Abidjan suffers as most large cities on the African continent from a lack of sufficient mobility solutions. The fast-growing middle class is increasingly using private cars or two-wheel vehicles which has led to huge problems of congestion.
When the largest city in Côte d’Ivoire decided to invest in a public transportation system; with the aim of reducing congestion and getting closer to sustainable urban mobility goals, Scania positioned itself as a preferred partner supported by Team Sweden and coordinated by Business Sweden. Most importantly, an engagement strategy was developed between Scania, Team Sweden and Cote d’Ivoire enabling high level key decision makers and the government to reach the goals.
The financial offer was supported by EKN and SEK while strategic communication and engagements were officially carried out by the Ambassador of Sweden. All efforts were coordinated by Business Sweden.
“Without Team Sweden as a door opener, we might not even have been given the opportunity to present our solutions”, says Fredrik Morsing, senior advisor at Scania.
In Côte d’Ivoire, Scania’s solution will meet the government’s goal of establishing a modern network of public transport solutions by 2022, thus reducing the use of single carriage vehicles and the level of air pollution. In addition, Scania and its partners will supply a bus depot and extensive training to bus drivers and technicians. The project partners will also work on the development and implementation of local alternative fuel solutions to eventually achieve a fleet of buses that runs 100 per cent on biodiesel.
Biofuels have a positive impact both on local air quality and greenhouse gas emissions. If you compare a biogas engine to a diesel engine used in most African countries today, it will reduce local emissions by 90 per cent.In terms of reduction of greenhouse gases, biogas could also lead to reductions of up to 90 per cent in a well to wheel perspective. That is the total effect considering both production and use of the biofuel in comparison with a fossil fuel, says Fredrik Morsing and continues:
“However, the biggest game changer is not the fuel the buses we deliver will operate on, it is to get the growing population to stop using private cars. If you instead make people travel by a modern bus in an organised system, you take away more than 80 cars from the streets for every bus in operation. Our goal is to make sustainable transport a reality for all countries in the region”.
Anthonia Adenaya Huard, Head of West Africa at Business Sweden, says that transportation is a major pollutant in Africa and therefore an important challenge to tackle in achieving the Sustainable Development Goals. She agrees with Fredrik Morsing that you must start by changing people’s behaviour.
“Côte d’Ivoire is traditionally very individualistic in its modes of transportation. You take your bike, motorcycle, or car; it is considered safer, faster in some ways and more comfortable not waiting for a bus at a bus stop far away from home. That is why we also must promote sustainable infrastructural investments from a holistic perspective so that more countries can build roads, bus stops, bus depots and service facilities that will make communal transportation more attractive. And not the least provide training to bus drivers and technicians”
Anthonia Adenaya Huard emphasises that the key to success in Cote d’Ivoire was collaboration, resulting in platforms for further engagement and opportunities for Swedish suppliers to build sustainable business partnerships, particularly within biofuel.
“It was a win-win relationship, emanating from Scania and their partners presenting great solutions for sustainable transport to working together with Team Sweden for the good of all businesses involved, the countries, the region and the world.”
Scania is a world leading provider of transport solutions, including trucks and buses for heavy transport applications combined with an extensive product-related service offering. The company also offers vehicle financing, insurance, and rental services to enable customers to focus on their core business. Moreover, Scania is the leading provider of industrial and marine engines.
With 50,000 employees, partners, and customers in about 100 countries, Scania is driving the shift towards a sustainable transport system.