Addis Ababa - The African Union announced Monday it has launched a new aviation deregulation scheme as more than 40 leaders from across the continent meet in the Ethiopian capital, Addis Ababa for their annual summit.
The plan calls for a full liberalization of air market access between African states and the elimination of restrictions on ownership of airlines and full liberalisation of air frequencies. The move is intended to promote trade and investments between African countries.
"This will add to efforts to integrate the continent," said Moussa Faki Mahmat, African Union Commission chairman, adding that the vast continent is poorly connected.
As of Monday, eligible airlines of the 23 countries that have signed to the scheme are entitled to conduct their business into the markets and fully operate the traffic rights. The African Union advisory sent to reporters said the move is to see that the aviation industry plays a more prominent role in Africa's economy.
Rwanda President Paul Kagame, the new chairman of the African Union, has referred to the scheme as important for the continent's development. "We should move as fast as we can to realize this," he said.