The African Airlines Association (AFRAA) and the African Export-Import Bank (Afreximbank) have signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) to concretize cooperation toward the development of a safe, reliable, efficient and environmentally sustainable air transport system in Africa.
Under the framework of the MoU, signed by Abderahmane Berthé, AFRAA’s Secretary General, and Kanayo Awani, Executive VP, Intra-African Trade Bank, at Afreximbank, AFRAA and Afreximbank will coordinate activities, joint projects and programmess, exchange of information and data, and best practices to facilitate the achievement of shared objectives.
The key areas of collaboration include:
- Aviation safety and security
- Environmental sustainability initiatives
- Air transport liberalization – implementation of SAATM Joint Prioritised Action Plan
- Economic sustainability of air transport – cost reduction, taxes and charges
- Airline consolidation
- Human capital development and capacity building
- Facilitation of trade, business and tourism
- Exchange of statistical data, information and best practices
Speaking at the signing ceremony, Berthé stated: “AFRAA and Afreximbank share a common goal to support a sustainable air transport system in Africa and thereby effectively contribute to the continent’s socio-economic development, trade and integration. Signing this MoU will facilitate the mobilization of necessary financial resources to undertake projects that will benefit African airlines.
“Traction on collaborative actions is on-course. For the first time in Africa, trials for the free routing flights became a reality on 02 November 2023, thanks to the funding by Afreximbank and technical support by aviation experts. Flights ET935 and KQ 508 operated safely outside the existing routes, directly from Addis Ababa to Abidjan and Nairobi to Accra, respectively. Implementing the Free Route Airspace (FRA) will annually bring significant cost savings to airlines, shorten travel times for passengers and put less CO2 emissions into the environment. The trials, which started in November 2023, will continue to provide critical data to accelerate the FRA implementation in the entire African Airspace, improving air navigation efficiency,” added Berthé.
Awani noted that AFRAA and Afreximbank shared a common goal of promoting the development of a safe, reliable and environmentally sustainable air transport system in Africa in order to effectively contribute to the continent’s socio-economic development, trade and integration. She welcomed the MoU and expressed the Bank’s pleasure at the successful free routing trials, saying that implementation of FRA in Africa will contribute towards ensuring an efficient aviation market to support intra-African trade and tourism which was critical to the full realisation of the objectives of the AfCFTA.
AFRAA is a trade association of airlines from the member states of the African Union (AU). Founded in Accra, Ghana, in April 1968, and headquartered in Nairobi, Kenya, AFRAA’s mission is to promote, serve African Airlines and champion Africa’s aviation industry. The Association envisions a sustainable, interconnected and affordable Air Transport industry in Africa where African Airlines become key players and drivers to African economic development. AFRAA membership of 54 airlines cuts across the entire continent and includes all the major intercontinental African operators. The Association members represent over 85% of total international traffic carried by African airlines.
Afreximbank is a pan-African multilateral financial institution mandated to finance and promote intra-and extra-African trade. For 30 years, the Bank has been deploying innovative structures to deliver financing solutions that support the transformation of the structure of Africa’s trade, accelerating industrialization and intra-regional trade, thereby boosting economic expansion in Africa. A stalwart supporter of the African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA), Afreximbank has launched a Pan-African Payment and Settlement System (PAPSS) that was adopted by the African Union (AU) as the payment and settlement platform to underpin the implementation of the AfCFTA. Working with the AfCFTA Secretariat and the AU, the Bank is setting up a $10 billion Adjustment Fund to support countries to effectively participate in the AfCFTA. At the end of 2022, Afreximbank’s total assets and guarantees stood at over $31 billion, and its shareholder funds amounted to $5.2 billion. The Bank disbursed more than $86 billion between 2016 and 2022. Afreximbank has evolved into a group entity comprising the Bank, its impact fund subsidiary called the Fund for Export Development Africa (FEDA), and its insurance management subsidiary, AfrexInsure.