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ICAO: air cargo growth requires renewed commitment to Lomé Declaration

Montréal, Canada - According to its Council President Aliu at the second meeting on Air cargo Development in Africa

Implementation of the Lomé Declaration is a crucial lever for realizing the technological innovation, regulatory reform and investment in infrastructure demanded by Africa’s tremendously promising growth in air cargo, declared the President of the ICAO Council, Olumuyiwa Benard Aliu, in his address at the Second Meeting on Air Cargo Development in Africa yesterday. The key objective of the Lomé Declaration is the unobstructed flow and rapid release of goods through enhanced trade facilitation and custom clearance frameworks. Pointing to the pertinence of progress on its implementation, Aliu highlighted the significance of air cargo’s current and forecasted contributions to Africa’s economy. He remarked it, adding that growth in African freight traffic outpaced the global average last year and that freight capacity offered by African carriers in the region surged by over 20 per cent in 2016. He noted that progress in support of the Declaration should be achieved through the ratification of the 1999 Convention for the Unification of Certain Rules for International Carriage by Air, to which only 56 per cent of African States have adhered, the realisation of the ambitious ‘E-Trade for All’ initiative, which ICAO is undertaking in collaboration with other UN agencies, and the deployment of the Cargo Service Quality Index for measuring freight performance at the airport level, a project that ICAO is developing with the International Air Cargo Association. Innovation is particularly crucial as e-commerce trends will continue to be a significant driver of this growth. Progress on the implementation of the Lomé Declaration furthermore requires enhanced investment in ground infrastructure, aircraft, and human resources. He remarked it, noting that ICAO is facilitating States’ commitments in this area through its own World Aviation Forums and its support of the MoveAfrica initiative being led by the New Partnership for Africa’s Development Agency. He urged States and financial institutions to contribute to the ICAO/AFCAC Human Resources Development Fund, and highlighted the aircraft financing benefits of adherence to the 2001 Convention on International Interests in Mobile Equipment. The President of the ICAO Council also underscored that continued growth would be predicated on a balanced approach to the liberalisation of services. Aliu reiterated that ICAO would continue assisting States as they move forward with all of their regional and national targets, in particular through the No Country Left Behind initiative and with the support of the ICAO Regional Offices in Africa. Organized by ICAO in cooperation with the Ethiopian Civil Aviation Authority, Ethiopian Airlines and the International Air Cargo Association, the Second Meeting on Air Cargo Development in Africa was opened by His Excellency Getachew Mengiste, State Minister, Ministry of Public Enterprises of Ethiopia, and was attended by 247 participants representing 21 States, 7 international organizations, and industry stakeholders from Africa, Asia-Pacific, the Caribbean, the Middle East, Europe and North America. Among the main outcomes of the meeting was the adoption of a new Statement on the Implementation of the Lomé Declaration, reaffirming commitment to the sustainable development of air cargo in Africa.

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