The countdown is on!

Speakers (in alphabetical order)

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Adefunke Adeyemi

International Air Transport Association (IATA) regional head, member & external relations for Africa and Middle East.

A lawyer in Nigeria by profession, she joined IATA in 2009 after initially being part of the team that set up Virgin Nigeria Airways in 2004.

In her current role, she is responsible for conceptualising and delivering an ongoing campaign regarding the transformation of Africa’s socio-economic prospects through enhanced connectivity across the continent.

She also heads the ‘women in leadership’ initiative for IATA in Africa and the Middle East.


Eskinder Alemu

Acting CEO, Ethiopian Airports


Eskinder joined Ethiopian Airlines in 1992 as a marketing clerk and progressed through the company, holding a number of leadership positions. He was area manager domestic Ethiopia, area manager Mozambique, area manager Congo Brazzaville, manager customer relations, director ground operations, acting vice-president customer services, and MD ground services. He was also commercial director Malawi Airlines and head of the Group CEO office. He holds a BSC degree in Physics from Addis Ababa University and a diploma from the Ethiopian Airlines School of Marketing and Finance.

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Chamsou Andjorin

Director government affairs and market development, Boeing International sub-Sahara Africa, and acting sales director, Africa, Boeing Commercial Airplanes


Chamsou joined the newly created Boeing International sub-Sahara Africa organisation in January 2017, after having been director aviation safety for Africa and Middle East, working closely with the regulators and industry partners to improve safety. Before that, he was executive director of the Boeing International office in Accra, Ghana, from June 2005 to April 2011, where he developed the Boeing presence in west and central Africa. A native of Benin, he is fluent in French and English.


Abdérahmane Berthe

Secretary General of the African Airlines Association (AFRAA)

Prior to his current role, he was the CEO of Air Burkina. A native of Mali, he has 28 years’ experience in the airline industry, serving on many influential committees and governing bodies during that time. Before joining Air Burkina in 2013, he built his career, both in Europe and Africa, working in positions such as aircraft performance and dispatch engineering, maintenance and operations quality and ground operations. He had a total of 16 years’ CEO experience before joining AFRAA


Catherine Buchanan

Chief operating officer, Vertis Aviation



Dubai-based Buchanan is responsible for the international business aviation charter specialist’s global planning and commercial strategic development. She has a degree in aviation technology and holds a private pilot’s licence. She has been responsible for the introduction of the Vertis Aircraft charter management programme to Africa. This offers exclusive outsourced charter sales management and is ideal for individual owners, small fleet operators, or aircraft management companies. She also campaigns for a broader range of aircraft to be based in Africa to support the evolving market. 

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Charles Cockrell

Partner, HFW


Cockrell specialises in aviation liability and regulatory law. He acts for a number of Middle East and African airlines, ground-handlers, business jet operators, regulators and other aerospace entities. 

He has handled a number of high-profile aviation losses in the Middle East and Africa. He advised on the collaboration between Emirates and Qantas in 2013 and was part of the team that represented IATA in proceedings before the European Court of Justice concerning the application of emissions trading rules.

He has also acted for many of the region's major airports in relation to dispute resolution, commercial and regulatory matters.

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Dina Dawod

Vice governor, Africa section, the 99s


Dawod, from Egypt, started her aviation career in 2008 as an air hostess before travelling to America to qualify as a pilot. From living through an aircraft crash, and then being treated as a terrorist, she never quit. Today, she is a first officer on the A320 for AlMasria Universal Airlines, an Egyptian private airline operating schedule and charter services from Egypt. She has been a member of the 99s for five years and was the first Arab and African female pilot to receive a scholarship from the 99s organisation. 

