General Electric picked up two awards at this year’s Africa Investor (Ai) Investment and Business Leader Awards. GE Africa was awarded Green Investment Initiative of the Year for the Power Africa initiative. In addition, GE’s global Chairman and CEO, Jeff Immelt was awarded Global Investment Personality of the Year. These awards are evidence of GE’s belief in the vast investment opportunities on the continent and the company’s commitment to the sustainable development of Africa.
While congratulating the awardees, Hubert Danso, CEO and Vice Chairman of Africa investor, said he was pleased that with the awards Africa Investor is able to showcase African investment and business success stories. “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 Danso
GE Africa scooped the prestigious award in the Green Investment Initiative of the Year category. Some of the criteria used by the judges were evidence of efforts to support the sustainable growth of local markets as well as consistent involvement and commitment to financial transactions in Africa. The initiative that distinguished GE in this category was 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 its first year, 6 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.
President and CEO for GE Africa, Jay Ireland emphasized that GE is in Africa for the long run and will continue working with various stakeholders in government and the private sector. He said, “GE is committed to continue partnering with Africa by broadening the innovation play, localizing our technological solutions and also investing in skills development. The award therefore is a clear testament that GE’s partnership based strategy for Africa is adding value to our stakeholders.”
Chairman and CEO, Jeff Immelt was also awarded Global Investment Personality of the Year during the ceremony. At the recent Africa Heads of State summit in Washington, GE announced plans to invest $2 billion in Africa by 2018 to boost infrastructure, worker skills and access to energy. Some of GE’s key projects across Africa are MOU signings with the governments of Nigeria, Ghana and Kenya to develop infrastructure projects including sustainable energy solutions, rail transportation, quality healthcare, training and capacity building.
These prestigious Ai Awards 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.