GE signs $25 Million Partner Agreement with Hewlett Packard Enterprise for Digital Solutions across Middle East, Africa & Turkey

  • Partnership over three years will bring Cyber Security and other GE Digital solutions to the Middle East, Africa & Turkey (MEA & T) region, targeting critical industrial operations
  • The cyber security solutions at the heart of the agreement will enable regional stakeholders to move forward with the journey of digital transformation in a secure environment
  • Solutions are in line with MEA government priorities and national agendas to move into the digital era securely, protecting assets and infrastructure

Yesterday GE (NYSE: GE) ( signed a strategic partnership agreement with Hewlett Packard Enterprise ( that will bring GE Digital’s breakthrough digital industrial solutions at scale to the Middle East, Africa & Turkey. The three-year agreement with HPE, is the first collaboration of this scale and scope in the region, and will focus primarily on cyber security solutions in Operational Technology, with the potential to move into other digital solution in the future.

One of the first solutions this partnership will focus on is OpShield from GE Digital. OpShield was created specifically to protect critical infrastructure, drawing on years of embedded device testing and assessments of hundreds of industrial facilities. The solution reduces risk of cyberrelated unplanned downtime; improves asset protection from cyber-related damage; helps safeguard protected health information (PHI); reduces risk of damage to reputation and intellectual property theft due to cyber incidents; and increases customers’ confidence to connect and optimize assets.

In the first year of the partnership, GE Digital Cyber Security solutions will be distributed through the HPE Channel Partner Network across the MEA &T region, with a particular focus on the Gulf, Levant, Northern Africa, South Africa, and Turkey. By using this existing Partner Network with more than 1,500 partners in the region today, HPE and GED together will bring critical digital and cyber security solutions to industrial controls and infrastructure networks. To enable this outreach, the HPE Partner Ready Program (recognized as the industry’s number one partner program in EMEA [1]) will ensure that more than 340 HPE specialists and Channel Partner technical and sales resources will be trained and certified on GE Digital solutions to deliver the solution on HPE storage and server infrastructure. In addition, HPE’s own security capabilities for information technology infrastructure will complement the solutions provided by GE for the operational technology environment.

Ali Saleh, Senior Vice President and Chief Commercial Officer for GE Digital MEA said, “This partnership will enable our most important customers and partners in the region to begin the journey of digital transformation in a secure environment. HPE has the strongest partner program among peers to manage a partnership of this scope and scale, to bolster a secure digital ecosystem, and reach customers quickly through an innovative business model.”

Johannes Koch, Managing Director, Middle East and Africa for HPE said, “This agreement for Middle East, Africa & Turkey builds on our global partnership with GE to help our customers and partners take advantage of the Industrial Internet of Things and drive digital transformation across their business. The requirement for security in both information technology and operational technology environments, and the need to protect critical infrastructures, makes this an ideal opportunity for our partners.”

GE Digital and Hewlett Packard Enterprise have also agreed to discussions around bringing Predix-based applications to the market. Predix isthe platform for the Industrial Internet of Things – connecting machines, data, and people to power the digital industrial companies of the future. It is the foundation that enables industrial businesses to securely collect and analyze data in real time so they can operate faster, smarter, and more efficiently. Specifically, GE Digital and HPE will look at “on premise” Predix-based applications. Predix is the only platform that provides connectivity capabilities from machines, to full premises, and all the way to the cloud for a complete, integrated view of a company’s devices, processes, and people.

GE has introduced its advanced digital capabilities in the Middle East, Africa & Turkey through several landmark agreements announced over the last year. With a presence of over 80 years, GE has more than 20,000 employees in the region driving the Aviation, Digital, Healthcare, Oil & Gas, Power and Transportation businesses.

[1] Source: Canalys Candefero Survey. HPE reconfirmed #1 in the category “Accreditation and specialisation programs” also in March 2017.

Distributed by APO on behalf of GE.

Media contact:
Kirsten Kutz

About GE:
GE (NYSE: GE) ( is the world’s Digital Industrial Company, transforming industry with softwaredefined machines and solutions that are connected, responsive and predictive. GE is organized around a global exchange of knowledge, the “GE Store,” through which each business shares and accesses the same technology, markets, structure and intellect. Each invention further fuels innovation and application across our industrial sectors. With people, services, technology and scale, GE delivers better outcomes for customers by speaking the language of industry.