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Haldane Dodd

Head of communications, Air Transport Action Group


Dodd is a former communications manager at Airports Council International’s world headquarters, where he worked on issues such as the environment, security and airport economics. In his current role for Geneva-based Air Transport Action Group, which brings together airports, airlines, air navigation service providers and aircraft and engine manufacturers, to agree common goals, he coordinates the cross-aviation industry communications initiative, working with ACI, IATA, CANSO, Airbus, Boeing, GE Aviation, Rolls-Royce, Bombardier and CFM to increase dialogue between the industry and the public on aviation’s environmental commitments.

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Simon D’Oyly

Commercial director, Royal Jet


D’Oyly began his private jet business career in 2002 with Geneva-based PrivatAir, which sent him to start up its Saudi operation as vice president sales and business development based in Jeddah. He has worked in business aviation since then, holding a number of executive level positions with companies such as Rizon Jet in Qatar, NetJets/NAS in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Prime Aviation in Kazakhstan, and MJets in Bangkok. Prior to joining Royal Jet, he worked at Constellation Aviation Services in Dubai, leaving as GM and CEO.

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Romain Ekoto

Chief aviation officer at the African Development Bank.


He took up the newly created role in June 2018 and is responsible for developing the bank’s framework to support the aviation sector in Africa.

Beginning his career with Air France after graduating from the French Civil Aviation University (ENAC) with an engineering degree, he has also worked at the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), where he ran the technical assistance and air transport programmes for the western and central African region. He successfully led transformation projects in several civil aviation authorities and regional safety oversight organisations.


Eran Feinstein

CEO and co-founder, DPO Group



Feinstein is a former pilot, whose areas of expertise span aviation, e-commerce and online payments, particularly in the travel sectorHe co-founded DPO Group, a leading African payment service provider, in Kenya in 2006, after discovering a gap in the market for the technology to enable quick and easy online bookings for regional and global airlines. DPO Group now operates in 19 countries across the continent and its technology enables more than 100,000 businesses, including 50+ airlines, to securely make and receive payments online with all currencies and payment methods.

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Sanjeev S Gadhia

Founder and CEO of Astral Aviation


Sanjeev S Gadhia is the founder and CEO of Astral Aviation, a dedicated all-cargo airline based in Nairobi, Kenya, which operates a fleet of seven cargo aircraft into Europe and within Africa and has been one of the most successful airlines in Africa for 17 years. A banker by profession, he has a bachelor and a master’s degree in business administration from the Schiller International University in London. He was appointed vice-chairman of the African Airlines Association (AFRAA) cargo taskforce in September 2016 and is a member of The International Air Cargo Association (TIACA) board.
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Tewolde GebreMariam

CEO, Ethiopian Airlines


Tewolde began his Ethiopian Airlines career in 1985, serving in the cargo traffic-handling department before progressing through various roles within the organisation to become CEO on January 1, 2011. A multiple award-winner, he has taken the company to new heights. He serves on the International Air Transport Association (IATA) governing board, is an executive committee member of the African Airlines Association (AFRAA), is chairman of the board of the Ethiopian Tourism Organization (ETO), and is a board member of the Airlink Advisory Council, the Ethiopian Railway Corporation, the Commercial Bank of Ethiopia, and Ethio-Telecom.


James Geldenhuys

Head of Nedbank CIB aircraft finance business


Geldenhuys has 35 years’ experience in South African banking, spending the last 27 working in structured finance. He has held senior positions at both ABSA and Nedbank, with particular experience in international tax structured finance and African oil industry transactions. Since 2001, he has had a special interest in aircraft leasing and, in 2008, he established Nedbank’s aircraft finance business. He also served for five years as a non-executive director on a regional airline board. He holds specialist qualifications from the University of Johannesburg and Gordon Institute of Business Science.

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Dino Gelmetti

Vice president, MEA, Sabre Travel Solutions


Gelmetti has a wealth of experience, having spent a large proportion of his career with worldwide information technology services company, Unisys. He joined Sabre in February 2015, initially responsible for the overall performance in EMEA of the Sabre Airline Solutions business. He now leads the Middle East and Africa region for Sabre Travel Solutions with a dedicated focus on helping airlines achieve their business and technology goals. Previously, he was global sales director for technology services provider and integrator, Xchanging Plc, and director of global services (EMEA) at technology company, EMC Corporation.

