This month’s Norwegian-African Business Summit (October 30, Oslo) is the Nordic’s leading business conference focusing on investment opportunities on the African continent. Last year 350 participants attended, and 21 African nations were represented. AIR FRANCE KLM is proud to sponsor the event for the fourth consecutive year.
The theme for this year’s summit – which you can also attend, early bird discounts apply until October 10 – is ‘Mapping the African Infrastructure Landscape’. The conference will address the main challenges and opportunities facing African infrastructure development. One of the questions the conference deals is how the current infrastructure deficit in several countries can also be a good investment case. Club Africa asked Mr. Eivind Fjeldstad, Managing Director of the organising Norwegian-African Business Association (NABA), about the content and impact of the conference.
What is the nature of business between Norway and Africa?
“The major focus has traditionally been on shipping, oil & gas, and to some degree renewable energy. Now you see much more of the latter, for example within solar and hydro power - but also companies from sectors such as property development, finance/investments, aquaculture, education, ICT and technology. The Norwegian Sovereign Wealth Fund is also one of the major investors in East Africa with more than € 62 million invested on the Nairobi stock exchange.”
What about the future?
“I think there is a huge potential for more trade between Norway and African countries. It will also be interesting to see if Norwegian companies manage to play a part in the Green revolution in Africa - we hope our agribusiness session will help to present this potential. One of our founding members, Yara International, the global fertiliser company, is already leading the way - but we hope to get more companies from this sector on board.”
The conference also focuses on impact investment in Africa?
“Impact investments are important, as they are socially responsible investments. Impact investment serve as a guide for various investment strategies. According to the definition of the Global Impact Investing Network (GIIN): ‘Impact investments are investments made into companies, organisations, and funds with the intention to generate a measurable, beneficial social and environmental impact alongside a financial return.’ One of the NABA members, the impact investment group Voxtra, will co-host a session on impact investment in this year's Summit.”
What are the biggest problems to overcome in Norway-Africa business?
“We believe more knowledge about African countries, and the investment opportunities on the continent, is one of the key challenges. This is also why the Norwegian-African Business Association (NABA) hosts seminars, conferences and business missions – to fill this knowledge gap. This year we are also launching an investor guide, hoping to inspire more investments.”
What will be the outcome of this conference?
“We hope our Summit will lead to more Norwegian investments in African countries, more connections made between African and Nordic business communities and increased awareness and knowledge about the many investment opportunities in Africa among the Norwegian business people. We especially invite African business delegates to join us in Oslo, and we are pleased that KLM offers attractive fares to Oslo from all African destinations during the time of the conference.”
- RadissonBLU Scandinavia Hotel in Oslo, Norway, October 30 2014
- Early bird discount of 15 percent for registering by 10th of October 2014!
- This year's high profile speakers include H.E. President John D. Mahama from Ghana, Norwegian Foreign Minister Mr. Børge Brende, Sir Paul Collier from Oxford University, Chief Economist in the International Energy Agency Dr. Fatih Birol, CEO James Mworia from the leading East African private equity group Centum Investment Group, Mr. Jyrki Koskelo, Head of Strategy from the Atlas Mara Group and Ms. Helen Hai, Vice President of the Huajian Group - there will also be interesting presentations from leading Norwegian companies such as Statoil, Aker Solutions, FMC Technologies, African Plantation for Sustainable Development (APSD), AGR Energy and the impact investment group Voxtra.
- Parallel sessions will focus on case studies of impact investment, renewable energy, agribusiness and aquaculture, oil and gas.
- For any further inquiries about registration, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org