The International Air Transport Association (IATA) has elected RwandaAir’s Chief Executive Officer, Yvonne Makolo, as the group’s next chair.
Makolo becomes the first female to hold that position in the office of IATA as she will replace Mehmet Nane, who secured a one-year term from this year.
Ms Makolo will assume the chair in June 2023 during the organization’s annual general meeting in Instanbul, Turkey. According to IATA director Mr Willie Walsh, Makolo’s election is a positive development in the body’s efforts for gender diversity.
“Obviously, that means Yvonne will be the first female chair of IATA in our history. I think that’s another positive step in our efforts to promote gender diversity, not just within IATA but within the industry as well,” he added.
Contacted for a comment, Makolo said: “This is a great testament of IATA’s commitment to gender diversity in the aviation industry.”
“We are going through a highly challenging time for the aviation industry, and I look forward to working with the broad to make travel ever safer, sustainable and more enjoyable for all our customers.”
“It’s a great honour to have been elected as board chair-elect of the IATA Board of Governors. I thank my fellow board members for their confidence in me and RwandaAir staff and stakeholders for their steadfast support,” she added.
Makolo is an IT by profession who currently serves as the national carrier’s Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer.
Before that, she served as the Deputy CEO responsible for corporate affairs at the same airline.
She has specialized training in information technology and has worked as a software developer in Canada and Rwanda.