Mobile payment solutions, digital health, online shopping, e-learning, infrastructure, and shared mobility – these are just some of the areas of innovation that are on the rise in Africa and where the potential is rapidly increasing for Swedish tech companies.
Investment capital is now flowing into five major cities at the forefront of Africa's digitalisation: Lagos, Cairo, Nairobi, Johannesburg, and Cape Town. To position Swedish innovative know-how and strengthen the exchange between the Swedish and South African tech ecosystems, Team Sweden is organising a first meetup in Cape Town 24-29 April, as part of the Africa Innovation Race initiative.
- Cape Town has emerged as Africa's tech hub and acts as a gateway for Swedish startups, scaleups and innovation-driven companies that want to contribute to the digitalisation wave across the continent. We hope that the delegation trip will result in many new collaborations between Swedish tech companies and local entrepreneurs and companies. By realising ideas together, they can make a real difference in African societies, says Jan Larsson, CEO of Business Sweden.
More than 20 Swedish tech companies and investors participate in the delegation that Business Sweden coordinates with the Swedish Embassy in Pretoria and Norrsken 22. The participants will take part of a solid agenda with seminars, matchmaking events and several different site visits.
For the participant Polarium, a leading supplier of energy storage solutions in the telecom and industrial sectors, among others, South Africa is already a highly topical market. The company made the decision in 2021 to build a new production facility in the country.
- In large parts of the African continent, the electricity grid is not sufficient. Instead, far too many rely on diesel generators to secure the electricity supply. We help companies replace diesel as backup power with energy storage based on lithium-ion technology and thereby reduce both costs and climate footprint. Now with our own manufacturing on site in South Africa, we are well positioned to continue growing on the continent, says Stefan Jansson, CEO, Polarium.
An analysis recently carried out by Business Sweden shows that Swedish actors have very good potential to play a key role in Africa's technology transition. This is thanks to the power of the Swedish innovation system.
The aim of the programme in Cape Town is to give the companies a first-hand insight into the market and a unique opportunity to make local contacts. Among the participants are various actors who, like Polarium, have cutting-edge expertise and experience in co-innovation and can contribute to solving many of the major challenges in Africa.
Ericsson Startup 5G, MobilityXlab, Addressya and the Hack for Earth foundation which promotes and supports citizen-driven innovation are some examples.
- The startup scene in South Africa is really flourishing and we are very much looking forward to getting closer to the local ecosystem. Our goal is to make available the entire spectrum of 5G experiences together with local players in all from entertainment, gaming, AR/VR and immersive communication to smart homes, healthcare, and education, explains Mathapelo Mzizi, Partnerships Manager at Ericsson Group.
Workplace training is one of the specific areas where the demand for digitised solutions is currently accelerating in South Africa. That is why the Swedish startup company Quizrr has chosen to participate in the delegation trip.
- Ethical purchasing and human rights in workplaces are two directions where we see enormous potential for our platform in Africa. Other sustainability issues that run right through the value chains also require new methods to train people and ensure compliance, says Erika Wennerström, CEO at Quizrr, and concludes:
- The delegation to South Africa with Business Sweden and the Embassy of Sweden gives us a unique chance to reach the market.