Kamil Alawadhi, IATA’s Regional Vice President for Africa

African Airlines Set for a Small Profit in 2024: Governments Urged to Harness Aviation for Economic Growth

The International Air Transport Association (IATA) called on Africa’s governments to take advantage of a strengthening aviation sector to maximize its benefits for economic and social development across the African Continent.

Recently IATA announced that Africa’s airlines are expected to earn a collective net profit in 2024 for the second year in a row. That is a welcome and hard-won result reflecting the sector’s resilience in its post-COVID recovery. The expected $100 million profit, however, translates into just 90 cents per passenger—well below the global average of $6.14.

“Africa’s airlines are making a collective profit. That is good news. But it is razor-thin and well below the global benchmark. And there are wide variations across the continent where many individual airlines still struggle with losses. The demand to travel is there. To meet it, the African airline sector needs to overcome many challenges, not least of which are infrastructure deficiencies, high costs, onerous taxation, and the failure to broadly implement a continent-wide multilateral traffic rights regime,” said Kamil Alawadhi, IATA’s Regional Vice President for Africa and the Middle East.

“The challenges facing African aviation are significant, but they are not insurmountable. IATA’s Focus Africa initiative is by no means a panacea, but it does lay out a framework to build a stronger aviation sector that will provide even better support to economic growth and social development. The prize for working together across the continent for safe, efficient, and sustainable air connectivity is well worth focused policy efforts across the continent,” said Alawadhi.


New AI Insights: AfriLabs Publishes Two Groundbreaking Reports Funded by the Gates Foundation

AfriLabs, the largest pan-African network of technology and innovation hubs, is thrilled to announce the release of two pivotal studies on Artificial Intelligence (AI) in Africa. Funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation (BMGF), these studies offer unprecedented insights into the AI startup ecosystem and the ethical implications of AI policies on the continent.

The first study, Landscape Analysis of AI Startups in Africa, provides a detailed mapping of AI startups across Africa. It categorizes startups by their focus areas, stages of development, and geographical distribution, presenting a clear picture of the current AI landscape. The study also delves into the unique challenges and opportunities these startups face within Africa’s socio-economic environment.

The second study, Implication of AI Ethical Policies on African Innovators and Entrepreneurs, examines how various ethical frameworks and policies influence AI development and deployment across different African countries. It highlights both the positive implications and potential drawbacks, offering strategic recommendations for policymakers to ensure that AI practices are ethical, aligned with Africa’s broader development goals, and enabled.

Both reports fill critical gaps in existing knowledge and have far-reaching implications for practitioners, policymakers, and researchers working within the field of AI in Africa. These studies are expected to drive informed decision-making and foster a more supportive environment for AI innovation on the continent.

Nanko Madu, Director of Programmes at AfriLabs, emphasized the importance of these studies, stating “The insights from these reports are invaluable for understanding the dynamic AI landscape in Africa and the ethical considerations that must guide our innovation efforts. We are grateful to the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation for their support and are confident that these studies will serve as crucial resources for stakeholders across the continent.”