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
SSACC together with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Business Sweden, and other chambers of commerce hosted a trade delegation from Ghana. The delegation was headed by Mr. Yofi Grant, CEO of Ghana Investment Promotion Centre. The delegation consisted of 37 companies operating in a variety of sectors such as ICT, agribusiness, construction, energy, natural resources, waste management and recycling. The main objective with the visit is to create networks and discuss business opportunities and investment possibilities for Swedish actors in Ghana. The forum ended with a networking session between companies from Sweden and Ghana.
The forum was moderated by Åsa Jarskog, President of SSACC. Welcome remarks were made by the Swedish Director General for Trade, Mr. Per-Arne Hjelmborn. This was followed by a speech by Ghana's Ambassador to Sweden, H.E. Amerley Ollennu Awua-Asamoa. Investment opportunities in Ghana were presented by CEO of Ghana Investment Promotion Centre, Mr. Yofi Grant
SSACC together with Business Sweden hosted "Connecting Southern Africa with the rest of the world" on November 11. Namibia aims to become the most important logistics hub in Southern Africa. The largest ongoing project, “the Walvis Bay Corridors”, aims to connect the Southern African markets with the rest of the world.
Representatives from Namibia included main organisations involved in projects such as: Namport - the Port authority, TransNamib Holdings - the national railway company and the Municipality of Walvis Bay.
SSACC just completed its 5th business mission to Africa by traveling with seven companies to DR Congo during October. This was the first business mission to DR Congo in 19 years.
The business mission consisted of seven global and smaller companies from Sweden from the energy, water, mining and Fin Tech industries. Joining companies included ABB, Siemens, Conseil D’eau and Okapi Finance. Current focus in the developing the DR Congo lies in building up basic infrastructure, eg roads, energy and access to water.
The program consisted of several meetings with ministries and NGO’s, including the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, as well as ANAPI, the investment promotion agency of the DRC. Individual customized meetings were also organized between the Swedish companies with potential customers and local business partners.
We are very grateful for the collaboration we have had with the Embassy of DR Congo in Sweden, the Embassy of Sweden in Kinshasa, and ANAPI. We look forward to deepening this collaboration with more activities in promoting trade and investment between Sweden and DR Congo.
ANOTHER SSACC TRADE MISSION SUCCESS!
SSACC just completed another successful business mission trip to Rwanda 14-17 October.
The Business Mission consisted of 9 global and small cleantech companies from Sweden providing sustainable technology solutions within energy, including hydro, solar and bio mass, as well as waste-to-energy. Companies providing solutions for electricity quality measurement and infrastructure services were also represented.
The business mission arrived in Kigali on the 14th of October and on the 15th SSACC in partnership with the Embassy of Sweden, RDB (Rwanda Development Board) and PSF (Private Sector Federation) hosted a Business Seminar on Green Cities and Sustainable Solutions at Hotel del Mille Collines. The seminar had a great turnout, with over 60 people attending. The seminar included presentation and panel discussion in Renewable Energy Solutions (on-grid and off-grid), Innovations, Infrastructure, Finance and funding alternatives. Apart from the Swedish delegates there were representatives from the Rwandan businesses, Ministry of Energy, Ministry of Infrastructure, Ministry of Environment, ICT Chamber, the Embassy, local chamber of commerce.
The Seminar was followed by an excellent cocktail mingle, allowing for the Delegates to network further with local businesses, deepen contacts made during the Seminar and also book additional B2B meetings.
The 16th and 17th of October were set aside for B2B meetings. Delegates provided SSACC beforehand with detailed information on what they would like to accomplish from the trip and a wish list of companies, organisations and government entities they would like to meet. On average the Delegates had 10 meetings booked spread between the two days, which included meetings small and large businesses, Rwanda Energy Group, Ministry of Energy, Ministry of Infrastructure, Ministry of Environment, .
We are very grateful for the collaboration we have had with the Embassy of Rwanda in Sweden, the Embassy of Sweden in Kigali, the Rwanda Development Board and Private Sector Federation, with whom SSACC also signed a Memorandum of Understanding with. We look forward to deepening this collaboration with more activities in promoting trade and investment between Sweden and Rwanda.
On October1, SSACC moderated a book release event for "Svenska företag i Afirka" at Näringlslivets Hus in Stockholm. The authors Emil Uddhammar and Peter Stein presented their new book, including their research, interviews and their view on key success factors Swedish companies who have succeeded to date. Their findings provides great inspiration for companies who want to succeed in the fast fast growing economies in Africa. Apart from the opportunities the book also covers barriers to doing business, including corruption and political risks.
Also participating and presenting at the event were; Oscar Alsén, founder and CEO, Smiling Group, Lina Jorheden, responsible for the electrification program at Epiroc, Christine Nkulikiyinka, Ambassador to Rwanda in Sweden, Ulf Pehrsson, VP Government & Industry Relations at Ericsson and Chairman at Sveriges Allmänna Utrikeshandelsförening, and Inger Ultvedt, previous Ambassador of Sweden to multiple African countries.
September 10. Together with the Embassy DR Congo, SSACC organized a breakfast seminar on Doing Business in DR Congo as well as information on the upcoming Business Mission in October. The seminar attracted 14 participants.
Together with the Embassy of Namibia and Business Sweden, SSACC organized the Namibia-Sweden Business Forum. The Business Forum was held in connection with the Namibia-Sweden Bilateral Working Group, hosted by State Secretary for Foreign Affairs, Ms Annika Söder. The Working Group aims at maintaining and developing a broad relationship between Namibia and Sweden.
The seminar was opened by a representative from Sweden´s Department for Foreign Affairs. Speakers included Namibia´s ambassador H.E George Mbanga Liswaniso, representative from Namibia Trade and Invest, Mr Clive Smith, Acting CEO, Walwis Bay Corridor Group and Magnus Rehle, Board member Sweden-Sub Saharan Africa Chamber of Commerce (SSACC).
Together with the Embassy of Rwanda, SSACC organized a breakfast seminar on Doing Business in Rwanda as well as information on the upcoming Business Mission Trip to Rwanda in October. The seminar attracted 30 participants.
The seminar was opened by Ambassador Christine Nkulikiyinka with a presentation on Rwanda and the business opportunities. Other presenters included Robert Backlund from Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Roine Österberg from SWECO. Stephan Bengtsson, CEO of Safeman, has already established a business in Kigali and shared his experiences of running a business in Rwanda.
Åsa Jarskog concluded the seminar by presenting the programme for the upcoming Business Mission to Rwanda in October, followed by a Q&A and open discussion with all the participants.
Together with the Stockholm Chamber of Commerce, SSACC organized a breakfast seminar on How to handle Corruption when doing business in Africa. The seminar attracted over 70 attendees.
The panel included participants from the public sector, NGO as well as private companies, including Christine Nkulikiyinka, Ambassador of Rwanda in Sweden, Dr Wilbrod Slaa, Ambassador of Tanzania in Sweden, Jacob Kiefer, Ambassador for Sustainable Business at Swedish MFA, Jörgen Hansén, Compliance Officer at Sweco, Michael Kindahl, General Manager at AMK Concept Innovation, Natali Phalén, Secretary General at The Swedish Anti-Corruption Institute, and Ulrik Åshuvud, Chairman Transparency International Sweden.
Areas discussed included: