Jay Ireland is the President and CEO of GE Africa (appointed in 2011) located in Nairobi, Kenya where he leads GE’s operations on the sub-continent across power generation, healthcare, transportation, oil & gas and aviation. He is a GE Officer and a member of GE’s Corporate Executive Council.
Prior to this appointment, Ireland led GE Asset Management (GEAM), a global investment firm with about US$120 billion in assets under management. Before heading GEAM, Ireland was President of NBC Universal Television Stations and Network Operations where he had overall executive responsibility for NBC Universal’s 10 television stations, the Telemundo network and its 16 Spanish language television stations. Before joining NBC in 1999, he had been the CFO of GE Plastics. Ireland started his career with General Electric in 1980 in its Financial Management Program after 3 years as a US Army Officer.
Jay Ireland serves as Vice Chair on the Board of Directors of the Corporate Council on Africa (CCA). He is a member of the Private Investors for Africa (PIA) and the World Economic Forum Business Working Group for regional projects in Africa. Jay Ireland is also a member of the board of the Damon Runyon Cancer Research Foundation and a Trustee of St. Lawrence University where he received a Bachelor of Arts Degree in 1977.
A frequent public speaker, Jay Ireland won the Africa investor Magazine’s ‘International Business Leader of the Year’ award in 2013 for the second consecutive year.
Jay and his wife have two children.
President & CEO
Aliko Dangote, (GCON) is the founder of the Dangote Group, which he currently presides over as President and Chief Executive. He is also the President of the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE).
Dangote, who was born on April 10, 1957, is a graduate of Business Studies from the Al-Azahar University, Cairo, Egypt. He started business in 1978 trading in rice, sugar and cement, before he ventured into full-scale manufacturing.
The Dangote Group, whose core business focus is to provide local, value-added products and services that meet the basic needs of the Nigerian population, has grown by leaps and bounds and has presence in 16 African countries.
The Group, which currently has a market capitalisation of over $24 billion as at December 2013, has four of its 13 subsidiaries listed on the NSE. One of the subsidiaries, Dangote Cement Plc is the biggest listed company in West Africa and the first Nigerian company to join the Forbes Global 2000 Companies. In addition, Dangote’s Obajana Cement Plant is reputed to be one of the single largest cement plants in the world with an estimated capacity of 13.25million metric tonnes per annum.
Dangote Sugar Refinery Plc (DSR) is rated the largest sugar refinery in Sub-Saharan Africa and the second largest in the world. The company is currently working towards actualising its 10-year master plan to produce 1.5 million metric tonnes of sugar per annum, locally, in line with the Federal Government’s backward integration policy.Â
The Group was also rated among Top 40 African Challengers by the Boston Consulting Group (BCG) in June 2010, and one of the Top 10 African Brands by London-based African Business magazine in November 2013. The Group was also voted the Top Consumer Brand in Africa by the magazine.
Dangote Group recently made foray into other sectors of the economy and is currently building the largest refinery, petrochemical and fertiliser complex in Africa. The refinery will have the capacity to refine 400,000 barrels of crude oil per day, while the petrochemical plant will produce 600,000 MTPY of Polypropylene.
Africa’s foremost industrialist, Aliko Dangote is a member of several national and foreign organisations where he devotes his resources to contribute to the growth and development of the society.
Dangote was appointed chairman, National Job Creation Committee by President Goodluck Jonathan in 2010 to assist the government in providing more employment opportunities for Nigerians. In addition, he serves as chairman of the National Partnership Committee of Government and Private Sector on Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET). The committee seeks to develop the right skills and competency to support industrial development in Nigeria. He is also a member of the Honourary International Investor Council (HIIC) a forum that is concerned with how to sustain the delivery of good governance, improve national and international perception, and increase private participation in the re-engineering of the economy. He is a Malaria Ambassador and founding board member and patron of Private Sector Health Alliance of Nigeria (PHN), a coalition between the private sector and health organisations to achieve the health-related MDGs by 2015.
In 2012, Aliko Dangote was appointed co-chairman, Presidential Committee on Flood Relief and Rehabilitation, which was set up to provide succour for victims of the flood that ravaged 21 out of 36 states of the federation that year. He made a donation of $16million at the fund-raising dinner. He also made a donation of $32million to the Bank of Industry (BOI) for funding micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) in the country.Â
Beyond the shores of Nigeria, Aliko Dangote has also recorded milestones in philanthropy. In September 2010, he made a donation of $2million to support the United Nations’ World Food Programme (WFP) efforts in Pakistan which had suffered similar flooding incident.
He is a member of the McKinsey Advisory Council and the Clinton Global Initiative. He is also a member of International Business Council of the World Economic Forum (WEF). The Council acts as both a community addressing relevant business issues and an advisory body providing intellectual stewardship to the WEF. He served as a Co-chair of the annual meeting of the WEF in Davos, Switzerland, in January 2014. In May 2014, he served as a Co-chair of the WEF Africa, which held in Abuja, Nigeria’s capital.
In 2013, Aliko Dangote was appointed to the steering committee of the United Nations Secretary-General’s Global Education First Initiative (GEFI). The initiative is a forum connecting businesses to make a lasting impact on the lives of children and youth through education. He is also a founding member of the Gordon Brown-led Global Business Coalition for Education as a representative from business and he is one of the Board of Directors of the Corporate Council on Africa, an organisation that seeks to promote business and investment between the United States and the nations of Africa. In addition, he is collaborating with the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation to fight polio.
He has received many laurels both within and outside the country, in recognition of his achievements and philanthropy whose giving in 2012 was put at $110million. Aliko Dangote, who holds the second highest national honour of Grand Commander of the Order of the Niger (GCON) in Nigeria, also holds the highest honour in the Republic of Benin, the Grand Commander of the Order of Benin Republic.
He is listed by Forbes magazine in October 2013 as the ‘Most Powerful Man in Africa.’ He is also rated by Forbes as the 23rd Richest Man in the World and Richest Black Man in the World with a fortune of $25billion, as at March 2014. In April 2014, TIME Magazine listed him among its TIME 100 ‘Most Influential People in the World.’ He also made the list of CNBC’s ‘Top 25 Businessmen in the World’ that same month.