Jay Ireland President and CEO of GE Africa, has been named the Business Leader of the Year at the Africa Investor Awards. GE was also named the employer and Human capital Investor of the Year at a ceremony during the World Bank Annual meetings in Washington DC, United States.
Speaking on the Awards, Hubert Danso, Chief Executive Officer and Vice Chairman of Africa Investor, said Africa's investment profile "has seen a historic turnaround in the last 12 months and the pursuits of the winners of these Ai Investment and Leadership Awards have been instrumental in improving practices that resulted in increased confidence in Africa as a competitive international investment destination.
There has been a significant growth in GE investments across Africa under Jay Ireland's leadership. Early this year GE announced a USD 1billion manufacturing and Assembly facility in Calabar. The facility will service the Oil & Gas and the Power sector in Nigeria. GE also signed an MOU with Nigeria's Federal Government to help generate an additional 10,000MegaWatts of incremental power over the next ten years. A similar company to country agreement was signed with the government of Ghana to add additional 1000 megawatts of power to the national grid by 2016. In Angola GE is working with the Ministry of Energy and Water to generate 2000 megawatts of power. GE has been at the forefront of revitalizing the rail sector in South Africa by localizing over 30% of South Africa's 143 locomotives delivered to Transnet. GE has expanded its relationship Transnet to manufacture GE locomotives for export to the rest of the continent. In Tanzania, GE recently signed a 400MW Joint Development Agreement with Symbion Power in Tanzania for the development of a natural gas-fired power plant for Tanzania Electricity Supply Company (TANESCO).
In a bid to connect and develop the next generation of African leaders GE Africa is working with the Africa Leadership Academy (ALA) in a $5 million scholarship initiative. Most of GE's over 1,200 employees in Africa are indigenous Africans some of whom occupy very senior leadership positions. Several programmes aimed at attracting talents to the organization are being implemented. The Back to Africa initiated was recently launched to help identify Africans in diaspora that may be willing to return to the continent and lend their expertise to its development.
Speaking at a separate event after the awards, Jay Ireland said it was a testament to the efforts that GE has made in recent years across Africa aimed at fostering partnerships and driving infrastructure projects across the continent. He said GE was committed to bridging the infrastructure gaps in the continent across critical sectors like Healthcare, Energy, Transportation and Aviation. "I am delighted with this recognition of not just our increased investment in Africa but also our efforts in developing a pipeline of African talents whose contribution is critical to developing the continent," Ireland said.
The Africa Investor Business Awards is the longest-standing international awards on Africa.