Christine Mwakatobe appointed KIA Chief Executive Officer

The government has appointed a female business specialist, Ms Christine Mwakatobe the Chief Executive Officer of Kilimanjaro International Airport (KIA) as women ascend to top leadership positions.

Ms Mwakatobe, who took on a new position effectively this month, becomes the pioneer female to ascend to the helm of KIA, Tanzania’s second largest airport, since it was built in 1971.

“I’m thankful to the God, President Samia Suluhu Hassan, Minister for Works and Transport, Prof Makame Mbarawa and Kilimanjaro Airport Development Company (KADCO) board for trusting me to steer this key facility,” said Ms Mwakatobe.

She brings an impressive track record of developing business, and delivering quality customer services at the airport, the critical soft skills package to transform the airfield into a real commercial hub.

“Christine is the right person at the right moment at KIA. Her communication skills are superb, easy to understand, collaborative, open-minded, approachable, transparent, and has a growth mindset, ethics as well as decisiveness” said Tanzania Association of Tour Operators (TATO) CEO, Mr Sirili Akko.

She joined the government executive arm, entrusted to run KIA and its parent firm, the KADCO, in 2011, with a determination to shape the future of Tanzania’s aviation industry.

Indeed, she started working as a business development and corporate planning manager, with a hidden mission of turning the airport from a mere complex of runways and buildings for the take-off, landing, with facilities for passengers, into a real commercial hub to leapfrog other businesses.

Ms Mwakatobe’s ability and her painstaking efforts to spur business and generate sufficient revenue to relieve the government of footing the airport’s overhead costs, led her way up, rising through the ranks to the interim CEO at KADCO in 2020.

Official data indicates that, under her leadership stint, airlines operating from KIA have grown to 15, up from 13 carriers. Cargo traffic also sprouted by leaps and bounds, as KIA had posted a 26 percent upsurge in cargo volumes between 2019 and 2021.

In real figures, KIA handled a total of 4,426.3363 metric tonnes in 2021, up from 3,271.787 metric tonnes in 2019.

“Growing an airport’s cargo traffic largely relies on the ability to provide sufficient and quality air capacity” she explained.

An influential lady, with diplomatic traits, Ms Mwakatobe is expected to turn the country’s second largest airport into a fully-fledged commercial hub and state-of-the-art gateway, all-inclusive with the cutting-edge technologies, to enhance its capacity to handle aircrafts, passengers and cargoes.

KADCO has developed a comprehensive master plan that would see the 110sq km estates surrounding the airport transformed into a state-of-the art, modern duty-free shopping city.

Apart from the air terminal, the KIA area, strategically placed at the meeting point of three Northern Zone regions of Arusha, Kilimanjaro and Manyara, has for many years remained a wide stretch of unoccupied land as far as the eye can see, but this was bound to soon change.

According to the master plan, the location is to become a ‘city’ at the centre of Moshi and Arusha, where prospective investors are to establish massive shopping centres, high class tourist hotels, duty free ports, export processing zone, educational institutions, custom bonded warehouses, curio shops, golf courses and a large game ranch.

Related Articles

Back to top button