Source:: GE signs $25 Million Partner Agreement with Hewlett Packard Enterprise for Digital Solutions across Middle East, Africa & Turkey


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National Assembly, Federal Ministry of Power and ECOWAS Commission President confirm as partners for Powering Africa: Nigeria Investors Summit alongside REA, TCN, NAPTIN and USTDA

EnergyNet ( is delighted to partner with the National Council on Power (NACOP) and support their closed government roundtable taking place in Jos this month, hosted by the Federal Ministry of Power, Works and Housing.

Following the roundtable, The Federal Ministry of Power will follow up with investors at the annual ‘Powering Africa: Nigeria’ Investors Summit one week later on the next phase of Nigeria’s energy strategy, with a particular focus on:

  • Progress on the Power Sector Recovery Program (PSRP) and its implementation strategy.
  • The Investment Guidelines for Power.

“Hon. Minister Fashola, the Permanent Secretary of Power, Mr. Louis Edozien, Distinguished Senator Abaribe, Chairman of the Senate Committee on Power, Honourable Asuquo, Chairman of the House of Representatives Committee on Power and Mrs. Damilola Ogunbiyi, Managing Director of the Rural Electrification Agency are personally committed to boosting stable power to galvanise Nigeria’s industrial and economic growth, which cannot happen without private sector engagement. From this perspective we’re excited to hear the outcomes of the closed round table in Jos. I’m also delighted that Mrs. Damilola Ogunbiyi, Managing Director of the Rural Electrification Agency (REA) who is driving a private sector based strategy to reduce barriers to participation in Nigeria’s energy sector will join us to launch and discuss the Nigeria Energy Database (NED). With very solid programmes and announcements being made, I’m excited to be back in Abuja for the meeting in three weeks and to be a part of the government round table in Jos.” – Valeria Aruffo, Regional Manager, EnergyNet.

Mrs Ogunbiyi commented on the NED, “The Nigerian Energy Database (NED) is an initiative of the Rural Electrification Agency (REA), which seeks to provide vital energy/ community/ grid data and encourage transparency in the Nigerian energy industry, by creating a central home for energy statistics and community data collected by government agencies, donors and private entities. It is hoped that easily accessible data will reduce the barriers to entry in the Nigerian energy space”.

High-level engagement from the public and private sector include:

  • Distinguished Senator Ennyinnaya H. Abaribe, Chairman, Senate Committee on Power, Steel, Development & Metallurgy, The Senate, National Assembly, Federal Republic of Nigeria.
  • Honourable Daniel Asuquo, Chairman House of Representatives, Committee on Power, National Assembly, Federal Republic of Nigeria.
  • Morlaye Bangoura, Commissioner for Energy and Mines, ECOWAS.
  • Damilola Ogunbiyi, Managing Director, Rural Electrification Agency.
  • Chiedu Ugbo, Managing Director, Chief Executive Officer, Nigeria Delta Power Holding Company (NDPHC).
  • Anthonia Okoh, Project & Export Finance, Standard Chartered Bank.
  • Rachel More, Head Infrastructure Finance for West Africa, Rand Merchant Bank (RMB) Nigeria.
  • Nicolas Pitiot, Investment Director, CDC Group.
  • Ragnar Gerig, Director Energy Africa/Asia, DEG.
  • Yusuf Hamisu Abubakar, Chairman, Kaduna Electric Company.
  • Charles Momoh, Chairman, Eko Electricity Distribution.
  • Lamu Audu, Chief Executive Officer, Mainstream Energy Solutions Nigeria.

View the full public and private sector speaker list here (

With the official support of the Federal Ministry of Power, Works and Housing, ECOWAS, REA, TCN, NAPTIN and USTDA, it is important to note that the ‘Powering Africa: Nigeria’ Investors Summit is not an exhibition, but rather a gathering of 300 cornerstone investors and public sector decision makers, focused on the business of getting deals moving forward by openly addressing investor confidence, bottlenecks and fluidity in the market.

Further information about Powering Africa: Nigeria:

Dates: 4-6 October 2017
Venue: Transcorp Hilton Hotel, Abuja
Organisers: EnergyNet, part of Clarion Events Ltd.

Distributed by APO on behalf of EnergyNet Ltd..

