ADDIS ABABA, Ethiopia, September 8, 2015/African Press Organization (APO)/ — The Validation Workshop for the Report on Air Transport Services in Ethiopia was held at the AU Headquarters in Addis Ababa on 7 September 2015. The workshop was organized by the Department of Trade and industry of the African Union Commission, in collaboration with United Nations Development Program (UNDP). The objective of the validation workshop was to bring together various stakeholders in the air transport industry with a view of engaging the relevant stakeholders to review the findings of the draft reports and contribute to the finalization of the report.
Addressing the participants during the opening ceremony, Mr. Atnafseged Kifle, Advisor to the State Minister, Ministry of Transport thanked the African union Commission for organizing the workshop and highlighted that the Ministry of Transport is interested in the findings of the report in light of the importance of Air Transport liberalization in the context of global, continental and domestic aviation and the potential of the sector has for Africa.
Taking the floor, Mr. James Wakiaga representing the UNDP Country Representative extended his appreciation to the African Union Commission for coordinating the workshop and underscored the fact that “UNDP support to the trade project was driven by the imperative of promoting inclusive globalization, and Africa taking its rightful position in global trade and competitiveness. Trade in services has become an emerging opportunity given its significant contribution to GDP in many African countries“. Mr. Wakiaga emphasized the commitment of UNDP to support the AUC and highlighted the availability of the UNDP regional office to support the programmes on boosting intra-African trade.
After welcoming the participants, H.E Mrs. Fatima H Acyl, Commissioner for Trade and Industry, commended the government of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia for the partnership and support in conducting the study on Air Transport Services in Ethiopia. She thanked the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) for their commitment and support to promote Africa’s trade and integration Agenda. H.E highlighted some latest research indicating that developing countries are shifting towards services sooner and at a lower level of per capita income than has been the case in the traditional development trajectory”. She underscored, “despite the success stories from Ethiopia, Nigeria and Burkina Faso, there is a big gap between the awareness of government in the public sector and service operators and firms in the private sector, where ‘de facto’ integration in services is happening in many areas”.
The Commissioner pointed out that “ Raising awareness to overcome this ‘perception gap’ in Africa is critical at the continental level as well as at the sub-regional and national levels, where the incorporation of service sector development into mainstream economic planning and development priorities remains lagging”. She wished a successful deliberation and opened the workshop officially.