Rolls-Royce appoints John Kelly as new Africa boss

John Kelly-5 new

Rolls-Royce Plc has appointed John Kelly as the President of Middle East, Türkiye and Africa (META). PHOTO | POOL

Rolls-Royce Plc has appointed John Kelly as the President of Middle East, Türkiye and Africa (META), which will see him head the operations of the civil aerospace business and support growing partnerships across the continent.

In his new role, John will assume group-wide leadership and representation for the Group’s Civil Aerospace, Power Systems and Defence businesses across the META region, engaging with senior government and industry stakeholders.

Rolls-Royce develops power and propulsion solutions for applications in the air, at sea and on land, employing over 150 people across Africa.

With headquarters in South Africa, it has been supporting Africa’s growing power generation, marine, rail and industrial sectors, providing vital power solutions to datacentres, mining, oil and gas, shipping, locomotive and agriculture companies across the continent.

The company also works with African Governments, serving defence forces.
Rolls-Royce is also offering maintenance, repair and overhaul services for ALS, a regional airline based in Nairobi through a five-year agreement signed in 2019.

Before this role, John spent six years as Senior Vice President of Europe, the Middle East and Africa for the Group’s Civil Aerospace business.

John joined Rolls-Royce over twenty years ago, in 2001, as a graduate trainee in the Defence business. He rose to become a senior manager before joining Civil Aerospace.

“Africa is the world’s second-most populous continent and on target to become the first to grow its economies solely through modern technologies and sustainable low-carbon energy sources. This rapidly developing and innovative region is vital to Rolls-Royce’s future. I will aim to ensure we build upon our foundations while supporting transformative economic growth, climate resilience and an energy transition that is right for Africa,” John Kelly said. 

The company has over 50 percent market share in powering the African widebody aircraft market, with engines installed on over 80 widebody aircraft in service and another 30 on order.

Since 2017, the company has supported the inception of three new airlines and delivered over 30 new aircraft.

Rolls-Royce also powers a large proportion of the regional aircraft market, with over 95 aircraft in service.

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