The International Air Transport Association has pegged Africa’s aviation demand to 70 million passengers a year.

For the continent to fully reach its growth rate of 4.7% over the next four years, well above the world average, commercial air travel must be prioritized, IATA suggested.

The Association recently announced the theme for the 2016 Aviation Day Africa (Abuja, Nigeria, May 23 - May 24, 2016), as: “Driving African Economies through the Power of Aviation.”

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The conference will bring together regional stakeholders to address current issues affecting aviation in Africa including the proliferation of taxes and charges, public-private partnerships, aviation, safety, security, next generation airports and market connectivity.Raphael Kuuchi, Vice President Africa, IATA said in a statement: “Governments and organisations need to focus not only on national issues but also on the strategic development of pan-African aviation. Policies that promote investment in air transport infrastructure, improve safety and enhance air connectivity must be implemented. Aviation has the potential to make a much more significant contribution to economic growth and development within the continent if its power is unleashed.”