Power Africa: GE lauded for power investments in the continent

Oscarline Onwuemenyi,
with agency reports

25 October 2014, Sweetcrude, Abuja –
General Electric Africa has been awarded the Green Investment Initiative of the Year for the Power Africa initiative at this year’s Africa Investor (Ai) Investment and Business Leader Awards. GE’s global Chairman and CEO, Jeff Immelt was also awarded Global Investment Personality of the Year.

“We cannot emphasize enough the importance of the role these institutions play in improving the perception of Africa as an investment destination and we commend their contribution and commitment to this effort,” said Hubert Danso, CEO and Vice Chairman of Africa investor, when congratulating the awardees.

Jeffrey-Immel, Chairman, GE.The two awards won by GE are the longest standing international investment awards that reward exceptional business practices, economic achievements and investments across Africa, and recognize the institutions and individuals improving the continent’s investment climate.

According to a statement by GE, the company distinguished itself in the Green Investment Initiative category by its its Off-Grid Energy Challenge launched in 2013 in partnership with the US Africa Development Foundation (USADF) and the US Agency for International Development (USAID). This three-year challenge is part of Power Africa, President Obama’s initiative to increase access to reliable, affordable, cleaner and more sustainable power in Sub-Saharan Africa. Power Africa is also helping ensure responsible, transparent and effective management of energy resources in Sub-Saharan Africa.

In the first year of the initiative, six winners were drawn from Kenya and Nigeria whilst in 2014, 22 winners were drawn from Kenya, Nigeria, Ghana, Ethiopia, Tanzania and Liberia. The winners all received $100,000 each, towards implementing or scaling up their renewable energy projects.

“GE is committed to continue partnering with Africa by broadening the innovation play, localizing our technological solutions and also investing in skills development,” said Jay Ireland President and CEO for GE Africa.

Ireland stressed GE’s commitment to remaining in Africa in the long term, promising that the company would continue working with various stakeholders in government and the private sector. He added therefore that the award was a “clear testament that GE’s partnership based strategy for Africa is adding value to our stakeholders.”

In show of its commitment to the continent, GE, at the recent Africa Heads of State summit in Washington, announced plans to invest $2 billion in Africa by 2018 to boost infrastructure, worker skills and access to energy. The company’s key projects across Africa are agreements signed with the governments of Nigeria, Ghana and Kenya to develop infrastructure projects including sustainable energy solutions, rail transportation, quality healthcare, training and capacity building.

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