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Henok Teferra appointed Africa managing director

American manufacturing giant Boeing has announced plans to open an office in Addis Ababa early next year. Former Ethiopian Airlines exec Henok Teferra Shawl will lead the office as the new managing director for Boeing’s African wing.

The announcements come a few weeks after the Ethiopian Airlines Group placed an order for more than 65 aircraft with Boeing – the largest-ever from an African carrier.

Henok joins the US manufacturer from Safaricom Telecommunication Ethiopia, where he served as chief external affairs officer for six months.

Henok held senior posts at the Ethiopian Ministry of Foreign Affairs for several years in the 2000s before he was appointed to head communications and international affairs for Ethiopian Airlines in 2010.

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Five years later, he was promoted to a vice presidency position at Ethiopian, and held a seat on the Star Alliance management board, as well as the board of directors of ASKY Airlines (where Ethiopian holds a 40 percent stake).

Henok served as the Ethiopian Ambassador to various European states (including France and the Vatican) over a four-year period before joining Safaricom Ethiopia earlier this year.

His latest post as a managing director for Boeing will see him report to Kuljit Ghata-Aura, president of Boeing Middle East, Türkiye, Africa, and Central Asia.

“We are delighted to have Henok Teferra Shawl join our team. With his exceptional background in aviation and government relations, we are confident in his ability to champion our mission in the African market,” said Kuljit Ghata-Aura.

Henok is not the first former Ethiopian Airlines exec to be appointed to a senior position at Washington State-based Boeing. Former Ethiopian Airlines operations and technical executive Anbessie Yitbarek currently serves as vice president for Boeing’s commercial airplanes sales and marketing in Africa.

Boeing reported close to USD 70 billion in revenues in 2022. The company’s defense and weapons manufacturing wing has overtaken its commercial jet business as the primary source of revenue in recent years.

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