Latest air freight statistics shows positive African growth

International Air Transport Association (IATA) has commended the Africa continent for its impressive performance in the recent Cargo Market Analysis for the third quarter of the year.

According to the analyses, African Airlines transporting freight in the region witnessed a 10.2 per cent increase in demand in August, continuing 2012’s positive growth trend.

This was contained in a statement issued in Accra and copied to Ghana News Agency by DHL in Accra on Tuesday.

Mr Charles Brewer, Managing Director of DHL Express Sub-Saharan Africa, noted that the positive achievement made by the continent was a positive step to boost the business industry as it translates into economic growth for the continent.

He said the increasing freight volumes in the region could be linked to improve business and consumer confidence as airline industry performance tracks developments in the global economy.

“It is extremely positive that emerging markets such as those in Africa continue to outpace the Western economies and, set against a backdrop of continued global economic uncertainty, job stagnation, a very challenging European environment and a global debt crisis, this shows the continued and increasing importance of Africa,” he said.

He said the growth in both cargo and freight volumes could be linked to the fact that many businesses, both local and foreign were looking to Africa for expansion and with the new discoveries of gas and oil fields in Southern and Central Africa, coupled with the technology and healthcare boom, “We expect regional trade expansion to continue to improve”.

The IATA Cargo Market Analysis report pointed to an increase in the number of air freight routes between Africa and the Middle East, with the highest rate of 17.9 per cent recorded in February. In contrast, the route between Europe and the Middle East only showed 1.4 per cent growth over the same period.

The report noted that during the first quarter of the year, the revenue earned from cargo leaving Africa was $45.8 million, with inbound revenues totaling $333.7 million.

“While Africa only contributes three per cent of the global economy, it is growing the fastest. 28 of the 52 countries have five per cent average economic annual growth and countries like Ghana, Ethiopia, Liberia, Mozambique, Niger and Uganda could potentially grow up to 10 per cent”, Mr Brewer said.

Brewer therefore cautioned the continent against complacency saying “Sub-Saharan Africa undoubtedly provides numerous opportunities for both SMEs (Small and Medium Scale Enterprises) looking to reach out globally, and international companies looking to expand”.

“However, there are still numerous challenges around infrastructure, labour relations and the ease of trade within the region which need very urgent attention.” GNA

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