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Africa–Europe Alliance: Transport taskforce to boost air transport partnership

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Meeting of the Transport taskforce, 24th January, Brussels
Meeting of the Transport taskforce, 24th January, Brussels

Following President Jean-Claude Juncker’s announcement of a new 'Africa - Europe Alliance for sustainable investment and jobs' during his State of the Union speech in September, the Aviation Task Force Cluster has been launched on the 24th of January, in Brussels.

At this first meeting, African and European stakeholders from the aviation sector exchanged ideas and experiences, including on the Single African Air Transport Market as a game changer; a need to enhance safety and security as key drivers; and ensuring collaboration amongst all stakeholders and between Africa and Europe. The participants further highlighted the role of non-aviation sectors benefiting from a stronger aviation market.

The meeting was co-chaired by Cheikh Bedda, Director of Infrastructure and Energy of the African Union Commission and Filip Cornelis, Director of Aviation of the European Commission.

The transport task force is one out of four task forces, already set up in the areas of agriculture, digital economy and energy to help deliver the goals of the Africa-Europe Alliance and to deepen cooperation and propose a series of concrete collaborative projects in strategic areas. The new task force dedicated to transport will focus on aviation as one of the key pillars. The clusters dedicated to road safety and transport connectivity will be addressed in future meetings.

The task force will work for the next six months until June 2019 to provide recommendations on Africa-Europe cooperation in the area of transport and will also promote high-level political support for its proposals.