General Electric To Invest $2 Billion In Africa By 2018

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General Electric has pledged to invest $2 billion into its African businesses by 2018. Pictured: U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry (C) speaks alongside Angolan Foreign Minister Georges Rebelo Pinto Chikoti and Jay Ireland, president and CEO of General Electric Africa, following a tour of the General Electric (GE) Sonils compound at the Port of Luanda in Luanda, Angola, May 4, 2014.

General Electric Co. (NYSE: GE) said Monday it will invest $2 billion in Africa over the next four years.

The American multinational corporation, which offers financial services and manufactures medical equipment and wind turbines among other business pursuits, called Africa its “most promising growth region.”

The announcement comes as economists, politicians and business and nonprofit leaders from the U.S. and Africa meet in Washington, D.C., this week for the U.S.-Africa Leaders Summit, where they will discuss the continent’s growth, education, infrastructure and other issues.

General Electric said it will focus its investment on developing its supply chain, training people and infrastructure and sustainability initiatives. Projects include utilizing a landfill in South Africa to burn biogas produced by the trash and generate electricity, supplying gas turbines to meet electricity demand in Algeria and in Nigeria’s state oil refinery and building rail lines in Angola.

GE said it made $5.2 billion in revenue in Africa last year and has more than $8.3 billion in orders this year.

“Lack of infrastructure is the biggest obstacle to faster economic development,” Marco Annunziata, GE’s chief economist, said in a statement. “African businesses are well aware of the opportunity. … While the challenges are substantial, Africa’s willingness to be an enthusiastic early adopter of new technologies could be a massive advantage.”

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