GE Africa has today launched the first Africa Learning Advisory Board targeted at providing a support and thought leadership structure for both GE Africa and the continents’ talent development. The Advisory Board is chaired by the Dean of The Faculty of Technology, University of Ibadan, Nigeria, Professor Emmanuel Atoo Ajav.
The Board brings together approximately 20 members from business and academia across GE Africa, Europe and North America, with a primary focus on local technical and engineering skill development across Africa.
GE Africa President and CEO, Mr. Jay Ireland said, the Board is a testament to GE’s commitment to developing skilled talent for the company and Africa both in the immediate and distant future.
Ireland further reiterated GE’s focus on local innovation, partnerships and the move to solidify the company’s local presence across the power, healthcare, rail transportation and oil and gas sectors. “This is a partnership that leverages GE’s long history in training and skill development; homegrown knowledge and experience from African academia and the best in practice from across the globe.” He said.
Speaking during the launch, the Cabinet Secretary, Industrialization and Enterprise Development, Mr. Adan Mohammed, who also officiated at the launch in Nairobi, addressed the need for institutions to invest in skills development that are relevant to market needs.
According to Mohammed, “the ministry is fully aware of the vital role that technical skills will play in the future of this country especially as we venture into the world of extractive mining and gas exploration. This move by GE is a step in the right direction. As a government, we are committed to offer high quality education and technical training to our youth to enable us create more job opportunities and grow our economy,” he explained.
The Chairman of the Board, Professor Emmanuel Atoo Ajav, while describing the composition of the board, explained that the board largely comprises experts in Africa and according to him; this is a testimony that Africa is ready.
“What we are doing is not only planting a seed, but also watering the tree root and nurturing its fruits,” He noted.
GE is a global leader in skills development spending $ 1 billion annually on training and education programs around the world. GE’s roots in Africa are over 100 years old with the company recently opening its Africa Headquarters in Nairobi in 2011. It has also set up new offices in Senegal, Tanzania, Ethiopia, Mozambique and Cote D’Ivoire. The company has grown its Africa human capital base from 800 in 2010 to approximately in 1800 in 2013 with plans to grow even more significantly over the next three years.