Africa 'has to improve air transport safety'
28 September 2010
African countries need to open up their air service markets to foreign operators to improve transport safety, one expert has said.
Charles Schlumberger, the World Bank's lead air transport specialist, noted the move would not only increase security for individuals using airports, but it could also encourage economic growth in this sector.
"At present, 31 African countries have poor safety standards, resulting in more air crashes than in any other region of the world," he added.
Calling the challenge "urgent", Mr Schlumberger observed action needs to be taken straight away to try and redress the situation.
He has called on every country on the continent to sign up to the Yamoussoukro Decision - which commits those states that sign it - 44 have so far - to deregulate its air services.
The bank recently revealed it has given Sudan some $524 million (£334.4 million) in order to improve its infrastructure.