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Energy for Africa

Swedish companies join to elevate Africa’s Energy Sector

When several parties can benefit – that’s when business is as its best. Swedish companies active in the energy sector have joined under the motto “Energy for Africa” – and they are backed by Swedish export facilitating agencies.

The Energy for Africa programme launched on March 15th 2016 and will initially run for 2 years. There are several objectives* of the programme: “Create a Platform for Swedish Energy Export” / “Facilitate formation of Swedish Consortia” / “Back Swedish Export with favourable Financing” / “Ensure Sustainability in African Energy Programmes” / “Ensure Project Excellence and Optimal use of Capital” and of course “Enhance business environment and quality of life for millions of Africans”

So far two events have taken place: Meeting with Eskom** in Johannesburg and a major Swedish Delegation in Cape Town in conjunction with African Utility Week (pictured)

Energy for Africa vs. Power Africa

The programme “Power Africa” was launched as an American initiative by president Barack Obama in 2013, which Sweden joined. The objective is to elevate African Electricity sector by increasing power production with 30 000 MW and increasing number of connections with 60 million in Sub Saharan Africa. Different tools are used to catalyst private investments into the market. Availability of sufficient and reliable electricity is absolutely vital if you want to increase growth and standard of living. Read More on Power Africa

So far so good…

The problem for Swedish exporters is that “Power Africa” in Sweden is lead by Sida – who cannot promote Swedish business, this makes it difficult for the Swedish energy sector to engage in the Africa market using Power Africa tools. As a consequence of this, a parallel program called “Energy for Africa” was formed, to use the momentum of “Power Africa”, but focusing on promoting Swedish Export Companies, with the backing of Swedish agencies such as: Business Sweden, SEK and EKN.

If Swedish companies can come in early in the project development and preferably before the bidding process, backed with financial support from EKN and SEK, there is a much higher chance to influence project owners to focus on sustainability, in quality, health/safety/environment and knowledge transfer. The tools that Energy for Africa provides will also make Swedish companies better prepared in forming competitive consortia***

Ultimately, this will programme will benefit both Sweden and Africa.

Next programme activity will be a Delegation to Nairobi in conjunction with the East African Power Industry Forum (EAPIC), in September 2016.

Read More HERE

*    Objectives are summarized by Author and not exactly quoted from official Programme

** South African state owned power company

*** Swedish companies have traditionally not been successful in forming consortia

 Article by

Johan Frössling, MD of Confidere

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Spring Highlight – DI AFRICA CONFERENCE

SSACC was happy to partner with DI in their annual DI Africa conference for a second time. Whilst last year’s conference was critiqued for its overselling of the “Africa Rising” narrative, this year presented a more balanced conference, with specific concentration on the experiences of Swedish companies, small and large, operating in the various regions on the continent. The recurring theme of the day from the experience of the Swedish companies and experts was: Challenges equal opportunity!

Approximately 150 Swedish business leaders and industry stakeholders participated in the conference. The SSACC stand was popular and well received, with a lot of questions on who we are and how we can assist Swedish businesses interested in the SADC market. SSACC also played host to two of our partners from the SADC region, the Mozambique Chamber of Commerce (MCC) and Pangaea Securities from Zambia. The vice president of MCC, Mr Arlindo Duarte and Ms. Tidale Mwale of Pangaea Securities made a join presentation with SSACC President Åsa Jarskog on Doing Business in SADC with specific examples of Mozambique and Zambia.

Overview of discussions at the Conference

The perception of Africa is changing because the realities have changed. Africa has experienced rapid growth of the service sector and the middle class. The continent is joining the global trend of the 4th industrial revolution and essentially leapfrogging from agrarian economies to service economies. These rapid changes have created challenges, more specifically in: IT infrastructure (soft and hard), Financial Institutions, Energy Infrastructure and more recently, Cyber Securities.

In addition to the fore-mentioned sectors, and despite the growing services sector, agriculture remains a very important sector for many economies. We heard about the huge need for agriculture development in Mozambique for instance, one of the SADC countries highlighted during the conference. Only 20% of its fertile land is utilizes, leaving 70% uncultivated and imports 50% of its food needs. Mr. Arlindo Duarte, Director of Intermetal SA and Vice President of MCC argued the case for investment in Agro-processing, as currently, there are no companies in Mozambique doing large scale food processing. Ms. Tidale Mwale, Senior Broker and Trader at Pangaea Securities reiterated the same needs for Zambia, more especially as “the copper industry has overshadowed other industries, Zambia is trying to tell a new story – not of copper, but of the potentials in other sectors such as Agriculture and Manufacturing.”

The Zambia case is not unique; many SADC countries have depended heavily on natural resources, an extremely volatile industry. Therefore the general strategy across the region is to diversify economies, develop value addition supply chains and develop strong manufacturing sectors that can engage on a global scale, which has lead to SADC’s new long term Strategy for Industrialization.

Throughout the day we heard from the Swedish Ministry of Foreign Affairs Africa Department and various Swedish Companies of the importance to not assume homogeneity in doing business across the continent. As Anna Selander, Head of Consumer Lab at Ericsson, quoted Hans Rosling “It´s time to stop talking about Africa as one place!” Data between the different countries accurately shows the difference between countries “we need to be humble enough, that every country must be viewed by experience”.