For press and media enquiries, please contact:
Jessica Longdon
Senior Marketing Executive

Source:: National Assembly, Federal Ministry of Power and ECOWAS Commission President confirm as partners for Powering Africa: Nigeria Investors Summit alongside REA, TCN, NAPTIN and USTDA


Categories: AFRICA | Tags:

First Ladies and rising women leaders gather to define Leadership for a New Era

For nearly 10 years, the Global First Ladies Alliance ( has been convening first ladies for high-level policy dialogues in the US and across Africa. This year, the group is bringing in voices and partners not traditionally engaged in or given access to these conversations: rising women leaders and new media platforms.

The event, The Future of Women: Leadership for a New Era, to be held on September 21st in New York, will be co-hosted by Facebook (, in partnership with M·A·C AIDS Fund ( and OkayAfrica (, and will bring rising African women leaders in to share their visions for the future directly with the First Ladies. Together, First Ladies and these emerging leaders have the potential for exponential impact, reaching both policy-makers and leaders as well as youth and those shaping popular culture.

During the event, the work of rising African women leaders in the area of Tech, Social Impact and Creative Entrepreneurship will be recognized with the announcement of the Global First Ladies Alliance #theFutureofWomen 2017 Award recipients. Throughout the day, a global audience will be invited to connect to conversations via Facebook Live hosted by OkayAfrica’s Facebook page.

Global First Ladies Alliance Founder Cora Neumann – “Since 2008, we have worked with 45 first ladies on policy and programming in their countries and worldwide. This year, given the current political climate for women around the world, we feel it is imperative to reach an even wider audience, and to find ways to spur more creative solutions for promoting women and women’s leadership. By bringing in the voices of rising women leaders, and partnering with new media platforms, we hope to uncover new solutions and reach harder-to-access groups such as youth and culture-makers. We are also excited to introduce the work of emerging leaders to African First Ladies through our new The Future of Women award.”

Commenting on the partnership, Ebele Okobi, Public Policy Director, Africa said: “We are honored to be part of such an important and influential event. At Facebook, we are passionate about not only supporting women in their growth, but helping to change the narrative for women on the Continent. Our aim is to build, strengthen and empower a global community, and we know when women do better, economies do better.”

Nancy Mahon, Senior Vice President, Global Corporate Citizenship and Sustainability for Estee Lauder and Global Executive Director of the M·A·C AIDS Fund – “M·A·C Cosmetics believes in supporting the fierce and the fearless, and that’s why the M·A·C AIDS Fund is proud to join forces with the Global First Ladies Alliance, Facebook, and OkayAfrica to elevate the voices of First Ladies and other women leaders who are not only critical to the HIV/AIDS response, but to all sectors of society. These women are champions and change-makers who will shape the future of Africa, and we’re honored to celebrate them, hear their perspectives, and work with them to identify solutions to improve the lives of women and girls around the world.”

OkayAfrica: “OkayAfrica is proud to have created a platform that highlights African voices on a global scale; we are proud to center the voices of African women. Uplifting emerging African artists and culture makers, and recognizing rising African stars in the tech, social justice, and the creative arts has been part of our mission – to be able to translate that to an actual award which will help young leaders grow is a beautiful opportunity. We look forward to the dialog between the First Ladies and the specially curated group of African women we’ve tapped as true culture makers and thought leaders from our 100 Women series.”

Distributed by APO on behalf of Facebook.

Media contacts:
Idea Engineers – PR agency for Facebook

Social Media Handles: @GFLAorg @Facebook @MACCosmetics @OkayAfrica

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Source:: First Ladies and rising women leaders gather to define Leadership for a New Era


Categories: AFRICA | Tags:

IMF Executive Board Concludes 2017 Article IV Consultation with the Kingdom of Swaziland

On September 1, 2017, the Executive Board of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) concluded the Article IV consultation [1] with the Kingdom of Swaziland.

Since the 2010 fiscal crisis, Swaziland has experienced a period of macroeconomic stability and recovery. A rebound in South African Customs Union (SACU) revenues, expansionary policies and the peg to the South African rand have contributed to the rebuilding of buffers and supported a growth recovery. Yet, despite its middle-income status, structural impediments have hindered private investment and kept unemployment high, contributing to persistently elevated poverty and income inequality.

