MOMBASA, Kenya – The International Air Transport Association (IATA) announced the appointment of Raphael Kuuchi as the Association’s Vice President for Africa from 17 February 2014.
Kuuchi joins IATA from the African Airlines Association (AFRAA) where he was the Director of Commercial, Corporate and Industry Affairs, based at AFRAA headquarters in Nairobi, Kenya. He will report to Hussein Dabbas, Regional Vice President for Africa and the Middle East and lead a team of some 23 professionals in IATA’s four sub-Saharan offices. Kuuchi will be based out of IATA’s Nairobi office, but will divide his time between IATA’s Africa regional office in Johannesburg and sub-regional offices in Dakar and Lagos.
“We are pleased to welcome Raphael to the IATA team. Africa is a continent of enormous potential for aviation. It also faces many fundamental challenges—not least of which is improving safety across the continent. Success will require a team effort by governments and airlines with the support of IATA, AFRAA and many other partners. Raphael brings the expertise needed to ensure that IATA will continue to deliver leadership to these efforts, value to our members and partnership for the many stakeholders counting on our support and expertise,” said Tony Tyler, IATA’s Director General and CEO.
“I look forward to leading IATA in Africa at this important time in the development of the continent’s aviation sector. Governments have committed to the Abuja Declaration with the ambitious but achievable goal of a world-class safety record by 2015. Supporting this will be at the top of a very full agenda that includes working with governments to promote liberalization, develop infrastructure and create a more business-friendly environment with an appropriate tax framework and effective regulation. There are many opportunities for IATA and global standards to play a critical role in Africa’s development. I look forward to working with partners across the continent to support the success of these initiatives. This includes very close cooperation with AFRAA,” said Kuuchi.
“AFRAA and IATA are well aligned in our commitment to support the successful development of aviation in Africa. While we are sad to be losing a colleague, we are pleased to see him take on this important role. This is a great opportunity to deepen our cooperation with IATA, support our members and enhance the many benefits that aviation can bring to Africa,” said Dr. Elijah Chingosho, AFRAA’s Secretary General.
Kuuchi is a Ghanaian national who began his career at Ghana Airways in 1991. His 15-year career at Ghana Airways included work in commercial, corporate planning and accounting functions in both Accra and Johannesburg. Between 2005 and 2012 he was Director of Commercial and Information Communication Technology at AFRAA, before taking on the role of Director of Commercial, Corporate and Industry Affairs.
Kuuchi succeeds Mike Higgins in the role, following Higgins’ reassignment as the Regional Head of Airport, Cargo and Passenger Services for Europe.