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Richard Gimblett

Partner, HFW


Gimblett specialises in aviation, travel law and commercial litigation. He leads the HFW aviation team in Dubai, which focuses on the Middle East and Africa.

A past in-house legal adviser at the UK CAA, his practice includes both aviation liability, regulatory and commercial issues.

His experience includes acting as lead partner in a number of high-profile aviation claims and projects in the Middle East and Africa.  He acted for IATA in the English High Court “slots case”, which declared slot trading lawful. 

He was voted aviation lawyer of the year (UAE) in 2016 and 2017 by Lawyer Monthly.

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Chloë Greenbank

Editor, Regional Gateway


Chloë Greenbank wrote her first airline magazine article nearly two decades ago and has been immersed in aviation magazines ever since.

Having lived in Rwanda and then worked with one of the world’s leading travel media companies, she has a particular focus on Africa. She has launched a number of in-flight titles for airlines and cites landing in the cockpit of a 737 in the middle of Central Africa as a career highlight. 

She joined HMG Aerospace in 2017 as editor of Regional Gateway, which has enabled her to report on the global airport community. She contributes to African Aerospace.

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David Hansell

Head of global aviation regulation and policy, Loon LLC

Hansell is working to harmonise the global regulatory environment for stratospheric operations in partnership with civil aviation authorities and air navigation service providers worldwide. His aim is to address the aviation needs of operations in the high-altitude airspace in order to provide innovative connectivity solutions around the world. Prior to joining Loon he was a public policy director for DJI, and he served as the global aviation policy lead for Facebook's Aquila program.He previously served as director for transportation security policy on the National Security Council at the White House, where he was the lead aviation subject matter expert.


Mikail Houari

President of Airbus Africa & Middle East


Houari, appointed to his current role in January 2017, has more than 30 years of global and regional industry experience. He joined Airbus in 2005 as VP Latin America, overseeing the defence and space divisions. He has managed in China, Saudi Arabia, France, Colombia and the UAE. He has been the president of the Conseillers du Commerce Exterieur de la France for the last three years and is also president of the French Aerospace Industries Association in the UAE. He is a private pilot, obtaining his license aged 17.

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Alex Izinyon II
President, Izy Air

Alex Izinyon II upholds dual roles as the President of Izy Air, a leading business aviation company in Nigeria and the Aviation Law Partner at Izinyon & Co, a foremost Corporate, litigation, and arbitration law firm in Nigeria. Alex has extensive experience in Aviation Finance, Air Transport Regulations, Aircraft Leases and Acquisitions. 

Drawing from his expertise in Aviation transactions combined with his passion, he has spearheaded key strategic partnerships with multinational entities in order to create a safe and efficient business model for aircraft owners, business jet travelers and the industry at large. 

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Lt Col Firmin Karambizi

Managing director of Rwanda Airports Company


The lieutenant colonel is a radar engineer by profession. Born in 1968, he received a BSc degree from Kigali Institute of Science and Technology (KIST) in 2005 and an MD in communication management in 2009 from the United Kingdom Telecommunications Academy (UKTA) in partnership with KIST. He served in the UN Mission twice – 2011 as air liasion officer and 2016 as deputy chief aviation officer and chairman of the aviation risk assessment committee. He led a review team and created the required operational manual for special flights request (SFRs).

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Peter Kgomotso

Finance director, Air Botswana


Kgomotso is a finance executive and certified public accountant (CPA) with more than 19 years spent in the banking, fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG), service, consulting and, now, the airline industry. He has advised corporations through various trading markets in Africa, international expansion, and reconciling capital supply with demand plans. He is passionate about value chain and brand management, with a strong emphasis on liberalisation of resources and efficient allocation of resources to opportunities, leading to capital preservation. He is optimistic about the future and humanity and believes in the power of the collective.

