News & Media

National Aviation Services (NAS) Partners with #VisaFreeAfrica

Kigali, Rwanda : Wednesday, November 22, 2017

The Kigali Global Shapers has partnered with National Aviation Services (NAS), the fastest growing aviation services provider in the emerging markets, for an exclusive sponsor of #VisaFreeAfrica (VFA), a global campaign to facilitate mobility in Africa. For the past 30 years, the African Union has attempted to address free movement on the continent. The “Agenda 2063” plan to introduce a common African passport by 2020 is in motion but African citizens still need visas to travel to 42 out of 54 African countries.

The #VisaFreeAfrica campaign, launched by the Kigali Global Shapers during the World Economic Forum for Africa in 2016 includes a global petition that calls for:

1. All 54 African countries to grant a 30-day visa on arrival to all African citizens by 2022.
2. Achieve free movement of people across all African countries by 2030.

In addition to the petition, Global Shapers across the African continent are engaging their leaders and policy makers in dialogues about the need to ease mobility on the continent. Through this initiative, African youth will find a platform to voice the reasons why facilitating movement of people across the continent now can fast track the continent’s 2063 Agenda.

The NAS and VFA partnership took roots at the World Economic Forum meeting held in Davos, Switzerland in January 2017 and was formalized almost immediately. NAS has made a five-year commitment to support this campaign which will be implemented in several African countries in the coming months.

Michaella Rugwizangoga, ?Curator at World Economic Forum Global Shapers said “With support from National Aviation Services (NAS), the Kigali Shapers will be able to better coordinate a continental effort towards open African borders and facilitate the removal of visa requirements on the continent.”

On a global scale, Africa’s competitiveness is tied to labor mobility. With the African market set to grow to 2 billion by 2050, greater integration and human mobility is the need of the hour. Liberal visa policies will help boost tourism revenues, foster new business opportunities and facilitate economic growth. It will also open up new job opportunities to the 60 percent* of African youth that is currently unemployed.

Hassan El-Houry, Group CEO NAS, said “NAS has a presence in over ten airports in Africa and continues to grow quickly in the region. As we expand our footprint of operations in Africa, our responsibility towards the local communities also increases. As a partner in Africa’s development, we are aware of the mobility issues faced by youth and businesses in the region. With our investments in the region and by supporting Visa Free Africa we continue to drive efforts for the development of the continent and its people.”

NAS operates across the Middle East, Africa and Central Asia, with a presence at 30 airports, managing more than 31 airport lounges and handling seven of the world’s top 10 airlines. With an employee base of over 8,000 capable and experienced employees at the core of its network, NAS is committed to providing aviation services that benchmark to the best in the world.

To sign the petition visit: https://www.change.org/p/african-union-heads-of-states-visa-free-africa

About Kigali Global Shapers

The Kigali Global Shapers are part of a global network of 600 Hubs under the umbrella of the World Economic Forum. Hubs are developed and led by young people who are exceptional in their potential, achievements and drive to make a contribution to their communities. The community encompasses 7000 change makers.

Established in 2012 by Founding Curator Diana Mpyisi, the Kigali Hub has now positioned itself as one of the most active and impactful youth-led groups in Rwanda.

The flagship project “Twumve Twumve” Forum, loosely translated “Hear us, we hear you”, empowers Rwandan youth to make their voices heard. Twumve Twumve is a unique opportunity for youth to engage in direct conversation with leaders from the public and private sector on issues facing Rwanda and the continent.

The Kigali Shapers created and lead the #VisaFreeAfrica campaign, a call to action for African leaders and the African Union to ease visa procedures across the continent. The Kigali Hub is partnering with NAS and coordinating actions across youth-led organization in Africa to raise awareness around the issues of mobility and accelerate the ease of travel procedures across the continent. To show your support, sign the #VisaFreeAfrica petition today: https://www.change.org/p/african-union-heads-of-states-visa-free-africa. For more information - https://www.globalshapers.org/hubs/kigali/shapers About National Aviation Services (NAS) National Aviation Services (NAS) is the fastest growing aviation services provider in the emerging markets. Established in 2003, NAS quickly transformed from a Kuwait based ground handling company into an emerging markets leader in the industry. NAS is present in over 30 airports across the Middle East, Africa and South Asia, handling seven out of the world’s top 10 airlines and managing more than 31 airport lounges. With an employee base of over 8,000 capable and experienced employees at the core of its worldwide network, NAS is committed to providing aviation services that benchmark to the best in the world. The NAS portfolio of services includes ramp and passenger services, cargo handling, engineering and line maintenance, airport technologies, fixed base operations, terminal management, aviation training, travel solutions, lounge management and meet-and-assist packages. Affiliated with leading industry organizations, NAS follows international aviation standards with certifications from ISO, EMS and OHSAS practices. NAS is one of the first ground handlers in the world to obtain the IATA’s Safety Audit for Ground Operations (ISAGO) certification illustrating the company’s commitment to providing high quality services, with a focus on safety and security. For more information about NAS visit: www.nas.aero