Boeing’s new Africa headquarters to be based in Addis Abeba

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Boeing has announced that it will establish its new Africa HQ in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, scheduled to open this year. The decision positions Ethiopia ahead of Kenya and South Africa as the preferred location for the aerospace giant’s latest expansion plans in Africa, a continent expected to have a rapidly expanding air travel industry in the years and decades ahead.

In preparation for this move, Boeing had earlier appointed Henok Shawl, a former executive at Ethiopian Airlines, as the managing director for its African division. Shawl brings extensive experience in aviation and telecommunications, having recently served as the chief external affairs officer at Safaricom Telecommunication Ethiopia for six months.

According to Boeing’s website, “Africa’s abundant natural resources and burgeoning young workforce are poised to drive significant growth in air traffic and airplane demand over the next two decades”. Boeing anticipates that African carriers will need 1,030 new jet aircraft within the next 20 years, with 80% of these deliveries aimed at expanding the existing fleet.

Ethiopian Airlines, the largest carrier in Africa, has reached an agreement to purchase up to 20 of Boeing Co.’s 777X aircraft, providing the coming jet with an important endorsement from one of Africa’s premier airlines. The airline is currently building a new expanded airport hub in preparation for Africa’s expanding aviation industry. The airline is also expanding its repair, maintenance, and training facilities.

Geven-SkyTecno and Ethiopian Airlines have inaugurated a state-of-the-art facility for the Manufacturing of Insulation Blankets for Boeing 737 MAX airplanes as part of a Boeing agreement between The Boeing Company, Geven-Skytecno and Ethiopian Airlines.

In 2023, Ethiopian and Boeing entered a joint-venture to manufacture some airplane parts in Ethiopia. The venture will make “aerospace parts, including aircraft thermo-acoustic insulation blankets, electrical wire harnesses, and other parts,” the commission said. “The investment project is expected to create employment opportunities for more than 300 Ethiopians,” it said. The commission did not say when production will begin. There was no immediate comment from Boeing.

Boeing is committed to tapping into this potential and has made substantial investments to support the growth of the local aerospace sector. These investments have not only fostered job creation but also spurred innovation, benefiting both Boeing and its African partners. The company collaborates with eight suppliers across six African markets, with these partnerships valued at approximately $41 million annually, with expected revenue growth of 8% per year on the continent. 

Boeing’s long-term vision and investment in Africa underscore its commitment to the continent’s aviation industry, ensuring mutual growth and development in the years to come.

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