Algeria, April 11, 2018

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Africa: Shein Advocates Vibrant Africa's Aviation Sector

Mohamed Shein said here yesterday amid stakeholders' outcries over the sector challenges. In a speech to open the seventh aviation stakeholders' convention, Dr Shein raised concerns over non- African carriers enjoying the lion's share of the African airline market, calling for concerted efforts to reverse the trend.

'It is sad that 80 per cent of African market is commanded by non-African carriers...time is ripe for us to be on the driver's seat,' Dr Shein said in the statement read on his behalf by Second Vice-President, Ambassador Seif Ali Idd.

The Zanzibar President insisted that the aviation industry plays a significant role in accelerating economic growth and providing various economic and social benefits to From DEUS NGOWI in Arusha EAST African Court of Justice has dismissed East African people on the continent and globally.

He said the country, in particular, is greatly dependant on air transport for smooth running of her economic and social activities, especially the development of tourism, which is the mainstay of Zanzibar's economy and one of the leading economic sectors in Tanzania.

'Air transport and tourism are among the fastest growing sectors in the world. We are all aware that practically, tourism and travel are inseparable entities...these two industries complement each other,' he charged. Making reference to the World Travel and Tourism Council's (WTTC) 2018 Economic Impact Report, Dr Shein said for the seventh consecutive year, travel and tourism have been contributing massively to the world GDP.

'By 2028, the travel and tourism industries are expected to support over 400 million jobs at a ratio of one to nine of all jobs,' he noted. The Isles President underscored the need to work towards a more integrated and connected Africa and challenged participants to device new strategies to promote proper management of intra-African connectivity to enhance competitiveness for great benefits among African airlines.

He told the convention to deliberate on the challenges facing the sector on the continent and come up with resolutions that will create more integrated, prosperous and peaceful Africa, enjoying higher flow of tourists and flourishing aviation sector.

Dr Shein reaffirmed the government's determination to revitalise the national flag carrier, Air Tanzania Company Limited (ATCL), noting that huge efforts have been directed towards improving the existing fleet and services it offers as well as exploring new destinations. Only last week the third Bombardier Dash Q400 passenger flight was received in Dar es Salaam and inaugurated by President John Magufuli as part of measures to revive ATCL.

'Plans are well underway for the purchase of another three planes later this year...I hope the African Airline Association and all its members welcome these new developments and will provide the needed support and guidance for ATCL to succeed in its missions,' said Dr Shein.

The African Airlines Association (AFRAA) Secretary General Abderahmane Berthé said the convention, themed 'Harnessing Aviation Opportunities in Africa' was designated for aviation stakeholders to deliberate on opportunities and challenges facing the industry.

Mr Berthe said the sector was an important contributor to economic development in Africa by increasing trade activities and enabling faster and easier movement of passengers and goods. He however said there were several challenges including high costs of operation and competition from non-African carriers.

Mr Raphael Kuuchi, the vice-president of the International Air Transport Association (IATA), said governments must implement progammes to support the development of the aviation sector. Mr Kuuchi said Africa should also address infrastructure crisis which is looming especially as demand for air transport continues to grow.

He warned that development plans are not ambitious enough to accommodate the 7.2 billion passengers expected in the next 20 years.

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