Rwanda and Togo have signed a Bilateral Air Service Agreement (BASA) that will promote ease of doing business in Africa, particularly between the two parties and boost investments in the West and East regions of Africa.
The air service agreement will enable Rwanda’s National carrier RwandAir and Togolese Asky Airlines fly to and from Kigali and Lome respectively with a minimum of one stopover for passengers doing business in the two regions.
Jean de Dieu uwihanganye, State Minister in charge of Transport in Rwanda’s Ministry of Infrastructure and Ninsao Gnofam, Togo Minister of Transport sealed the deal at the ongoing 4-day International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) safety symposium in Rwanda’s capital, Kigali.
“We see this agreement as an opening for our landlocked country,” said Gnofam, “which will open more opportunities in investment, at the time when we have increased our flights on the continent.”
Prior to the Rwanda-Togo deal, Rwanda signed a similar deal with Ghana to boost ties between the two countries. Like the Togo BASA signing, the Ghana deal was aimed at boosting growth and development in Africa’s aviation industry as two countries involved recognized the importance of the air service deal to spur intra-African trade and elevate the economic statuses that favour both under this agreement. RwandAir may add to its 26 destinations other 22 routes plied by Togolese carrier in West and Central Africa, under this agreement. RwandAir has signed 60 BASA agreements.
With the new open air policy in place, many countries are beginning to open their skies to do business and promote intra-trade. With limited restrictions involved, the aviation sector will develop rapidly benefiting countries’ economies. The signed Togo-Rwanda agreement brings the number of African countries that have accepted to open their airspace to 25 out of the 54 countries on the continent.
Other countries that have signed the agreement include Benin, Botswana, Burkina Faso, Cape Verde, Democratic Republic of Congo, Ivory Coast, Egypt, Ethiopia, Gabon, Ghana, Guinea, Kenya, Liberia, Mali, Mozambique, Niger, Nigeria, Sierra Leone, and South Africa. Zimbabwe has also agreed to take part.