“These are clear signals of the importance of Africa to Nissan globally through this new increased focus on the continent” says Joni Paiva who was newly appointed as Africa President. Paiva will also continue his current position as Divisional Vice President, overseeing Sales and Marketing, India.

Sherief Eldessouky has been appointed Managing Director of Nissan Africa with effect from 1 April 2023, replacing Mike Whitfield, who will now become the Group Strategic Advisor for Policies, Political Affairs and External Relations.

“I am thrilled about this opportunity, I have been given,” says Whitfield who established Nissan Africa as a regional business unit in 2020 “Africa is a key market with an unmatched growth potential and the way we unlock that will be through a combination of intelligent mobility solutions and creating a coalition of willing countries to develop a thriving and sustainable automotive manufacturing industry.

Eldessouky, who previously combined the twin roles of being Nissan Egypt country director and driving the transformation of Nissan Africa, has spent his life in the automotive industry in a career that has taken him from his native Egypt to Brazil, China, Korea, the United States and Uzbekistan, among others.

He joined Nissan in 2020 as head of the OEM’s automotive manufacturing operation in Egypt and was appointed country director at the end of that year.

“Nissan is well positioned on the continent, with an incredible legacy,” says Eldessouky, our job as a management team has been to establish just how we bring more wealth and value to a region with promising automotive growth opportunities with its rate of 42 vehicles per 1000 compared to the global average of 182.”

“I am confident that with the team we have in Africa and the support that we get from our Nissan colleagues in the rest of the world, that we will achieve this.”

The position of country director Nissan Egypt will be filled by Mohamed Samad, who will return to Cairo from Japan where he has been based. Kabelo Rabotho remains country director for Nissan South Africa.

Maciej Klenkiewicz, currently Managing Director RBU Central Eastern Europe (CEE) will expand current scope to include Independent Markets Africa, making the most of his previous ASEAN importer management experience replacing Hide Kuwayama who is assuming a new position in Nissan’s global headquarters.

“These are exciting times for Nissan Africa,” says Paiva. “We have a very strong management team in place to drive the medium-term plan of ‘Let’s Build’ and to deliver the mobility solutions that Africa needs.”

The appointments, which take effect on 1 April 2023, are the latest iterations in a raft of changes and consolidations which have seen Nissan Africa take responsibility for the North African territories of Algeria, Morocco and Tunisia last year.