The Coronavirus is here to stay. However that does not mean we stop embracing commercial aviation as a way to open up the continent and dramatically improve Africa’s economic prospects. One of the fundamental reasons for publishing this magazine is to promote Africa’s business and investment potential. Covid-19 is just another challenge along with other challenges we must face in order to unlock business opportunities.
African countries trade the least with each other, have the least rates of cross-border investments and are the most dependent on exports to Europe and China.
Hopefully, the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA), will provide the impetus to quickly turn this situation around.
Poor or inadequate transport infrastructure remains part of the problem yet commercial aviation can offer plenty of financial spin-offs apart from connecting business people. For instance, the air transport industry in the European Union (out of the total 44 member countries) supports about 12 million jobs and contributes nearly US$900 billion to the EU’s GDP.
The International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) report says aviation contributes US$55.8 billion to Africa’s gross domestic product (GDP) and supports 6.2 million jobs before Covid-19. This accounted for 1.8% of all employment and 2.6% of all GDP of African countries in 2019.
Embracing commercial aviation can do much to open up the continent and dramatically improve Africa’s economic prospects.
I pray we get there sooner!
Brutus Kagingo. Founder and ED,Prime Media Network.