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East African air transport stands to boost GDP

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Staff Writer | May 11, 2017
A study released in Tanzania's northern tourist city of Arusha said air transport liberalization within the East African Community (EAC) could earn the region 202.1 million U.S. dollars in gross domestic product (GDP) annually.
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The report, Costs and Benefits of Open Skies in the East African Community, was commissioned by the East African Business Council (EABC) and the EAC Secretariat.

The study said the airspace liberalization among Tanzania, Kenya, Uganda, Rwanda and Burundi could also result in an additional 46,320 jobs.

The study focuses on the impact of implementing the Yamoussoukro Decision (YD) in East which among other things, call for African countries restrict their air services markets to protect the share held by state-owned air carriers.

"The study analysis demonstrates that increased air service and traffic resulted in positive benefits for the total EAC economy," said Lilian Awinja, EABC chief executive officer.

She urged EAC member states to harmonize air transport regulations specifically taxes across the region and finalize the EAC Liberalization of Air Transport Regulations also fully implement Yamoussoukro Decision.

According to the World Bank, Africa is a home to 12 percent of the world's people, but it accounts for less than 1 per cent of the global air service market.

The Yamoussoukro Decision commits its 44 signatory countries to deregulate air services, and promote regional air markets open to transnational competition.

It followed up on the Yamoussoukro Declaration of 1988, in which many of the same countries agreed to principles of air services liberalization.

In 2000, the Decision was endorsed by head of states and governments at the Organization of African Unity, and became fully binding in 2002.