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Raphael Kuuchi

Special envoy to Africa on aero-political affairs, IATA


Raphael Kuuchi is an aviation professional with several years’ experience in air transport operations, management and consulting.

After nine years with AFRAA as director commercial, corporate and industry affairs, he joined IATA in 2014 as VP Africa.

In July 2018, he became IATA special envoy to Africa on aero-political affairs, leading the organisation’s engagements with top government, regional and industry leaders.

He is a focal point on the implementation of the single African air transport market (SAATM) and works closely with the African Union Commission, African Civil Aviation Commission, regional economic communities, the African Development Bank, and regional aviation organisations.

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Dawit Lemma

Founder and CEO of Krimson Aviation


Lemma has been running aviation support services company, Krimson Aviation, based in Ethiopia and Switzerland, since 2015. He has close to 20 years’ knowledge of the aviation sector across four continents, with a cache of notable experience garnered at leading companies, including TAG Aviation, Emirates Airlines, MAF, and Ethiopian Airlines, to name but a few. He served on the executive committee of the African Business Aviation Association (AfBAA) as director of membership and events, and is currently president of the Ethiopian chapter and an advisor to the AfBAA board.

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Yvonne Manzi Makolo

CEO, RwandAir


Yvonne Manzi Makolo was appointed RwandAir’s CEO in April 2018.

She joined the carrier in April 2017 as deputy CEO in charge of corporate affairs.

Previously, she worked with MTN Rwanda, the largest communication company in the country, as the chief marketing officer and briefly as the acting CEO.

She brings over 11 years of commercial experience to her current position.

With a fleet of 12 aircraft serving 26 destinations in Africa, Europe, the Middle East and Asia, RwandAir is one of the fastest-growing airlines in Africa.

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Córa McCormack

SVP Airline Marketing, SMBC Aviation Capital


As SVP Airline Marketing of one of the top 5 Aircraft Lessors in the market, Córa has responsibility for managing and developing airline relationships in the EMEA region, with a particular focus on Africa.  With over 14 years aviation industry experience, she is committed to growing the company’s footprint in Africa.  She has held numerous roles within SMBC Aviation Capital, and holds a Masters in International Securities and Investment Banking from University of Reading, UK and a Bachelor of Business Studies from University of Limerick, Ireland

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Tefera Mekonnen Tefera

Secretary General, African Civil Aviation Commission (AFCAC)


Formerly its director of air transport, his professional experience spans more than 38 years.Before joining AFCAC, he was director general of the Ethiopian Civil Aviation Authority and had eight years working as Ethiopia’s permanent representative to the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO).He has served as vice-president of AFCAC and with the air transport regulatory board of the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA). He led ICAO general assemblies (from the 33rd to the 38th sessions), plus numerous other international and regional conferences.

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Sean Mendis

Chief Operations Officer, Africa World Airlines


Sean Mendis returned to Ghana in 2018, resuming a role he had previously held from 2010 to 2012 during the airline's startup.


From 2005 to 2010, Sean was part of the launch management team of Ghana International Airlines. In 2013, he moved to Somalia to manage Mogadishu's Aden Abdulle International Airport for SKA International Group under contract from the Somali Federal Government.


Between 2014 and 2018, he helped launch multiple aviation business lines for SKA Group, including a jet-fuel terminal in the UAE, and a cargo airline based in Uganda.

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HE Dagmawit Moges

Minister of Transport, Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia


Moges was appointed to her current role in October 2018. A member of the House of People’s Representatives of Ethiopia (HoPRE), she is also board chairperson of Ethiopian Roads Authority (ERA), Woldiya University and Ethiopian Postal Service Enterprise, as well as being a board member of, among others, Ethiopian Airlines and Ethiopian Petroleum Enterprise. Numerous previous roles include serving as a deputy mayor of the Addis Ababa City Government, being a cabinet member of the city government and board chairperson of the Addis Ababa Mass Media Agency Board. 

