We, the African Ministers Responsible for Air Transport, meeting in Sun City, South Africa, from 18 to 19 May 2005:
Recalling that solidarity and co-operation are the cornerstones of all action taken within the framework of the African Union;
Noting that the Yamoussoukro Decision Relating to the Implementation of the Yamoussoukro Declaration Concerning the Liberalisation of Access to Air Transport Markets in Africa (the Yamoussoukro Decision) entered into force on 12 August 2000 and that it takes precedence over any multilateral or bilateral agreements on air services between States Parties which are incompatible with the Decision;
Noting further that the Yamoussoukro Decision was to have been fully implemented by August 2002;
Concerned with the inordinate delay in the implementation of the Yamoussoukro Decision ;
Recognising that some States Parties have made some progress towards the implementation of the Yamoussoukro Decision but that, however, others are still lagging behind for various reasons ;
Taking cognisance of the need for States Parties to adopt a holistic approach to the implementation of the Yamoussoukro Decision, particularly as regards issues such as safety, security, the environment, funding and competition;
Reaffirming the need for the full implementation of the Yamoussoukro Decision by all States Parties;
HEREBY APPROVE the following plan of action to expedite and monitor the implementation of the Yamoussoukro Decision:
The States Parties which have implemented the Yamoussoukro Decision are or which are currently in the process of implementing the Yamoussoukro Decision are highly commended and are strongly encouraged to continue to do so.
2. The following measures should be undertaken:
T he African Air Transport Executing Agency (Executing Agency) provided for in the Yamoussoukro Decision should be established under the auspices of the African Union.
The Monitoring Body established in terms of article 9.2 of the Yamoussoukro Decision shall propose to the Sub-Committee on Air Transport of the Committee on Transport, Communications and Tourism (the Sub-Committee on Air Transport) ways to further strengthen its functions and clarify the role of its members. The role of the AU and the RECs should be revisited in order to improve its efficiency. The Monitoring Body should include the African Development Bank and the NEPAD Secretariat.
The Monitoring Body shall harmonise the competition rules developed at the level of the RECs.
States Parties shall, through the RECs , establish and effectively implement competition rules.
T he Monitoring Body shall prepare and distribute to States Parties guidelines on the criteria for evaluating compliance with the Yamoussoukro Decision. The guidelines shall address, inter alia , the following:
the completion of constitutional requirements for implementation, where applicable;
the completion of national and regional institutional mechanisms to support implementation;
the multiple designation of airlines between all city pairs in Africa;
the harmonisation of national and/or regional air transport policies;
compliance with International Civil Aviation Organisation Standards and Recommended Practices;
liberalization of passenger and cargo services;
conformity with the eligibility criteria in the Yamoussoukro Decision;
frequencies between any two States Parties;
exchange of fifth freedom traffic rights; and
non-approval of tariffs by governments, taking into consideration applicable competition rules.
The AU Commission should undertake a study to establish the challenges faced by States Parties in implementing the Yamoussoukro Decision. Based on the findings of this study, the African Union shall be requested to adopt measures for the provision of support to States experiencing difficulties in the implementation of the Yamoussoukro Decision.
3. States Parties shall submit to the Monitoring Body a report indicating their status of implementation of the Yamoussoukro Decision in accordance with the criteria referred to in paragraph 1 (e).
4. The report referred to in paragraph 3 shall, where applicable, include a plan of action indicating a timeframe, for the full implementation of the Yamoussoukro Decision.
5. The arbitration procedures envisaged in article 8 of the Yamoussoukro Decision should be elaborated and adopted by the Monitoring Body.
6. African States are encouraged to ratify and incorporate the Cape Town Convention on International Interests in Mobile Equipment and the Protocol to the Convention on International Interests in Mobile Equipment on Matters Specific to Aircraft Equipment (2001), into their national law in order to benefit from their provisions.
7. Avenues for resource mobilization towards the implementation of the Yamoussoukro Decision should be identified and utilised. In particular, there is a need to secure funding for all activities undertaken by the RECs, the Monitoring Body and the Executing Agency. The sources of funding referred to shall, as far as possible, not include additional taxes on the aviation industry
8. The implementation of the Yamoussoukro Decision should be included in the African Peer Review Mechanism of NEPAD.
9. When a State Party considers that another State Party has not complied with the Yamoussoukro Decision, that State Party shall report such alleged non-compliance to the Monitoring Body for necessary action in accordance with rules to be developed and adopted by the Monitoring Body.
10. There should be regular follow-up meetings of the Ministers Responsible for Air Transport in Africa, at intervals not exceeding two years, to be convened by the AU Commission.
Done and adopted at Sun City, South Africa
on this 19 th day of May 2005
MEETING OF AFRICAN MINISTERS RESPONSIBLE FOR AIR TRANSPORT
First Ordinary Session