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Boeing Expands into Africa

March 30, 2017




The offices will be managed by Boeing International, with J. Miguel Santos, Managing Director sub-Saharan Africa, and Director International Sales, Africa, for Boeing Commercial Airplanes, in the South African Office, and Chamsou Andjorin, Director Government Affairs and Market Development, located in Nairobi.

Boeing International was established in 2001 and is responsible for the company’s international strategy and corporate operations outside the United States. Growth and productivity initiatives are developed by forming new business and industrial partnerships, overseeing international affairs, enhancing Boeing’s local presence and providing global functional support.

Taking the necessary steps to establish a firm presence in Africa was an obvious choice according to Miguel Santos: “Africa is not a new territory for Boeing. Since the introduction of the jet airplane, Boeing aircraft have formed the backbone of the continent’s commercial fleet, and Boeing continues to be one of the largest US-based companies doing business on the continent.”

With more than 40 airline customers operating more than 400 planes throughout Africa, Boeing represents nearly 70 percent of the airliner market currently in service across the continent.

Indicators show that Africa’s GDP will continue to grow by almost 5% annually over the next decade. Boeing’s most recent Current Market Outlook report predicts that air traffic to and from Africa will grow by about 6.1% annually over the next 20 years, resulting in the need for 1,150 new aeroplanes. In the past three years, Boeing Commercial Airplanes has received nearly 60 orders and delivered 60 airliners to African carriers.

 “The aerospace industry needs to start paying closer attention to Africa, because this continent is clearly on the move economically and all the trends are pointing in the right direction for the expansion of the sector. Our job is to be ahead in understanding these emerging trends and opportunities,” Santos continued.

Boeing Defense, Space & Security continues to work with countries across the continent to determine security requirements and offer capability-based solutions from Boeing’s surveillance aircraft, mobility systems, manned and unmanned airborne capabilities, intelligence and security systems, and communications architectures.

In October 2010, Morocco signed a letter of agreement for three surplus US Army CH-47D helicopters, and the Royal Moroccan Air Force procured a number of Joint Direct Attack Munition (JDAM) guidance kits as part of its F-16 programme. Then, in October 2011, it signed a letter of agreement for 10 laser kits.

In July 2014, Boeing signed a memorandum of collaboration with Paramount in South Africa to jointly develop defence and security opportunities in key international markets. In March 2016, Boeing and the Paramount Group expanded their 2014 agreement to cooperate on an advanced mission system for a variant of the Advanced, High Performance, Reconnaissance, Light Aircraft (AHRLAC). 

Boeing works with about 15 suppliers across the Africa, with partnerships valued at approximately US$25 million per year.

Aerosud Aviation became a Boeing supplier in 1998 and a parts manufacturer in 2001. It delivers production parts to Boeing’s Commercial Airplane programmes such as Next-Generation 737, 747, 767 and 777, with the majority being for the Next-Generation 737. Aerosud has been increasing its production deliveries to Boeing since 2006 and is consistently delivering between 60,000 and 80,000 parts per year.

Similarly, in 2001, Boeing awarded Denel Aviation, a division of South Africa’s Denel Group, a contract to manufacture machined parts for various Boeing programmes.

Furthermore, in 2011, Boeing announced a partnership with 43 Air School to jointly offer a pilot training programme designed to take a candidate who has had no prior flying experience from ab-initio training to being a Next-Generation 737 first officer.

Boeing also provides resources to strengthen local communities by working with in-country partners through the company’s Global Corporate Citizenship (GCC) organisation. It has been investing in community projects in sub-Saharan Africa for nearly a decade, with over US$5.7 million invested to date.

In March 2014, Boeing and South African Airways (SAA) launched an initiative with the Roundtable on Sustainable Biomaterials (RSB) to expand opportunities for farmers in southern Africa to grow crops that produce sustainable fuels. Furthering this initiative, in August that year, Boeing and South African Airways began work with SkyNRG, a Dutch company, to develop biofuel in South Africa from a new type of tobacco plant, Solaris. In July 2016, South African Airways and low-cost carrier Mango celebrated Africa’s first passenger flights using sustainable biofuel.

As part of its outreach efforts, Boeing engages with higher education institutions and universities. Most recently, Boeing incorporated South Africa and Ethiopia into the International Business Internship programme where university students spend six months in Seattle interning with Boeing Commercial Airplanes. Two students from South Africa started their internship in January 2017.

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