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Victoria Moores

Air Transport Editor, "Air Transport World"


Victoria Moores is an award-winning aviation journalist, specialising in African aviation. She has written for a number of publications, including African Aerospace, Airline Business, Air Transport Intelligence (ATI), Air Transport World (ATW), Aviation Week, AWIN and Flight International. She started out in airline ground operations in 1997 before moving into business aviation in 2002 as operations analyst for Bombardier Flexjet Europe. She joined Air Transport World as London-based European editor/bureau chief in 2012 and has been air transport editor for African Aerospace since its launch in January 2013.

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Cornwell Muleya

CEO, Uganda Airlines


Muleya is a Zambian national who graduated in chemical engineering from the University of Bath in the UK before undergoing training in accounting and auditing. He thereafter worked for global accounting/auditing firms, Deloitte and PricewaterhouseCoopers.

Since 2017, he has been running his own consultancy – Cornwell Aviation Consultants (CAC) based in Lusaka. In October 2019 he became acting chief executive officer at Uganda National Airlines Company, the revived national airline of Uganda

Muleya has also previously worked with Meridian Air, Air Mauritius, Air Botswana, Zambezi Airlines, and ALS Ltd.

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Brice Nzeukou

Product manager, Ampaire Inc.


Nzeukou leads product management, program execution, and business development efforts for Ampaire’s transformational hybrid and electric aircraft. He has more than seven years of product management and product engineering experience spanning power electronics, automotive, and robotics industries. After receiving degrees in mechanical engineering and business economics and management from the California Institute of Technology (Caltech), he spent time working with government and defence contractors, start-ups, and multinational corporations. This breadth of experience, coupled with his Cameroonian heritage, shapes a world view centred on sustainable development, both in developed and emerging markets.

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Daniel Odido

Head of flying studies in the school of aerospace sciences at Moi University, Kenya


Odido, who has an MSc in aeronautical engineering with a specialisation in the maintenance of aircraft and aero engines, has been a lecturer in various universities in Kenya, Zimbabwe and South Africa. He is currently a lecturer in the school of aerospace sciences of Moi University, Kenya where he heads the department of flying studies. He has previously headed the department of aviation security and logistics at the university. His research interests are in unmanned aerial systems and aviation safety.

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Alan Peaford, MBE.

Chairman, Aviation Africa


Alan Peaford is an aviation writer, broadcaster and commentator. He is editor-in-chief of Times Aerospace publications including African Aerospace , ADS Advance, and Arabian Aerospace magazines

He is also the chairman of Aerocomm Ltd, a UK-based media consultancy and support company specializing in aviation and aerospace. In this role he has been consultant editor for Flightglobal for almost three decades and was responsible for developing the Flight Daily News at the world’s major airshows and for FINN, the digital media channel He is also author of the Pocket Guide to Business Aircraft, and is a regular commentator on African aviation for the BBC World Service.

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Dr Mark Pierotti

Director, Abu Dhabi Aviation.


Dr Mark is currently the commercial director of Abu Dhabi Aviation (ADA) the largest helicopter operator & MRO in the Middle East & the African region operating & leasing 60 aircraft worldwide.  Dr Mark has an aircraft maintenance license, a pilot’s license, an MBA & a PhD in Aircraft Engineering.  He is also a Professor of Aviation, a Fellow of the Royal Aeronautical Society of GB, a member of the Engineering Council of the UK and a Scottish Government Industrial Ambassador (Global Scot) for Aviation and Education.

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Jason Sutcliffe

Regional marketing director – Middle East, Africa & Central Asia, Rolls-Royce Plc


Sutcliffe, a former UK RAF aircraft engineer, joined Rolls-Royce in 2006 as a fleet planner in the Derby operations centre. After three years, and following a one-year secondment with Singapore Airlines, he became customer fleet director with International Aero Engines (IAE) in East Hartford, USA, where he was responsible for the day-to-day management of the V2500 engine fleet in the Middle East. In 2012 he returned to Rolls-Royce in the UK as marketing director. In 2017 he took on his current role.

