The African growth story is still real. Two years ago, the first US-Africa Business Forum drew the attention of the world to the promise of Africa. Governments and organisations discussed and debated opportunities in infrastructure, innovation, and workforce development, and together committed more than $33 billion in deals, investments, and financing to accelerate African growth.
Africa rising (Source: GE)
GE, which has operated in Africa for over 100 years, committed at the 2014 event to invest $2 billion in facility development, skills training, and sustainability initiatives across Africa by 2018. Ahead of the second US-Africa Business Forum last week, GE announ ced significant progress against these commitments, as well as several new initiatives.
Jay Ireland, president and CEO of GE Africa, said: “Meeting Africa’s needs takes leadership and cooperation. This week’s US-Africa Business Forum signals the strong commitment by both African and US companies and governments to collaborate for economic growth. GE is proud to remain a steadfast partner in Africa’s sustainable growth and will continue to invest in people and infrastructure across Africa.”
Nabil Habayeb, president and CEO of GE Middle East, North Africa, and Turkey said: “Building on our decades of presence in the region, we have specifically focused on supporting North African nations to strengthen their energy, healthcare and transportation infrastructure – sectors that are mission-critical for sustained growth.
“In addition to delivering advanced digital industrial technologies that enhance productivity and efficiency, our emphasis has been to create thriving innovation ecosystems and promote local capacity building. Led by the success of these initiatives, we are taking our partnerships to the next level to accelerate growth and progress.”
Africa is home to 12 of the world’s 20 fastest-growing economies, and its manufacturing, services and technology sectors are fueling markets around the globe. Improving access to core infrastructure will equip more Africans to tap its vast potential.
- GE’s installed base across Africa totals more than 93 gigawatts of power. GE has added approximately 11 gigawatts to the grid since 2014, and 2.74 gigawatts are currently under development by GE in Power Africa projects.
- GE has spent $15m over the past two years on projects representing roughly 2GW of power in Nigeria and Ghana. GE has announced the signing of the PPA and related agreements for the Ghana 300 Bridge Project, which will power the equivalent of 700,000 homes in Ghana.
- In Egypt, the government needed help to avoid outages during Ramadan in 2015. GE delivered 2.6 gigawatts – enough emergency power to supply 2.5 million homes – in nine months.
- In Algeria, GE has created three joint ventures across the energy spectrum. It broke ground in 2015 at GE Algeria Turbines (GEAT) and are preparing the site which is expected to be operational by 2018.
- In Nigeria, GE launched a $20M Healthymagination Mother and Child initiative in 2016 with USAID, the Nigerian Federal Ministry of Health, and the National Primary Health Care Development Agency. Two million expectant Nigerian mothers are set to benefit from the program by 2020.
- GE is supporting Kenya’s Managed Equipment Services (MES) project in line with the country’s transformation strategy. One of the largest healthcare modernization programs to date in Africa, we have so far upgraded radiology departments at 96 Ministry of Health hospitals. Early results are positive; access to radiology services improved by 50 percent across three pilot hospitals in the first five months after the new equipment was installed.
- Through partnership agreements in Nigeria, Kenya, Ethiopia, Ghana, and Angola, GE supports their development agendas in power generation, healthcare, and transportation.
GE is working with partners in Africa to drive sustainable development and solve local challenges by investing in technology, building capital markets and developing technical skills within communities:
- 1. GE launched its first Africa-based innovation center in South Africa in 2016. The Africa Innovation Centre, according to GE Africa president Jay Ireland, will be a “collaborative work space” aimed at “driving innovation in Africa for Africa.”
- The Centre, which serves as the Africa HQ for GE’s growing Healthcare business, also houses the first Healthcare Customer Experience Centrein Africa, which is designed to mimic different care areas in a hospital environment.
- GE inaugurated the brand new $13 million GE Healthcare Skills and Training Institute, an education facility for healthcare professionals, in Kenya in 2016, as part of its MES commitment. Through the new facility, GE has committed to training over 10,000 healthcare professionals from across Kenya and East Africa by 2020.
- The $19m supplier development fund we outlined in 2014 is operational, and 18 small- and medium-sized businesses are now receiving business and technical services.
- In collaboration with the US Africa Development Foundation and USAID, GE continues its commitment to the “Power Africa Off-Grid Energy Challenge”. The initiative has awarded 50 grants of up to $100,000 each to local enterprises to develop and expand off-grid solutions in Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya, Liberia, Nigeria, Tanzania, Rwanda, Uganda and Zambia.
- In 2016, GE’s and the Miller Center for Social Entrepreneurship launched a program to train and mentor African social entrepreneurs, addressing maternal and/or child health. The program selected its first cohort of 17 social entrepreneurs, who will gain support in strengthening their business models, refining business plans, reinforcing organisational development, managing talent, and learning how to scale sustainably.
- In Egypt, GE and the Ministry of Communications and IT launched the GE Egypt Digital Innovation Challenge in September 2016. Entrepreneurs can submit digital solutions for industrial challenges in healthcare, transportation, and energy until November 30, and winners will receive a cash award of EGP 100,000, as well as an opportunity to receive training to develop their software solution on Predix.
GE is investing in capacity building that will ensure sustained growth by providing skills training and developing leaders through partnerships with local governments, schools, and hospitals:
- GE employs more than 4100 workers across 35 countries in Africa. Since the US-Africa Business Forum in 2014, GE has received over $11Bin orders. In 2015, GE saw $6.4B in revenue across the continent.
- Since 2014, GE upgraded GE facilities in South Africa and Nigeria; opened new facilities in Kenya and Ghana; and launched offices in Ethiopia, Mozambique, and Cote d’Ivoire.
- In 2014, the GE Foundation announced a $20M commitment to advance maternal and child health in Africa, through the extension of programs supporting the Sustainable Development Goals to eradicate preventable maternal and infant mortality. Nearly 800health workers have been trained so far through biomedical equipment technician and nurse anesthetist programs.
- The GE Foundation further committed in 2015 to itsSafe Surgery 2020 Initiative, a $25 million-dollar, 3-year commitment to accelerate access to safe surgery in low- and middle-income countries. The Initiative launched in Ethiopia and will expand to Tanzania next.
- GE and the GE Foundation’s 2014 investment in Pink Ribbon Red Ribbon has trained 30 technicians in equipment repair and maintenance in Ethiopia. The program is launching a biomedical center of excellence there.
- GE has facilitated leadership development and helped develop curricula at Regional Leadership Centres for President Obama’s Young African Leaders Initiative (YALI). GE staff members also serve as mentors to youth in the program.
- GE expanded its GE Garages program into Kenya in 2015, collaborating with Gearbox and Seven Seas Technologies help build a skilled workforce and drive entrepreneurial development in the country.