Yvonne Manzi Maloko, RwandAir CEO since 2018./ Photo by RwandAir

Türkiye, Istanbul on 5 June, The International Air Transport Association (IATA) announced that RwandAir CEO Yvonne Manzi Makolo has assumed her duties as Chair of the IATA Board of Governors (BoG) for a one-year term, effective from the conclusion of the 79th IATA Annual General Meeting (AGM).

Yvonne Manzi Makolo is a Rwandan born IT specialist and who serves as the managing director and chief executive officer of RwandAir, the national airline of Rwanda. As of today she’s the chair of International Air Transport Association board of governors.

Makolo is the 81st chair of the IATA BoG and the first woman to take on this role. She has served on the BoG since November 2020. She succeeds Pegasus Airlines Chairperson of the Board Mehmet Tevfik Nane who will continue to serve on the BoG.

She was born in Rwanda. In 1993, she voluntarily migrated to Canada. Ten years later, in 2003 she returned to her native Rwanda. She and her older sister were raised by a single mother, her father died at there young age.

In the interview with Nasra Bishumba of NewTimes Rwanda 2016, “I lived in Canada for 10 years working in IT as an application/web developer till I decided to move to Rwanda in 2003 where I worked with a World Bank project; an NGO called World Links, to computerize schools and train teachers on how to use computers. I joined MTN in 2006″ she said.

“I am honored and pleased to take on this important role. IATA plays a critical role for all airlines—big and small, various business models, and in all corners of the world. Leading a medium-sized airline in Africa gives me a unique perspective on issues that airlines hold in common” she said.

In 2006, she joined MTN Rwanda, she rose through the ranks to the position of chief marketing officer (CMO) and also served as the acting chief executive officer (CEO).

In April 2017, when the Cabinet of Rwanda made management changes at Rwandair, Makolo was appointed Deputy CEO, responsible for Corporate Affairs. One year later, in another managerial change at the national airline, she was appointed to the position of managing director and chief executive officer at Rwandair.

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