New IATA man for Africa


Raphael Kuuchi is the International Air Transport Association’s (IATA) new vice president for Africa.

He will take up the new position in February leaving the African Airlines Association (AFRAA) where he has been director of commercial corporate and industry affairs at the Association’s Nairobi headquarters.

In his new position he will report to Hussein Dabbas, IATA regional vice president for Africa and the Middle East. He takes over leadership of a 23-strong team of professionals in IATA’s four sub-Saharan offices. Based in IATA’s Nairobi office Kuuchi will divide his time between the Association’s Johannesburg regional office and its sub-regional offices in Dakar and Lagos.
“We 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 other partners. He brings the expertise needed to ensure IATA will continue to deliver leadership to these efforts, value to members and partnership for the stakeholders counting on our support and expertise,” Tony Tyler, IATA Director General and Chief Executive, said.

Kuuchi said he was looking forward to leading IATA at an important time in the development of African aviation.
“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 full agenda that includes working with governments to promote liberalisation, 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 close co-operation with AFRAA,” the Ghanaian national said.

Kuuchi began his career in aviation at Ghana airway s in 1991. He has been involved in commercial, corporate planning and accounting in Accra and Johannesburg. He headed AFRAA’s commercial and information technology communication department before moving on to the continental Association’s commercial, corporate and industry affairs.

He succeeds Mike Higgins who moves to Europe as IATA regional head of airport, cargo and passenger services.