Sweden set to join leading nations that invest in East Africa

juni 09-2014 | Skandik Afrik | People and Events

Sustainable businesses between East African Community (EAC) and Nordics were created at the just concluded investment and Trade forum in Gävle, Sweden. The East African community (EAC) is the regional inter-government organization which comprises of five countries which are Burundi, Kenya, Rwanda, Tanzania and Uganda. A region that has over 141.1 million people with a total area (including water) of 1.82 million square kilometer and GDP at $99.8 billion (Source:here)

The conference was held to facilitate trade between Sweden and EAC in areas like Manufacturing, Infrastructure, Transport, Logistics, Financial and Consultant services, Energy, Agriculture and Tourism. It was also an awakening opportunity for Sweden to take its rightful place among leading nations that invests in EAC. Eva Walder, Director- General for Trade, Swedish ministry of Foreign Affairs said in her opening speech “We see a new Africa emerging with an increasing number of democracies, very strong growth and a growing middle class.”

Fredrick Owiti, an EAC delegate wondered why the Nordics are inactive in investment in East Africa  compared to the Chinese in spite of huge capital movement, Non-discrimination policies, common market protocol and common passport (East Africa passport) for easy movement across the country’s borders.

Lilian Awinja, a representative of East African Business Council, called the attention of the Swedish authority to the challenges they faced in securing Visa in East Africa which pose serious threat to the business partners that might want to come to Sweden. However, Charlotte Kalin, CEO at Chamber of Trade Sweden and also the moderator at the conference advised the business partners from Africa to always apply for their visa on time, make their company known to their respective home country embassy through contact and attend their embassy functions to facilitate better relationship.

Dr. Joe Sang, Kenya's ambassador in Stockholm in his closing remark stressed the importance of direct collaboration between East Africa and the Nordic countries as an important key to growth. The conference was organized by Connect East Africa, an independent platform devoted to trade & interchanges with the East African countries and supported by the Region of Gävleborg and Gävle.

         Anna Långström presented Swedfund

Andreas Skinnars from Business Sweden

Lisa Karanja from TradeMark East Africa, kenya


Carl Johan Karlsson from EKN                         Anna Långström from Swedfund

Dr. Joe Sang, Kenya's ambassador in Stockholm

Venetia Sebudandi, Rwanda's ambassador in Stockholm

Frederick Owiti EAC delegate


Daniella Woldemicheal,NABA representative     Dorothy Tuma

Charlotte Kalin, CEO at Chamber of Trade Sweden

Lilian Awinja from East African Business Council Tanzania

Cross section of participants at main plenary section



Birgitta Piippola, Founder of  Connect East Africa

Cross section of participants at the conference

Photograph by: Tapjs




2014-11-02 19:25:13 | Isaac

Very inspiring

Lets look forward to the fruits of this development.

2014-06-16 08:57:18 | Alf Persson

We work hard!

A very inspiring and great events. It always opens new avenues when people meet. Contacts are made at different levels but unfortunately rarely leads to concrete results in the short term. To develop these events, I want entrepreneurs and business leaders from our respective regions have the opportunity to meet and network. B2B always leads to quick results and entrepreneurs see opportunities before problems. Politically controlled organizations are ofcourse also necessary for the development in my opinion. Too little entrepreneurial thinking in their visions. Can we bring these forces together so will the development be accelerated. Sad to see that Uganda has no representations on this meeteing Alf Persson Gss Com AB

2014-06-12 00:19:29 | Bosco

Where is Uganda Ambassador?

Hehe, where is Uganda Ambassador? Just asking because l can see Kenya and Rwanda Ambassador.

2014-06-11 02:40:34 | Marlin

Sweden will need to work very hard

Sweden will really have to work very hard to join the leading nations. I mean, very very hard to compete with countries like China, USA, UK etc.

2014-06-10 01:59:49 | Sarah

Sweden is best for East Africa

Sweden is known for its innovative ideal with genuine business mindset.This is the type of country we should encourage in East Africa than the cheap and fake Chinese products that flood our economy.

2014-06-09 21:57:20 | Kibuuka

Where are Uganda delegate here?

Where are the Uganda delegates? Long face! Just asking. Anyway, nice coverage and good job

2014-06-09 20:20:08 | Mark

Kind of report l like

These are the kind of report we want to read. Not Africa is dying of hunger. At least this shows we have something to offer in spite of our challenges as a continent.

2014-06-09 13:44:02 | Stefan


Tack for information.

2014-06-09 09:51:39 | Paul

Hope this is real

Effort like this is greatly commendable where both Sweden and East Africa will have a shared value. I sincerely hope this will not be press talk like we have heard in the past. I will graciously follow this development.

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