CS Amina Mohamed: Africa aviation policy bad

NAIROBI: Foreign Affairs and International Trade Cabinet Secretary Amina Mohamed has called on African countries to come together and promote the air transport industry.

The CS urged African countries to open their skies, saying this would be a big boost to the continent with the fastest growing economy in the world.

"The liberalisation of air transport will make available a wide range of benefits, including reduced costs of travel, increased connection between African cities and commercial centres," said Ms Mohamed.

The CS, who was addressing an aviation conference in Nairobi, emphasised the need to free the African airspace.

"Despite increased liberalisation of the African aviation industry and the growing presence of foreign companies, some African governments are still reluctant to open their skies," she said.

Mohamed said the fear among African nations that foreign competition would undercut national airlines was dragging development in Africa.

"It is unacceptable that it is often cheaper to export goods to another African country via Dubai or Europe than directly," she said.

The CS said the opening of African skies to international companies was undermining locally based airlines.

"Currently, 24 African countries have open skies agreements with foreign airlines while there are no such agreements among African countries," she said.