Macroeconomic conditions have recently deteriorated. In 2016, two shocks – a prolonged drought and a sharp decline in SACU receipts – severely hit the economy, while an expansionary fiscal policy worsened fiscal and external balances. Growth in 2016 stagnated, as agricultural productions declined, and headline inflation increased sharply, mostly due to rising food prices. Government’s policy of increasing public expenditure, while SACU revenues declined, widened the FY16/17 deficit to about 10½ percent of GDP. Public debt rose and domestic arrears accumulated, while the current account deteriorated and international reserve coverage declined below 3 months of imports. The economic slowdown and government’s domestic arrears have started having adverse effects on the banking sector’s asset quality, with non-performing loans (NPLs) rising.

Fiscal policy remains on an expansionary course, while the monetary stance has tightened. Despite a pickup in SACU revenue, the 2017 budget envisages a continuation of large fiscal deficits, and further increase in public debt. In the context of the peg to the South African rand, in early 2017 the Central Bank of Swaziland raised its policy rate above South African Reserve Bank’s rate.

The outlook is fragile, with an unsustainable fiscal policy. Growth is projected to pick up in 2017 due to the end of the drought and increasing SACU revenue, and turn negative thereafter as fiscal and external positions weaken. The large fiscal deficit would contribute to further reduce international reserves and bring public debt above sustainability thresholds.

Downside risks dominate the outlook. The main risk stems from further tightening in budget financing. Additional risks arise from deteriorating banks’ asset quality, lower SACU revenue and demand for key exports. With a fragile outlook, the materialization of risks could trigger abrupt fiscal adjustment. Linkages between domestic financial institutions and the government could further amplify the negative impact of shocks on the economy.

Executive Board Assessment [2]

Executive Directors noted that while Swaziland has experienced sustained growth and macroeconomic stability in recent years, the country is now facing formidable challenges. A prolonged drought, and a sharp decline in Southern African Customs Union (SACU) revenues have recently hit the economy. An expansionary fiscal policy has further worsened fiscal imbalances and created tighter links between the government and domestic financial institutions, contributing to the fragile economic situation. In addition, Directors noted that structural impediments have kept growth relatively low. They emphasized that implementation of sound policies and structural reforms will be key to managing the rising risks, maintaining macroeconomic and financial stability, and generating stronger growth to reduce poverty and income inequality.

Directors emphasized that significant fiscal adjustment is needed to ensure macroeconomic stability and debt sustainability. They stressed that, with tightening budget financing, adjustment efforts should be spread over time and focus on both revenue and expenditure measures that can support long‑term growth. Directors underscored that steps to contain the public wage bill, prioritize capital outlays, reduce transfers to extra‑budgetary entities, and boost tax revenues will be critical to the adjustment effort. They encouraged the authorities to improve budget formulation and expenditure controls, and strengthen the governance of extra‑budgetary entities to ensure the credibility of consolidation plans.

Directors noted that strong fiscal adjustment will help release pressures on monetary policy. They underscored that the Central Bank of Swaziland (CBS) should refrain from additional budget financing and, in the context of the peg with the South African rand, the CBS should maintain the policy rate at a positive spread with the South African Reserve Bank’s rate.

Directors welcomed the authorities’ plans to amend the CBS Act to bolster the central bank mandate and independence and strengthen its supervisory structure. They stressed the importance of monitoring and assessing financial stability and macro‑financial risks arising from tight linkages between the government and the financial sector, and systemically large non‑bank financial institutions. In this context, Directors recommended to accelerate plans to create a financial regulatory architecture and enhance the CBS’s capacity to assess macro‑financial risks and exercise macro‑prudential controls.

Directors emphasized that bolder structural reforms are needed to foster stronger and more inclusive growth. They highlighted that the reform effort should focus on reducing skill mismatches through improving access and quality of higher education, aligning wage and productivity dynamics, including by containing public sector wages, and simplifying business regulations and improving the institutional environment. Directors welcomed the authorities’ recent increase of cash assistance programs and suggested further scaling up and better targeting to address extreme poverty.

[1] Under Article IV of the IMF’s Articles of Agreement, the IMF holds bilateral discussions with members, usually every year. A staff team visits the country, collects economic and financial information, and discusses with officials the country’s economic developments and policies. On return to headquarters, the staff prepares a report, which forms the basis for discussion by the Executive Board.

[2] At the conclusion of the discussion, the Managing Director, as Chairman of the Board, summarizes the views of Executive Directors, and this summary is transmitted to the country’s authorities. An explanation of any qualifiers used in summings up can be found here:
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Source:: IMF Executive Board Concludes 2017 Article IV Consultation with the Kingdom of Swaziland


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