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Harare, Zimbabwe
December 17, 2002

                  34TH ANNUAL GENERAL ASSEMBLY

The 34th Annual General Assembly of the African Airlines Association kicked off
here yesterday (16th Dec) with Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe calling on
member airlines to help market Africa‟s tourism industry.

Approximately 200 delegates attended the two-day meeting held at the Harare
International Conference Centre. Around 20 member airlines were represented at
Chief Executive level. Others included representatives from international and regional
airline organisations, civil aviation authorities, as well as manufacturers and suppliers
of aviation equipment, hardware and services.

In his opening remarks, President Mugabe challenged African airlines to market
Africa‟s huge tourism potential. He said Africa had some of the best Game Parks in
the world, in places like Kenya, Tanzania, and in Southern Africa, yet that did not
translate into profits.

“In the year 2000, Africa earned only 2.2 per cent of the total world tourism earnings.
Out of the 700 million world tourists who travelled, only 27 million (a mere 4 per
cent) came to Africa in 2000,” President Mugabe noted.

The President urged African airlines to ensure that they were up-to-date on safety and
security measures, noting that the recent terrorist attacks in Mombasa, Kenya, showed
that Africa was not immune to acts of terrorism.

AFRAA Secretary-General Mr Christian Folly-Kossi said African airlines ought to be
run by professional boards of directors and by competent Chief Executive Officers
appointed on merit. He lamented that frequent changes in leaderships of airlines was
detrimental to the industry.

“Frequent changes in the top management of African airlines are killing the industry,”
Mr. Folly-Kossi, adding that African Airlines should no longer expect foreign carriers
from Europe or elsewhere to bail them out in times of trouble. He noted that these
foreign airlines were also undergoing severe difficulties of their own.

Mr. Folly-Kossi at the same time urged African governments to commercialise or
privatise their airlines in order to avoid „invasion‟ by mega-carriers who pose a
challenge to African airlines.

“Liberalisation and globalisation are taking the industry by storm. In the coming
years, the continent is likely to be thoroughly invaded by foreign mega-carriers. Most
African carriers would not survive the tempest of such fierce competition, unless we
timely address the issue of their small size,” Mr Folly-Kossi said.

He also emphasised on need for member airlines to form vibrant regional groupings
and alliances in order to withstand the worldwide competition going on in the

Other issues discussed at the Assembly, which ends today 17th December, 2002,
included Information Technology developments in air transport, trends and future
prospects and the way forward for African Airlines.

At the conclusion, the Assembly elected Capt. Fathi Shatti, Chief Executive Officer of
Libyan Arab Airlines as the AFRAA President for the year 2003.

Mr. Jonathan Jiya, Chief Executive Officer of Nigeria Airways was elected 1st Vice
-President and Mr. Brian Pressbury, Chief Executive Officer of Kenya Airways was
elected as 2nd Vice-President.