18 January 2014

Ethiopia: GE's Chief to Visit Addis Ababa

The United States multinational conglomerate corporation, General Electric's (GE) chairman and CEO, Jeffrey Immelt, is to visit Addis Ababa early next month.

Reliable sources told The Reporter that Jeffery Immelt, as part of his Africa tour, will visit Ethiopia, Kenya, Mozambique and Nigeria. The CEO will start his visit in Addis Ababa where he will stay only one night. During his visit Jeffrey Immelt will meet senior Ethiopian government officials. Sources told The Reporter that Jeffrey Immelt will sing a major agreement with the Ethiopian government. Sources declined to identify the project. GE has been looking at the power development and transport sectors in Ethiopia.

Executives of GE have been negotiating with the Ethiopian Electric Power Corporation (EEPCo) to secure a contract on the electro mechanical work on the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) project. GE also has a keen interest to engage in the railway development project in Ethiopia, though competing with Chinese companies is a challenging assignment for the American giant.

Chinese companies are acclaimed by the Ethiopian government for bringing project financing. But knowledgeable sources say GE could also be backed by the US Export-Import (EXIM) bank, which finances major American exporters. Observers say GE could together work with the Metals and Engineering Corporation (MeTEC) on the GERD. They also said GE could involve in the Light rail project in Addis Ababa run by the Ethiopian Railway Corporation. GE has a strong partnership with Ethiopian Airlines. GE has been supplying aircraft engines to Ethiopian. Ethiopian Boeing B787-8 Dreamliner and B777 aircraft are powered by GE engines. During his stay in Addis Ababa, Jeffrey Immelt will visit the headquarters of Ethiopian.

In the wake of the 2008 global economic crisis GE started to look for new frontiers in emerging economies. And as part of the expansion GE opened a country office in Addis Ababa seven months ago. GE has a regional office in Nairobi and has a strong presence in Nigeria. The company has 1800 employees in Africa, 400 of them working for Nigeria's office.

GE has different wings including energy, health, home and business solutions, transportation and finance. It is known for manufacturing aircraft engine, home appliances and crude oil extracting machines. General Electric is an American multinational conglomerate corporation incorporated in Schenectady, New York and headquartered in Fairfield, Connecticut in the United States. The company makes an annual revenue of 150 billion dollars.

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