East African countries held a virtual business and investment forum with Sweden on Tuesday under the umbrella of The East African Community Business & Investment Forum (EAC-BIF).
The forum brought together investors and business people from Kenya, Uganda, Rwanda, and Tanzania as well as Sweden. Initially scheduled to be held in Stockholm, the one-day forum was instead held entirely virtually due to the COVID-19 plague and the resulting restrictions that have negatively affected travel and physical interaction.
The EAC-BIF is a key annual business event with the aim of promoting business flow, trade, and investments between Sweden and the East Africa countries.
Like the previous years, this year’s forum was organized by the Embassies from the East African Community (EAC) accredited to Sweden in partnership with the Swedish-East Africa Chamber of Commerce (SWEACC) and other key economic players in the participating countries.
Held every year since 2012, the EAC-BIF continues to promote business flow, trade, and investments between Sweden, other Nordic countries, and the EAC. The conferences present opportunities for Business to Business (B2B), Government to Government (G2G), and Government to Business (G2B) initiatives to develop new, meaningful, and sustainable technological exchanges, trade and investment partnerships between business communities in Sweden and the EAC region.
Operating under the theme “Green Solutions for Cities in Africa,” the focus of the current Business Forum was on three thematic areas: Waste to Energy, Water and Sanitation, and Green Transport.
Green Solutions for Cities is an area of great interest globally, especially in the EAC countries with rapid urbanization. This calls for efficient solutions to address the inevitable implications on public health, security, and the environment. Sweden has a strong business sector capable of offering not only financially sustainable solutions but also capacity building.
The dynamic and inclusive digital conference brought together notable keynote speakers such as popular business people, government ministers, and other stakeholders. This participation ensured a strong emphasis on networking opportunities between businesses, organizations, investors, government representatives, and between East Africa, and The Nordic region.
Some of the keynote speakers were Sweden’s Minister for Foreign Trade and Nordic Affairs Ms. Anna Hallberg, Kenya’s Cabinet Secretary for Industrialization, Trade and Enterprise Development, Mrs. Betty Maina; Tanzania’s Minister of Industry and Trade Professor Kitila Mkumbo, and Amelia Kyambadde, Uganda’s Cabinet Minister of Trade, Industry, and Cooperatives. Also, present as keynote speakers were the Minister for ICT and Innovation of Rwanda Paula Ingabire.
The diplomatic community was represented by Kenya’s ambassador to Sweden with multiple accreditations to Denmark, Iceland, Finland, and Norway, Ambassador Diana Kiambuthi. Tanzania was represented by Ambassador Dr. Wilbrod Slaa while Rwanda was represented by Ambassador Christine Nkulikiyinka.