28 November 2016, Lagos – Committed to training young Nigerians in advanced manufacturing and business development, leading multinational, General Electric (GE), has invested $4 billion for skill acquisition in Africa.
Speaking in Lagos, GE President and Chief Executive Officer, Jay Ireland, stated at the unveiling of the 2nd Lagos Garage, that the growth of Africa would come from skill acquisition in manufacturing and technology base knowledge.
According to Ireland, “Our goal is to help fund entrepreneurial skills by training about 200 people annually. We intend to drive Nigeria’s economy by generating the next growth of Africa through Lagos Garage. If we observe growth of business ideas, it would motivate us to continue the Garage initiative as is in line with Nigerian government diversification moves. People come up with ideas and create businesses for themselves in technology or manufacturing would be great for the nation’s economic diversification agenda”.
He stressed that Garage sets to offer series of skills training programs focusing on building the next generation of Nigerian entrepreneurs while participants would be trained to use the latest in advanced manufacturing technologies; 3D printers, CNC mills, and laser cutters in the first-ever fabrication lab in Nigeria, driving innovation in the country. They would learn how to apply the core principles of design thinking, product development, finance, marketing, sales, and customer acquisition in real-time to their ventures.
Meanwhile, President & CEO, GE Nigeria, Dr. Lazarus Angbazo, said, “For Africa to better compete in a global frame work, there is need to encourage innovation in Nigeria and support small and medium entrepreneural (SME) development through skills-building initiatives.
“The Lagos Garage will provide participants access to a robust mentorship network, supporting entrepreneurship with the aim of driving growth across all sectors of the Nigerian economy. “We created the Garages experience in March 2012 to reinvigorate interest in invention, innovation, and manufacturing in America.
“Programs include custom projects, curated speaker sessions and workshops amid a fully equipped advanced manufacturing space. This program went global with two workshops in Lagos in 2014 and has since grown to include several countries in Europe and the Middle-East.”