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Given that nine of the world's 20 fastest growing economies are in Africa, it is hardly surprising that IATA predicts sustained annual growth of 5% for African airlines over the coming two decades.
The industry group's forecast may even be conservative. A separate report by Intervistas, an economic consultant, estimates that intra-African liberalisation in just 12 countries would rapidly unlock latent demand for 5 million new passenger journeys a year, more than doubling traffic in heavily protected markets like Angola and Algeria.
Yet rosy forecasts have been made about the continent before – and have generally been proven wrong...