The Tanzania Times
Eastern Africa News Network

Why don’t African airlines speak the same language?

In order to travel from one African country to another, people are forced to first fly into Asia, Europe or the United States of America, the connect planes from there.

Tanzania’s Head of State, President Samia Suluhu Hasan expressed this concern during the occasion to inaugurate the Pan-African Postal Union Headquarters Building in Arusha.

Known as the PAPU Tower, the tallest piece of architecture in the city was built as combined effors

“It is also high time for our national post corporations to start making use of local airlines in conveying parcels and other courier services across the continent, for speedier and cheaper delivery,” said President Samia.

“But it is also rather funny that in order for people on the continent to travel between African countries they must first fly abroad and connect their flights from there,” she stated, imploring national airlines to find ways of connecting their routes.

As it happens, commercial flights in Africa are more often than not, infrequent, unreliable, expensive, and circuitous.

Travelling from one African country to another, people are forced to go thousands of miles out of their way and transfer through Asia, the Middle East or Europe.

Though Africa is home to over 12 percent of the global population the continent accounts for just one percent of the world’s air travel market.

And the flights that operate in Africa are usually more expensive than other routes of same duration and distance elsewhere in the world.

So far, Ethiopian Airlines, Kenya Airways and South Africa Airways are the three main carriers on the continent with international routes. The rest are struggling to make their presence felt in the skies.

The President of Tanzania, Samia Suluhu, also urged postal corporations in Africa to create a single, unified e-commerce platform for seamless transactions on the continent in sync with digitalization of their services. 

So far each country has rolled out digital e-commerce portals for modern commercial transactions and these will soon be linked to create a continental digital trading platform.

Africa is home to more than 1.4 billion residents living in a total of 55 countries on the continent.

On his part the Director General of the Pan-African Postal Union (PAPU), Sifundo Chief Moyo, said with the establishment of the new PAPU Tower in Arusha, the building will also serve as incubation centre for transforming postal services into speedier entities featuring advanced digital technology.

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