GE Africa CEO appointed to presidential advisory council

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General Electric Africa chief executive, Jay Ireland has been appointed to the US President’s Advisory Council on Doing Business in Africa.

The newly established council is expected to provide President Barack Obama, through the Secretary of Commerce, with information, analysis, and recommendations on trade and investment priorities with Africa.

“I am deeply honoured by my appointment to the US President’s Advisory Council on Doing Business in Africa. The appointment reaffirms not only General Electric’s (GE’s) commitment to the continent but also the US government’s focus on strengthening its relationship with Africa,” Ireland said.

According to GE, since Ireland was appointed, it has invested in a series of programmes aimed at growing African economies.

Earlier this year, it committed to investing over two billion dollars in Africa by 2018. The investment will target facility development, skills training and sustainability initiatives.

(READ MORE: GE to invest US$2 bln in Africa)

“In South Africa, GE has partnered with Transnet to deliver 233 locomotives while creating an original locomotive manufacturer to revitalise the rolling stock industry,” the company said.

“In addition, GE has committed to investing 700 million rand in a local Customer Innovation Centre and Supplier Development Vehicle. These initiatives will enable the development of critical skills and small and medium enterprises (SMEs) across the country.”

GE also emphasised the fact that it has invested in developing manufacturing capabilities across the continent and, in Nigeria, it is investing more than one billion dollars over five years to build technical expertise and infrastructure capacity across various sectors of the nation’s economy.

It has invested in the Power Africa initiative as well. The initiative is helping to unlock the substantial wind, solar, hydropower, natural gas, and geothermal resources on the continent.

(READ MORE: General Electric makes strides in its billion dollar investment)

“Developing the next generation of business leaders is vital to the continued growth of Africa and a strategic priority for GE,” it said.

“In line with this, GE has committed up to five million dollars to the African Leadership Academy to enable students from across Africa to attend the academy.”