Government delay to implement the Yamoussoukro Decision is denying Uganda the opportunity to increase Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and ease unemployment, a report has shown.
Yamoussoukro Decision is an agreement that encourages African nations to open their aviation markets to each other.
According to the report published by the International Air Transport Association (IATA), 18, 600 jobs and an annual contribution of $77.6 million (about Shs205 billion) to GDP slip away from Uganda as a result of delaying the liberalisation of the of intra-African air market.
The report points out that the said employment and economic growth accrue from an increase in the activities of airlines, airports, air navigation and other businesses that support the aviation sector.
The latter vary from wholesalers that supply food for catering on flights to truck companies that move goods to and from the airport.
However, according to Mr Ignie Igunduura, the public affairs manager at Civil Aviation Authority, the Decision (Yamoussoukro), entails many decisions that cannot be put in place at once.
“Uganda is already on the journey to implementation but taking one step at ago. We have, for example, removed restrictions on the capacity and frequency of airlines to the country. There are no restrictions on the number of times an airline can come to Entebbe and the number of passengers it can carry,” Mr Igunduura told the Daily Monitor in an interview on Tuesday.
Uganda is one of the 12 African nations that were used as a case study in the report to highlight the extent of the benefit that would accrue from adhering to the Yamoussoukro Decision. The rest are: Algeria, Angola, Egypt, Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya, Namibia, Nigeria, Senegal, South Africa and Tunisia.
“The Yamoussoukro process has been ongoing for decades; Africa cannot afford to delay its implementation any longer. Greater connectivity leads to greater prosperity,” said IATA director general and CEO Tony Tyler, in a statement.
About the decision
The Yamoussoukro Decision (the Decision) was adopted in 1999. It commits its 44 signatory countries to remove restrictions on air services and promote transnational competition in regional air markets.