Washington, D.C. — Jay Ireland, President and CEO of General Electric Africa (GE Africa) has been named as one of the 15 private sector leaders to President Obama's Advisory Council on Doing Business in Africa.The new appointees represent small, medium, and large companies from a variety of industry sectors. They will provide expert counsel on strengthening U.S partnerships with African countries and leverage opportunities for U.S. companies operating in Africa for the long term.
The appointment is contained in a letter addressed to the GE Africa Helmsman by the U.S Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker. She said the appointment became necessary because Africa is home to six of the 10 fastest-growing economies in the world and that economic growth on the Continent will continue to drive demand for U.S. exports, which will ultimately help create jobs at home and provide valuable investment opportunities for U.S. businesses.
Responding to the appointment, Jay Ireland said the appointment reaffirms not only GE's commitment to Africa but also the US government's focus on strengthening its relationship with the continent. Earlier this year, GE announced it would invest US$2 billion in facility development, skills training and sustainability initiatives across Africa by 2018. The announcement cements a century-long involvement with African economies. "GE is uniquely positioned to increase access, reliability and affordability of core infrastructure throughout the continent", says Jay Ireland.
GE first started operating in Sub-Saharan Africa over 100 years ago. GE's footprint in sub-Saharan Africa now consists of over 1800 employees, revenues of over $2.5 billion dollars (2013) and operations in 25 countries. GE's main operations in Africa are in Nigeria, South Africa, Angola, Mozambique, Ghana and Kenya where the Africa Headquarters is located.
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