Friends of the African Union

We, the African Diaspora in the USA, can be a change Africa needs – now .

General Electric

General Electric African American Interest Organization

 The African American Forum (AAF) mission is to strengthen African American employees at GE through professional development, career management, and mentoring that will enable retention and growth. The forum also works to strengthen the bonds between GE and its local African American communities.



The 2016 AAF Global Symposium was held in Washington, D.C. on October 6-7, 2016 at the beautiful Marriott Marquis. Our theme – “I am AAF – I am Digital. I am Global. I am Leading.” captures the essence of the collective power and focus of AAF across GE.  Below is the Chairman of GE Jeff Immelt at AAF16

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See below for the AAF 25th Anniversary Commemorative Journal


16AAF – Africa Panel from eventPower on Vimeo.


General Electric, the global $140.4 billion a year company 

GE’s CEO Jeff Immelt has said, “Why not us. . . Why can’t we make ourselves into a digital company?”

WASHINGTON, DC - FEBRUARY 13: GE Chairman and CEO Jeffrey Immelt participates in a discussion on "The Future of Manufacturing: Growing American Competitiveness" during GE's four-day event "American Competitiveness: What Works," at the Andrew Mellon Auditorium February 13, 2012 in Washington, DC. As part of its "Hire Our Heroes" program, General Electric Co. says it will hire 5,000 veterans over the next five years and invest $580 million to expand its aviation business. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)
WASHINGTON, DC – FEBRUARY 13: GE Chairman and CEO Jeffrey Immelt participates in a discussion on “The Future of Manufacturing: Growing American Competitiveness” during GE’s four-day event “American Competitiveness: What Works,” at the Andrew Mellon Auditorium February 13, 2012 in Washington, DC. As part of its “Hire Our Heroes” program, General Electric Co. says it will hire 5,000 veterans over the next five years and invest $580 million to expand its aviation business. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

The company is “all in,” Immelt says, on crafting itself in the image of a tech and computing disruptor, which includes becoming a “top 10” software company by 2020.  To achieve this goal, GE is investing heavily in building software and wireless capability to connect machines like wind turbines, trains, and jet engines. But it’s also buying the latest algorithms and machine learning know-how to better monitor and control those machines.

General Electric (GE) is an American multinational conglomerate corporation incorporated in New York, and headquartered in Boston, Massachusetts and global OPerations Center in Cincinnati, Ohio. As of 2016, the company operates through the following segments: Power & Water, Oil and Gas, Aviation, Healthcare, Transportation and Capital which cater to the needs of Financial services, Medical devices, Life Sciences, Pharmaceutical, Automotive, Software Development and Engineering industries.  In January 2016, Haier Group acquired General Electric’s appliance division for $5.4 billion.  In October 2016, GE Renewable Energy agreed to pay €1.5 billion to Doughty Hanson & Co for LM Wind Power during 2017.

GE is the world’s premier Digital Industrial company with a global presence in 130 countries.

Primary business units

GE Technology Infrastructure


GE Africa

GE first started operating in Sub-Saharan Africa over 100 years ago. However in 2011 it decided to renew our focus to meet Africa’s current and future needs. The companies footprint in sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) now consists of over 2,600 employees, revenues of about $3.3 billion dollars (2015) and operations in 25 countries. GE’s main operations in SSA are in Nigeria, South Africa, Angola, Ghana, Mozambique and Kenya where its SSA Headquarters is located.

A key partner in supporting SSA’s socio-economic growth, GE operates in the Oil & Gas, Power, Transportation, Healthcare, Renewables, Energy Connections and Aviation sectors.

Partnership with Governments and local companies form a very important part of GE’s growth in SSA. The company have signed MOUs with the Governments of several countries such as Nigeria, Kenya, Angola and Ghana to develop infrastructure projects, including sustainable energy solutions, providing efficient and reliable transportation as well as improving access to quality healthcare. These MOUs involve significant investments in creating jobs and human capital development.

GE opened a $13million training center in Kenya, where it will train 10,000 healthcare workers in diagnostic imaging. GE is delivering locomotives from our assembly facility in Pretoria for the Transnet deal that was closed a couple of years ago.


Jay Ireland, CEO of GE Africa

One notable deal that was announced this year was the one between GE and Atlas Mara in terms of creating a new funding solutions to finance infrastructure.  According to Jay Ireland, CEO of GE Africa, GE has reaffirmed the company’s commitment to continue investing in Africa, despite difficult market conditions. He has said, We’re working with the two of them, Atlas Merchant Capital and Mara Group in putting together an infrastructure fund that we feel can be utilized in providing capital and capability to a number of projects around Africa.”

