General Electric unveils The Africa Innovation Centre, a platform that brings together over 100 highly skilled Africans in a laboratory fitted out with the latest technology and a design intended to encourage collaboration. “The Africa Innovation Centre provides a platform for African scientists to advance their skills while addressing pressing healthcare, transportation and other important challenges facing Africa”, Africa.com site reports.
The Innovation Centre is a $50 million investment by General Electric for the development of innovation and skills. In particular, the space was designed to provide for collaboration with African customers to address uniquely African challenges. Thomas Konditi, President & CEO Africa for GE Transportation, emphasizes that innovation is vital for African growth. “Africa has a unique environment to deal with,” he said. “As part of the developing world, technology doesn’t always fit with our needs. We have a lot of entrepreneurs here that are poised to help us connect the dots and come up with new solutions.”
The centre is innovative in every regard, including the construction of the building itself. The Innovation Centre is the first LEED certified building in sub-Saharan Africa. LEED is the international, third party certified standard for excellence in environmentally friendly building construction. LEED certification recognizes performance in location and planning, sustainable site development, water savings, energy efficiency, materials selection, indoor environmental quality, innovative strategies, and attention to priority regional issues.