An Africa Innovation Centre worth R500 million has opened its doors in Johannesburg South Africa.

The centre, a first for GE in Africa, is another big investment for GE, affirming that Africa and South Africa continue to be a good investment destination for big businesses, and that solutions to Africa’s challenges should come from Africa.

The centre is the 10th GE Innovation Centre globally and the 1st Innovation Centre for GE in Africa.

It is the first GREEN and LEED certified GE building in Sub-Saharan Africa and will be GE’s centre of excellence (COE) for innovation in Africa.

As part of GE’s continued commitment to support SMEs the building was 90%+ built, designed, and executed by local businesses. It will be the home to GE’s innovation across Africa within its key business sectors such as aviation, energy, healthcare, oil and gas, power and transportation and will serve as the new headquarters for GE Healthcare.

John Flannery, President & CEO, GE Healthcare globally, attended the opening event.

Speaking at the official opening ceremony, Jay Ireland President and CEO for GE Africa said “Innovation is shaping how we see the world and how we participate in its development today and into the future. GE is committed to driving innovation in Africa for Africa through supporting skills and SME development.

The GE Africa Innovation Centre is one platform through which we are using our resources to empower ourselves and our stakeholders to positively contribute towards the sustainable development of Africa.

We are looking to impact and enhance the career aspirations of over 100 engineers from previously disadvantaged backgrounds. These are young people who will come through the centre and share their innovative solutions whilst learning from some of the best GE minds in their respective fields.

They will work across GE’s product portfolio and deliver simplified world-class products to GE customers”.

The cutting edge facility boasts an Experience and Exploration Centre, coffee shop and catering facilities, agile workspaces, Learning and Development Centre, Innovation Ideation and Collaboration Centre, as well as a GE Prototyping Laboratory and sustainable Healthcare Customer Experience Centre.

GE Africa Innovation Centre

The Centre will enable skills and SME development in Africa and serve as the basecamp for the Londvolota Enterprise Development Trust which launched in 2015 with a commitment to accelerating supplier development in South Africa and the equipping of SMEs to participate in the GE value chain.

In South Africa GE has partnered with Transnet SOC to manufacture locomotives for export into the rest of Africa and on the Healthcare side was selected as the key technology provider for the new Nelson Mandela Children’s Hospital, due to open later this year.

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Brent Lindeque is the founder and editor in charge at Good Things Guy.

Recognised as one of the Mail and Guardian’s Top 200 Young South African’s as well as a Primedia LeadSA Hero, Brent is a change maker, thought leader, radio host, foodie, vlogger, writer and all round good guy.

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