“We’ve taken our employment from about 800 people to almost 2,700 people. We’ve continued to invest in skills building around the region with training facilities like I mentioned. We’ve got a continued focus around building out capability in a couple of other countries from the standpoint of being able to assemble and manufacture more here on the continent, so I would say none of that enthusiasm has diminished at all and we still feel very bullish about the potential of Africa.  And then I think the other thing is we’re continuing to invest developing localised solutions, like our [manufacturing] facility in Calabar, Nigeria. We opened an innovation centre in June in Johannesburg ”

“We feel the technology of our equipment is top-notch, number one. It’s the most fuel or energy efficient and it has the highest capability. We now have a digital footprint tying in our Predix platform (Industrial Cloud-Based Platform as a Service (PaaS)) which gives us a capability on the installed base to really provide a tremendous amount of solutions and upside for our customers. And then the other thing is we’re investing in Africa as well so we’re not just coming in and selling something but we’re also here for the long-term and we’ve invested in people and in process and capability on the ground which we also think is very important. We’re as creative as we can be and flexible as we can be from the standpoint of the needs of our customers.”

To keep up with GE’s activities in Africa, visit and subscribe to


GE works in Ghana to support economic growth through infrastructure development especially in the power, healthcare and transport sectors. GE is working with Ghana’s leaders on plans to develop the critical infrastructure needed for continued energy management in the country. In 2014, GE opened a new 200-capacity permanent office in Accra, with a total of 45 employees – 95% of which are Ghanaians.

GE is committed to the sustainable development of Ghana’s future. Our approach is to empower people by building valuable skills, equip communities with new tools and technology, and elevate ideas that are helping to solve Africa’s challenges.  Through GE Kujenga , our corporate citizenship program in Africa, GE Ghana has donated 30 laptops, refurbished a computer laboratory and instituted an IT training program for Unity Cluster of schools. This cluster located in Kotobabi, Accra previously had 3 computers for its 1000+ students. Under this initiative GE also provided free eye care and eyewear to 1300 residents of Nima

GE also supported the Village of Hope Orphanage with cash donations towards the payment of school fee for orphans; the repainting of orphanage; as well as mentorship to the orphans. GE Ghana also has a longstanding partnership with Ashesi University Ghana where students are actively engaged in job shadowing, mentorship programs and internship opportunities.

GE signed a healthcare MOU with the government of Ghana in 2013, and as at the end of 2014, there had been a shipment of 400 Vscans, GE’s portable ultrasound device. There is an option for an additional 1600 Vscan to be supplied. GE is spearheading a training execution plan for the VScan program, which is currently in development.

As the global leader in Deepwater O&G equipment, GE is committed to local content delivery in the Oil and Gas space in Ghana. GE has setup a joint venture with a 100% indigenous Ghanaian company and plans to build a world class Services facility in Takoradi. Coupled with our world class learning and development program, GE will build the capacity of Ghanaians to run and lead this facility.

Through the Ghana 1000 project, a power project initiated by GE in conjunction with Endeavor Energy and Eranove (formerly Finagestion), the government aims to create what would be Sub Saharan Africa’s largest power park, providing more than 1000MW to the national grid once completed. The project is coupled with a floating LNG vessel (Floating Storage Regasification Unit) to supply gas to the power plant, an integrated gas to power solution that is expected to lower the costs of electricity.  The five-year project is expected to boost Ghana’s power generation capacity by 50% from the current 2000MW installed capacity.

GE signed an MOU with Ghana to create a consortium in Transportation for the rehabilitation of the Western Line.

Stanbic Heights (3rd floor) Intersection of Liberation Road and North Liberation Link Airport City, Accra
Telephone: +233302746133

South Africa


In South Africa, GE has over 1100 employees and participates in business sectors that include; Power, Transportation, Healthcare, Energy Connections and Aviation.

GE’s presence in South Africa can be dated back to 1898, with the first overseas office outside the USA having being opened in Johannesburg in that year.

In 2016 GE opened a R500M ($36,380,580) Africa Innovation Centre in Johannesburg South Africa. This is GE’s centre of excellence for innovation and technology transfer in Africa. It is the first for GE in Africa and the 10th GE innovation Centre globally.

In November 2015 GE completed the global acquisition of the Alstom power business. This acquisition has now positioned GE as a strategic and value adding partner to South Africa.

In South Africa GE has embarked on a Supplier Development Vehicle program that is focused on the development of black owned SME’s through business development services and technical development services. Post program the overall goal is to incorporate these suppliers into the GE supply chain.

