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
Johan Frössling, MD of Confidere