The International Air Transport Association (IATA) has entered a cooperation agreement with the Government of the Federal Republic of Somalia to bolster the country’s aviation industry.

Under the agreement, a new framework has been set up to help IATA expand its activities in the country.

IATA will focus on the development of sustainable, economical and safe air travel in the region.

The aim is to support growth and job prospects, as well as support global trade and tourism.

IATA Africa and Middle East regional vice-president Kamil Alawadhi said: “Aviation is a significant contributor to the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), so the potential for a strengthened air transport sector to contribute to Somalia’s development is enormous.

“This agreement aims to realise that potential for social and economic development by focusing on global standards and best practices.

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“Minister Fardowsa Osman Egal has a strong vision for a successful aviation sector to contribute to a more prosperous Somalia. And we are determined to support that by turning the words of our agreement into real actions.”

In addition, IATA’s actions are said to be integral in supporting the UN SDGs by providing connectivity between countries.

Somalian Minister of Transport and Civil Aviation Fardowsa Osman Egal said: “Aviation is essential to the success of Somalia’s development plans.

“The Government of Somalia is committed to developing its air transport sector to help promote long-term social and economic growth in the country.

“And we will ensure that global best practices are at the core of development. This agreement will pave the way for closer cooperation on the priorities for aviation in the country.”