2019 the year of Sustainability
When we started SSACC almost six years ago, one of the first things we did was to establish our organisational values. It was a thorough and time-consuming exercise, but it laid a thorough foundation for the future of our organization. Since then, in everything we do in SSACC’s name, we base it on our values Professionalism, Sustainability, Respect, Transparency. These values are not just words for us, they represent a whole philosophy that we discuss at each meeting what the values mean to us and how we live them on a daily basis. Being grounded in our values, we do not need rules and guidelines for everything we decide or do, instead we can focus on co-creating value for our members. It has not been an easy journey, but I am proud to say that SSACC is today a values-based organisation and that as the leader of the organisation I apply Value-based Leadership.
During the past year we have focused particularly on core value Sustainability. While our vision is to promote trade, investments and business relations between Sweden and Africa, we are not willing to compromise on sustainability. We promote Sustainable Business between Sweden and Africa, and endorse that Swedish solutions (goods, services and technology) contribute highly to a sustainable development in Africa.
In 2019 we launched the SSACC Sustainability Business Missions, helping Swedish companies match their solutions to the ongoing work for sustainable development in Africa. A request from Rwandas Minister of Environment that SSACC bring Swedish Greentech to Rwanda resulted in our first Sustainability Business Mission. During the trade mission SSACC signed a partnership MoU with the Private Sector Federation.
Bringing our members all the way to Rwanda, we looked for opportunities to help them bring sustainable solutions to neighbouring countries. Rwanda’s biggest neighbour is the DRC (Democratic Republic of Congo), a country with almost 100 million inhabitants coming out of a war, with a young dynamic leadership starting the tough journey to rebuild the country. SSACC wants to contribute to the sustainable development of the new DRC, and the Business Mission to DRC was a first and important manifestation of this.
Based on the success of the Sustainability Business Missions to Rwanda and DRC, we were approached by several members and partners to organise similar initiatives in other African Countries. We are happy to confirm that the next SSACC Sustainability Business Missions will be to Zambia and Angola in April.
Corruption is one of the biggest threats to sustainable business development in Africa, and thus a concern for SSACC’s members and partners. Our seminar on Corruption last May was highly relevant and appreciated by all involved.
It is not a coincidence that Sustainability will also be the theme of our Annual General Meeting on 19 February.
We are happy proud to announce that that our membership base is growing sustainably, in 2019 it increased by 40 percent. The membership base also indicates that we contribute to the internationalisation for everything from SME’s to large corporations, with a geographical spread all over Sweden.
Our Christmas gift to our members and partners is our commitment to continue acting in line with our values while striving to promote sustainable trade, investments and business relations between Sweden and Sub - Saharan Africa.
Please don’t hesitate to contact us if you wish to discuss or further explore Value-based leadership, Global Sustainability win-wins, or anything related to trade, investments and business relations between Sweden and Africa!
We look forward to welcoming you back to the start of a VALUABLE 2020 with SSACC and doing SUSTAINABLE business in Africa.
Åsa Jarskog, President SSACC