– Click HERE for Ericsson Consumer Lab Report –
Case in point, when looking at the IT/Telecommunications sectors for Mozambique and Zambia, they have different challenges and therefore different opportunities. In Mozambique, 8 of 10 people use 2 to 3 different mobile operators – therefore the opportunity here lies within quality, reliability and infrastructure upgrade. Zambia on the other hand does not have the same efficiency challenges; instead, in Zambia the pressing issue is within financial inclusion. The single most challenging factor for doing business in Zambia is access to capital and access to financial services. This presents the opportunity within mobile banking, which is still very low compared to their east African counterparts.

Advice

GO THERE – Do not do table top research, go there! Advised Mr. Tobias Becker, Head of Africa Program, ABB, who have engineering and sales offices in 9 out of the 15 SADC countries. Do not concentrate too much on the ‘gateway’ countries e.g. South Africa, Nigeria and Kenya. There are 54 countries, do not put all risk in 1 or 2 countries, depending on the sector and the size of the company, the opportunities may be greater in other countries as opposed to the “gateway” countries.

Sustainability: you have to be sustainable and find sustainable local partners and together build constructive and innovative partnerships – very important, more so as Africa’s population is young, a growing well-educated population with strong regards to social infrastructure.

One must be innovative in identifying opportunities – as BIMA did in West Africa – they saw statistics that showed 70% mobile penetration, but only 2% insurance penetration ratio and identified the distribution gap as a business opportunity.


Even though 2015/16 saw drops in growth rates across Africa, more specifically for oil exporting countries, the long run perspective of strong economic growth remains. The lack of investment in Africa by Swedish business is not only due to risk aversion, but also to some extent denial. As Thomas Becker candidly stated “You can not run around with a Louis Vuitton bag for the rest of your life!” – Using the rapidly growing creative and fashion industry on the continent as proof that the continent is the place to be.

 

 

 

 

 

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Sailing Regatta – win a ticket!

If you have not yet signed up for the – International Chambers Sailing Regatta – to get a fresh “kick start” after summer, make sure you do!

There is no better way to start the new professional season than to build your professional network and participate in the International Chambers Regatta 2016 with other professionals and company teams from the Stockholm Business Region.

August 30th – Bullandö Marina

Sailing, competing, teamwork, fun and excellent networking

Click HERE for information on INTERNATIONAL CHAMBERS SAILING REGATTA

Click HERE for CORPORATE BOAT LEADERSHIP and TEAM BUILDING PACKAGE

SSACC has one ticket to give away to a lucky raffle winner all you have to do is: 

Non – SSACC Members? sign up as a member
SSACC Member? recruit 2 members to SSACC and inform us on info@ssacc.se

The ticket has a value of 1920 SEK (+VAT) – click HERE to see what is included
Raffle and announcement of the lucky winner will be on August 15th 2016

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Malawi Investment Forum – 2016

Promoting Private Sector Led-Industralisation’

Malawi will hold its Second International Investment Forum on 10th and 11th October, 2016, at the Bingu International Convention Centre in Lilongwe, Malawi.

Under the theme ‘Promoting Private Sector led-Industralisation, the Forum aims to develop new business opportunities with regional and international businesses within the following sectors:

  • Agriculture and Agro-processing;
  • Tourism;
  • Manufacturing;
  • Infrastructure (with a focus on transport, water, housing, commercial structures, industrial estates);
  • Energy;
  • Mining; and
  • Financial Services

Under the patronage of His Excellency Professor Arthur Peter Mutharika, President of the Republic of Malawi, the Forum will play a host to 500 private sector delegates from Malawi, Africa and the rest of the world. Bankable projects and business opportunities will be presented.

Find out more about Malawi investment and trade: www.mif.mw

For questions contact:
Malawi Investment and Trade Center: ceo@mitc.mwenquiries@mitc.mw
Malawi High Commission in London: malawihighcommission@btconnect.com 
Malawi Consulate in Sweden: +46 760829928

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Invest in Namibia Conference

The Government of the Republic of Namibia will be hosting the Invest in Namibia Conference under the theme “Promoting Investment for Inclusive Growth and Industrialization” in Windhoek, Namibia, November 8th to 9th 2016.

The Embassy of the Republic of Namibia and the Swedish Southern Africa Chamber of Commerce (SSACC) invite all interested Swedish companies and entrepreneurs to partake in this great opportunity to engage in the Namibian market.

The conference will profile Namibia’s national trade and investment strategy as well as specific business opportunities in the following sectors: Energy, Agriculture, Low-Cost Housing, Tourism, Manufacturing and Infrastructure Development.

The conference will enable investors the opportunity to engage with senior Government Officials and business leaders on how to use Namibia’s strategic location as a growing trade and logistics hub for industrial projects with access to an expanding SADC market of 250 million consumers.

When: 8 – 9 November 2016
Where: Safari Hotel Conference Center, Windhoek, Namibia
Conference Free: USD 150
For questions: ebeukes@embassyofnamibia.se OR info@ssacc.se