section
Economic Commission for Africa
PO Box 3001
Addis Ababa
Tel: +251 11 551 5826