The Ghana Civil Aviation Authority (GCAA) commemorated this year’s Yamoussoukro Decision (YD) Day on November 14, during which African states agreed to the principles of liberalisation of the air transport market in Africa.
The authority said the YD Day was to help raise awareness of the opportunities and overall benefits associated with the liberalisation of African air transportation; facilitate the involvement of more states in the implementation of the YD and facilitate effective collaboration with Regional Economic Communities (RECs), stakeholders, member states and eligible African airlines.
“Thus, being fully compliant with the YD, Ghana has removed all restrictions on traffic rights about frequencies, air fares and capacity for all airlines from concerned state parties as provided in the YD and has also taken immediate additional measures towards the actualisation of the YD,” a press release by the GCAA stated.
Over the years, the airline industry has seen significant projected reduction in air fares, enhanced intra-African trade, enhanced sustainability of African airline operations which surmounts to greater contribution to the national Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and facilitation of African integration.
Background to the YD
In the early 1960s, many newly independent African states created national airlines, partly to assert their status as nations, which led to restricting their air services markets to protect state-owned air carriers.
Over time, most of these states recognised that strict regulatory protection adversely impacted flight safety, leading to inflated air fares and dampened air traffic growth within Africa.
Ministers responsible for civil aviation acknowledged these impediments and on November 14, 1999, the YD was adopted, a decision which was a follow-up to the YD of 1988 in which many of the states agreed to the principles of liberalisation of the air transport market in Africa.
In the decision, 44 African states became signatories and committed to deregulate their air services and promote regional air markets open to trans-national competition. The decision was subsequently endorsed by the Assembly of Heads of State and Government (HoSG) of the Organisation of African Union (OAU) in Lome, Togo in July 2000. — GB