Boeing opens Kenya and South African offices
U.S.-based aerospace and Defense Company Boeing International plans to open two new offices in Johannesburg, South Africa and Nairobi, Kenya, the company said in a statement.
Boeing already has a presence in the two African countries, but the two new offices will help meet anticipated aircraft demand in Africa, where an estimated 1,150 new aircraft will be needed by 2035, according to Joao Miguel Santos, Boeing’s managing director for sub-Saharan Africa.
Santos will be heading the Johannesburg office. The Nairobi office will be headed by Chamsou Andjorin, Boeing’s director of government affairs and market development.
“Africa is not new territory for Boeing,” Santos said. “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 U.S.-based companies doing business on the continent.”
According to Boeing, a combination of external and domestic factors caused Africa's economic activity to slow from 3.4 percent in 2014 to 3.0 percent in 2015. The region has benefitted from a much-improved business and macroeconomic environment, high commodity prices, and highly accommodative global financial conditions.
However, 2015 saw a shift in external conditions with lower commodity prices, a slowdown in major trading partners, changes in foreign exchange rates and tightening borrowing conditions. Domestic factors, such as electricity shortages and political instability and conflict, contributed to unfavorable conditions in some middle-income countries.
The recent downturn in commodity pricing has hurt the African economy though GDP decline is projected to slow in 2016, as prices stabilize and supply constraints ease.
Pricing volatility can reduce long-term growth prospects but many policymakers have adopted better fiscal policies that have allowed them to minimize the effects of downturns in the economic environment. Despite the headwinds, the decline is projected to be short term, with a rebound commencing in 2017.
Boeing is one of the world’s largest aircraft manufacturers. It was ranked the second-largest defense contractor in the world in 2016 based on 2015 revenue.
“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,” Santos said. “Our job is to be ahead in understanding these emerging trends and opportunities.”