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Boeing To Open African Headquarters in Ethiopia

Boeing To Open African Headquarters in Ethiopia

BY JASPER YU-DAWIDOWICZ Published on May 28, 2024 0 COMMENTS

US-based global aerospace giant Boeing has announced on Monday that it will open its African headquarters in Ethiopia. The decision puts an end to speculation about South Africa and Kenya being the preferred locations to host the continental branch.




The decision also comes after Boeing recently hired Henok Teferra Shawl to lead Boeing's African division as managing director. Shawl, a former Ethiopian Airlines executive, was picked for his vast experience in aviation and the telecommunication sector in Africa. 


Why Did Boeing Prefer Ethiopia?


Photo: AeroXplorer | Adam Jackson


The move to center its African division in Ethiopia is not entirely surprising given the relationship between Boeing and Ethiopia. In 2023, Boeing entered a joint venture with Ethiopia for the manufacture of certain aircraft parts in the African nation. Boeing stated that it expected the investment in Ethiopia to generate over 300 jobs for the locals.


However, Boeing's selection of Ethiopia in the wake of more potential contenders like South Africa and Kenya was due to Ethiopia’s exemplary aviation safety record, which places it among the best in the continent.


Boeing to Bolster Development and Growth in Africa


Photo: AeroXplorer | Edwin Sims


Boeing expects further growth and development within the African aviation market. In a statement, the company said: “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." The company forecasts the need for over 1,000 additional aircraft over the next 20 years.




The decision to establish the company's African headquarters underscores Boeing's commitment both to Ethiopia and to the African aviation market. The move will allow both Boeing and Ethiopia to develop a stronger partnership and foster growth in the aviation sector over the next few years. 


Early this March, Ethiopian flag carrier Ethiopian Airlines made headlines when it became the first African customer for Boeing 777X aircraft. The order of up to 20 aircraft (12 are options) will be instrumental in supporting Ethiopian's fleet and network expansion plans.


In addition to the B777X, the airline also placed orders for 11 B787-9 Dreamliners and 20 B737-MAX aircraft from the American manufacturer.  

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