African air transport sector is facing challenges, including travel restrictions, preventing african citizens to travel to other continents.
African Union Commissioner for Infrastructure and Energy, Dr Amani Abou-Zeid, stated this on Wednesday at a meeting with Ministers of Air Transport to discuss issues of green vaccine passport/certificates and the way forward.
According to him, the problem has persisted despite various initiatives taken by the African Union Department of Infrastructure and Energy, in collaboration with African Civil Aviation Commission and other air transport stakeholders, to ensure a sustainable restart and recovery of the sector.
Abou-Zeid noted that the meeting was held to agree on a common position and establish mechanism to properly communicate Africa’s position to relevant institutions and partners.
“The main objective was to present to the African air transport ministers the proposed common position paper on the issue of vaccine passport and its implication to international travel, with the view to making appropriate recommendations.
“All the participants confirmed their support to the African common position and the roadmap developed by the African Union Commission,” the statement read in part.
It further stated that the meeting made a call to all every country that had introduced or were in the process of introducing vaccine passports, as pre-requisite for international travel, to refrain from doing so, as the vaccine had not been made widely available.
It also recommended that the PCR or antigen test be maintained as the only requirement.
African member states were also encouraged to adopt digital test, wherever possible, as a verifiable health credential and as a trusted platform for traveller information and to coordinate all the concerned stakeholders to implement the “call for action on safe re-opening of borders” developed by the Africa Union Multi-sectorial task force on “saving lives, saving economies and livelihoods,” the statement added.
As a way forward, it was agreed to communicate the adopted African common position to AU policy organs, ministers of health and Information and Communications Technology in other regions, including EU and international partners, it added.
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