The challenge: 'What information, tools or technology will the first-time air traveller in Africa need to make their journey easy, successful and enjoyable?'
The growth of aviation (air travel) in Africa is predicted by IATA to be 5.4% over the period 2014-2034, second only to the Middle East (6%). In IATA’s 20 year passenger growth forecast of 2016, the top 10 fastest growing markets by percentage are all in Africa. According to UN predictions, Africa stands out as the region set for the biggest increase in population over the next 20 years. Seven African countries are predicted to move income groups, from low to middle income in the period 2015 to 2035, while a further four will move from middle to high income groups. Add to this the increasing penetration of mobile and digital technologies opening up access to travel and online booking, and the opportunity exists for a greater number of people across Africa than ever to travel by air.
However, for many, this could be the first trip that an individual has taken, or indeed anyone in their family. They may be missing the points of reference that frequent flyers take for granted. And while they may be familiar with concepts of mobile money (such as M-Pesa), the thought of using a mobile to research and book travel – let alone use a mobile to navigate an airport, or use as a boarding pass may seem beyond imagination. Given the opportunities afforded by increases in disposable income, deeper adoption of mobile and digital technology, a changing demographic, and the predicted passenger growth – what information, tools or technology will the first-time air traveller in Africa need to make their journey easy, successful and enjoyable?
The winning Wits team will be rewarded with the Rand-equivalent of US $10,000 on 20 July 2018.
SITA is the world's leading specialist in air transport communications and information technology. Around the world, nearly every passenger flight relies on SITA technology. Globally, almost every airport and airline does business with us, and it’s our job to support their operations. As the world's leading air transport IT and communications specialist, we’re committed to meeting the demands of the air transport industry around the clock, every day.
The SITA Air Transport Community Foundation has been supporting students at Wits and the Tshimologong Precinct since 2015, providing funding to students in the schools of:
Electrical and Information Engineering
Information Systems in Commerce
The goal of the SITA Wits partnership is to:
Support students from Africa who need financial backing to succeed in their studies;
Add much-needed skills and expertise to the aviation industry through support for specific academic disciplines.