Powering: GE provides advanced power generation technology and services including maintenance and operations, parts and repair services, and contractual services agreements. With the acquisition of Alstom, GE now has over 70% installed base of GE technology in the power sector. Today, 9 Eskom Power stations have installed GE Electrical Distribution equipment with an additional 2 9E gas turbines Installed at Sasol’s Secunda Plant.

Eskom is also using GE’s innovative water and waste-water treatment technology for the Kusile power plant.

With its power generation technology, GE Energy enables oil and fuel company Sasol to meet its critical requirements for long-term reliability and plant performance.

In 2013 GE Water and Sasol launched their jointly developed anaerobic MBR technology which cleans waste water to make it reusable in industrial processes and provide biogas as a by-product for power generation.

GE Jenbacher gas engines are installed at Durban’s landfill site converting methane gas into energy that can be distributed via the participating municipality’s electricity grid.

Curing: GE Healthcare is transforming healthcare delivery in South Africa with 6000 clinical devices installed such as anaesthesia equipment and monitor.GE Healthcare ships over $2Million worth of parts per year. The GE Foundation donated $1million to the Nelson Mandela Children’s Fund towards the construction of the Nelson Mandela Children’s Hospital which opened on December 2, 2016.

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Moving: GE Transportation is at the forefront of the revitalization of the rail industry in South Africa, we have supplied close to 500 locomotives to South Africa’s private and public sectors in the past 5 years. In 2015 GE Transportation formed GESAT, a joint venture company between GE and the Mine Workers Investment Company (MIC). Last year GESAT delivered the most “African GE locomotive” with over 55% local content. This is part of the GESAT order to supply Transnet SOC with 233 evolution series diesel electric locomotives.

Building: GE South Africa’s commitment to uplifting the communities we do business in is evident in R28 Million allocated towards the building of Sibongindawo School at Wilge Power Station, which was opened in July 2016. This joint project between GE and Eskom will ensure that the children of the Wilge community will continue to benefit from world class teaching facilities.

GE Current

General Electric has joined its energy-efficiency and distributed-power technologies with its industrial internet platform to create a new grid edge company, Current.

Around the globe, energy consumption is increasing and putting continued strain on the grid – not to mention our wallets. Take the fact that, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration1 (EIA), worldwide energy consumption is expected to grow by 56% between 2010 and 2040. Meanwhile, EIA data2 shows commercial energy rates in the United States are increasing annually. This doesn’t sound sustainable, does it? The world is quickly realizing that smarter energy use is absolutely vital to success, today and tomorrow.

Current, powered by GE, was created to help customers take advantage of cleaner, more efficient solutions while tapping into technology to create a digital energy infrastructure.

Current combines GE’s commercial and industrial LED lighting, solar, energy storage and electric-vehicle businesses with the predictive analytics of its industrial internet platform, Predix, to provide one-stop shopping for customers looking to solve increasingly complex energy problems.

GE is pitching Current as a startup, but it brings together existing businesses that have more than $1 billion in revenue and is supported by one of the largest corporations in the world.  Current is meant to have a startup mentality, and be more flexible and nimble than its parent company. At the same time, it is backed by deep pockets that can offer customers various financing options.

Early customers, including Walgreens, Simon Property Group, Hilton, JPMorgan Chase, Hospital Corporation of American and Intel, are mostly in the commercial sector.

GE is confident that Current can help cities navigate their energy future, and additional applications, in a way that other companies with less robust offerings cannot. “This is a new kind of energy company,” said Maryrose Sylvester, CEO of Current and former president and CEO of GE Lighting, “We can touch [our customers] at the highest level down to operations.”

Eventually, Current also expects to serve utilities, especially those that are trying to offer more robust energy services to their customers. “I think we have this real opportunity to partner with utilities in this period of great change and disruption to help them,” said Sylvester.

The applications might be different for each customer, but the ultimate goal is to have something that looks like a Predix app store that can serve various sectors from healthcare to municipalities to retail.  “The pilots have also produced varied flavors of financing”, said Sylvester, adding that Current can “do it all.” For cash-strapped municipalities, that might be entire projects done turnkey with service models, or loans for companies that want to own energy assets and pay-as-you-go software licenses.



Mr. Jaime A. Irick serves as the Chief Commercial Officer at Current. Mr. Irick is responsible to oversee sales activities for Current.

He has been Vice President of North America Professional Solutions at GE Lighting Ltd. since September 2014. He has been Vice President of GE Lighting North America Professional Solutions at General Electric Company since September 2014. He joined GE in 2003, where he held a succession of leadership roles, including general manager, GE Lighting North America Professional Solutions. Prior to joining GE, he served as an Officer for the U.S. Army. Mr. Irick holds a bachelor’s degree from the United States Military Academy in West Point, New York and earned his MBA from Harvard University.