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Erlendur Svavarsson

Chief Executive Officer, Cabo Verde Airlines

SVP Sales and Marketing at Loftleidir Icelandic since 2010, Svavarsson has worked for Loftleidir Icelandic and other Icelandair companies in various senior management and board member roles since 2003, and has been a board member of Cabo Verde Airlines since the beginning of 2019.  He was also involved in the process of the privatization of the Cape Verdean airlines, which was concluded in March 2019.

He holds a Bachelor’s degree in Economics from the University of Iceland, an MBA degree from Reykjavik University and an AMP (Advanced Management Program) from Harvard Business School.

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Frédéric Thenevin

Head of Business Development, ADP Engineering


Frederic Thenevin is ADP Engineering (Paris Airports Group) head of business development for Europe, Africa and the Americasa hybrid role combining business acumen and a remarkable experience in the field of civil aviation.

He has 25 years’ experience in civil aviation, airport development and international project management.

He has developed projects in Africa, eastern Europe, China and ASEAN countries assisting air navigation service provider (ANSPs), airlines, aviation and airport authorities.

He graduated as an executive civil aviation engineer with a specialisation in air transport economy and airport operation from the prestigious French Civil Aviation Academy (ENAC, Toulouse). 

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Mark Tierney

Director, Crabtree Capital


Tierney, a director of Dublin-based Crabtree Capital, has worked in the aircraft leasing and finance business for 29 years.

He worked as a senior executive at GPA in the mid-90s, where he was responsible for restructuring the company’s $3 billion order book with OEMs and arranging bankruptcy-remote financing for the company’s remaining deliveries.

Since 2002, he has run Crabtree Capital, providing strategic advice, deal execution and trouble-shooting services to airlines, lessors and financial institutions.

He is also on the board of Dublin-based Santos Dumont, project managers to the aviation industry.

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Georges Touma

Business Development Senior Manager, SITA

Georges is currently responsible for business development for SITA Air Travel Solutions focusing on airports in the Middle East, Africa and India region with 15 years professional experience in networks & data platforms,  passenger & baggage processing and airport management solutions.Georges holds an MBA from Dauphine-Paris, bachelor degree of Telecommunications Engineering and several industry certifications.Prior to joining SITA in 2010, Georges held several positions including NOC team leader for a major telecoms operator in Saudi Arabia and senior support engineer for a network and systems integrator in the middle east region.


Colonel Silas Udahemuka

Director General, Rwanda Civil Aviation Authority


Col Silas Udahemuka is a member of the board of directors of the EAC- Civil Aviation Safety and Security Oversight Agency which is a Regional Safety Oversight Organization (RSOO). Currently serving as the Director General of Rwanda Civil Aviation Authority. Before being promoted to the position of the Director General in 2014, Silas deputized the Director General in the same organization and he was responsible for Airports Management and Operations, a position he served in for 7 years. Silas joined the Civil Aviation Authority in Jan 2007.

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Steven Verhasselt

Vice President Commercial, Liege Airport.

Steven graduated in Brussels, from Ehsal Business School with an MBA. He entered the aviation world in 2001 running a project to start up a cargo airline based in Brussels. Today, he works for Liege Airport and is responsible for the global business development for both cargo and passengers at Belgium’s largest cargo airport and in charge of Liege Airport Consulting, which has completed projects in Europe and Asia and is currently working with Congo DRC.

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Girma Wake

Chairman, Ethio Lease

The 76-year-old has 50 years’ experience in the aviation industry. He was trained at the Ethiopian Airlines Aviation Academy and served the airline for 34 years in various posts, ultimately leaving to join Gulf Air.

He also worked for DHL in the Middle East. 

He returned to Ethiopian in 2004 to take the CEO position. After successfully restructuring the airline he retired in 2011.  He subsequently served RwandAir as board chairman and worked as advisor of the Rwandese Minister of Transport.

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