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Tunis, 26 May 2006 – Some 200 delegates from across Africa are in Tunis for a high-level meeting of African airlines that opened at the Africa hotel on Monday. The conference was opened by the Tunisian Minister of Transport Abderrahim Zouari, in the presence of the Chair of the African Union Commission Mr. Alpha Oumar Konare, ECA Executive Secretary Abdoulie Janneh, the Chair of the African Conference of Ministers of Transport Mr. Okombi-Salissa and Mr. Folly-Kossi, AFRAA Secretary General. Organized by the African Union (AU), the Association of African Airlines Companies (AFRAA), and the African Development Bank, the conference also brought together representatives of specialized African and global institutions such as the African Civil Aviation Commission (CAFAC), the International Civil Aviation Organization (OACI) and the International Air Transport Association (IATA). Also represented were the regional economic groupings and international donor agencies. Four committees went to work after the opening session. The themes under discussion include: "An institutional and regulatory framework for liberalization of the air transport industry"; "The development of inter-African route network"; "Financing the airlines sector"; and "The African response to the globalization of air travel". One outcome of the open and intense discussions was the agreement on the need to implement the Yamoussoukro Declaration of October 1988 on a new African air travel policy. Participants called for the urgent creation of an implementation agency and greater donor involvement in the exercise. Vice President Thierry de Longuemar addressed the conference on behalf of the Bank. A final communiqué will be issued at the end of discussions on Tuesday.