Raphael Kuuchi IATA’s new Vice President for Africa

Mr. Raphael Kuuchi has taken up the position as Vice President for Africa with the International Air Transport Association (IATA).

This followed IATA’s announcement of Mr. Kuuchi’s appointment last November. He was previously the Director of Commercial, Corporate & Industry Affairs with the African Airlines Association in Nairobi, Kenya.

Mr. Kuuchi reports to Hussein Dabbas, Regional Vice President for Africa & the Middle East region and leads a team of 23 air transport professionals located in IATA’s four sub-Saharan offices. Mr. Kuuchi will divide his time between those offices in Johannesburg, Nairobi, Lagos and Dakar.

«Air transport in Africa has the potential to transform the economic fortunes of the continent and its citizens. But it also faces fundamental challenges, not least of which is improving safety throughout the region. Connectivity within Africa and with foreign destinations and new markets remains a challenge in light of the regulatory barriers to markets and the caps on foreign investment in African airlines which limits carriers’ ability to compete and grow. Similarly, the imposition of taxes and disproportionate charges on air transport are a disincentive to trade and economic growth. IATA, in collaboration with AFRAA, is addressing these issues on behalf of its members and their customers. Raphael, with his considerable experience and expertise in engaging with governments and stakeholders across Africa, will play a leading role in these outreach initiatives,» explained Tony Tyler, IATA’s Director General and CEO.

High on Mr. Kuuchi’s agenda is the African Union’s implementation of the Abuja Declaration of 2012.

«AU member states have committed to the Abuja Declaration with its ambitious, but achievable, goal of a world-class safety record by next year,» said Mr. Kuuchi.

«Encouraging governments to liberalise the regulatory frameworks that currently restrict growth and connectivity, investment in appropriate infrastructure and the…

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