IATA urging African governments to unblock bottlenecks

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As a consequence of the pandemic and associated restrictions, African airlines are forecast to lose USD 2 billion in 2020. Without urgent financial relief, the industry is at risk of collapse, putting about 3.3 million jobs and USD 33 billion in African GPD in jeopardy.
To date, the governments of Sub-Saharan Africa Rwanda, Senegal, Côte D’Ivoire and Burkina Faso have pledged a total of USD 311 million in direct financial support to air transport. A further USD 30 billion has been promised by some governments, international finance bodies and other institutions including the African Development Bank, African Export Import Bank, African Union and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) for air transport and tourism. However, much of the relief is yet to reach those in need due to institutional bureaucracy, complex application and creditworthiness processes, as well as cumbersome conditions to secure finance.
“Over USD 30 billion in financial support has been pledged to aviation and tourism in Africa. Some of this money has been allocated by governments, but far too little of it has reached its intended recipients. Governments and lenders need to urgently unchoke the bottlenecks so that the money can flow quickly, otherwise it will be too late to prevent closures and job losses. There will be no point re-opening the borders and skies if there is no industry left to speak of that is capable of supporting trade and tourism, which are the key components of any thriving economy,” said Muhammad Albakri, IATA’s Regional Vice President for Africa and the Middle East.