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INNOVATING FOR CHANGE, NORDIC-NIGERIA Connect

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 FOR two consecutive days, 22nd – 23rd May, 2019, Lagos, Nigeria’s commercial City-State, witnessed an unprecedented turnout of large participants at one of its internationally acclaimed hotels, the Radisson Blu Anchorage Hotel, in Victoria Island, for the second edition of the 2019 INNOVATING FOR CHANGE: NORDIC-NIGERIA CONNECT conference.

   These Local and international development-stakeholders comprising members of the distinguished diplomatic community, industry and tech giants, top governmental delegation, representatives of international organizations, Textile experts and internationally celebrated musical artistes, and of course the much respected Nigerian media, gathered met to brainstorm and fostered strategic connections, through keynote speeches, paper-presentations, panelists session, Questions and Answers,  and interviews time out, Tea breakfast and networking lunch hour, business-to-business interaction, a fashion show and musical concert, among others, on how the Nordic Nations and Nigeria continued to improve and sustain growth already established.

The event, which was sponsored the Norwegian Embassy, Abuja, The Embassy of Sweden in Abuja, Embassy of Finland and Embassy of Denmark in Nigeria,  in collaboration with Norwegian Energy Partners, Business Sweden (The Sweden Trade and Invest Council) and Business Finland, was broadly rated as very successful and is expected to produce sustainable outcomes and strengthen partnerships among the participating countries, organizations and key players, and further inspire more growth-gatherings of this such that will continue to position Nigeria as the continental giant.

 MAKING INNOVATION HAPPEN: NORDIC NATIONS TAKING THE LEAD.

The past decades have witnessed the Nordic countries (Norway, Sweden Finland and Denmark) developed into a world-class innovation scene, creating a vast amount of attention from world leaders, entrepreneurs, investors and talents. This knowledge driven innovation has turned into new value in the form of products, services or new organizations in both private and public sector. This including everything from industrial robots, education tools, transport solutions and energy efficiency to leadership and business models.

With a total population of less than 30 million, the track record of the four countries is impressive.

  • Norway is the home to one of the world’s largest funds- The Government Pension Fund Global (Oil Fund) – with stakes in more than 9000 companies worldwide, including the likes of Apple, Microsoft and Samsung. Norway is also innovating technology for oceans industries with Equinor in the lead.
  • Sweden to innovations such as Bluetooth, Skype and Spotify and its capital Stockholm is currently producing the highest number of so-called ‘unicorns’ (or billion-dollar tech companies) per capita after Silicon Valley.
  • Finland has given birth to the world’s best (and free) education system, fostering innovation then and now.
  • Denmark with innovations in the food, agriculture and processing sector lead by companies like Arla Foods/Dano.

    In the same vein, Nigeria is also steadily emerging as a hotbed of innovations cutting across the financial services, agriculture, hospitality and entertainment. The various efforts to diversify the Nigerian economy, job creation, rural and inclusive development will require innovative solutions; and the power of collaboration and co-creation is key in these realizations.

    Nordic-Nigeria Connect therefore provides a unique opportunity for partnership between Nordic and Nigerian actors to innovate for change that will continue to translate to tangible and sustainable developments.

The Conference which was a huge success in planning, participation and outcomes started on Wednesday 22nd of May, had best innovative practices and networks between Nigeria and the Nordic countries, it also held Thematic Sessions Which focused on innovation in learning and innovation in transportation.  

    The event’s second day Thursday 23rd of May, focused on sharing experiences within the energy sector, both in oil and gas as well as in renewable energy, and discussions on Access to Finance from Nordic financing solutions. As a part of the Nordic-Nigeria Connect, the Nordic embassies hosted evening programs showcasing innovation within fashion and music. The Finnish fashion designer, Marita Huurinainen and the Swedish music artists, Sabina Ddumba and Kim Cesarion hugely collaborated with Nigerian talents in the evening open sessions on the two days respectively.

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 The 2019 Nordic-Nigeria Connect paraded High-level attendance and opening/welcome speeches.

Dr. Isa-Ali Ibrahim DG OF Nigeria Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA) represented the Vice –

President, Federal Republic of Nigeria, H.E (Prof) Yemi Osinbajo, expressing the Federal’s Government concerns and commitments to grow the economy through integrated steps including development-partnerships, technological advancement and innovations, investment growth, robust diplomatic relations, and leadership commitment to Ease Of Doing Business in Nigeria, safe, secure and enabling environments.

       Others notable guests are:

  • E Mr., Adeyemi Dipeolu, Ambassador and Senior Special Adviser to the President on Economic Matters.
  • E Mr. Jens-Petter Kjemprud, Ambassador of Norway to Nigeria
  • E Dr. Jyrki Pulkkinen, Ambassador of Finland to Nigeria
  • E Mr. Steffan Tilander, Charge d’Affiares, Embassy of Sweden in Nigeria.
  • E. Mr. Paul Jacob Erikstrup. Minister Counsellor, Consulate General of Denmark in Lagos.

 

 

For further inquiries on conference contact:

NORWAY: aida.ghebresalasie@mfa.no and on energy gulbrand.wangen@norwep.com

SWEDEN: fanny.nylander@gov.se and anthonia.adenayahuard@business-sweden.se

FINLAND: suvi.laakso@formin.fi andolu.raheembusinessfinland.fi

DENMARK:carmyl@um.dk

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

CONFERENCE DETAILS

Day 1

Featured keynote presentations and series of thematic sessions on crucial topical issues: which centered on the followings:

 

THE NORDIC INNOVATION EXPERIENCE:

The secret of the Nordic-What are the pillars for a world-Class innovation scene?

The section was professionally anchored by Mr. Olu Raheem, Trade Commissioner West Africa, Business Finland.

 

Paper presentations include the followings:

  • Nokia Nigeria: Digital Transformation a foundation for innovation in all sectors-Mr. Richard Edet, Managing Director.
  • Ericsson Nigeria-Evolving to a 5G economy as a thrust for further innovation?-Mr. Sean Cryan. Country Manager.
  • Scania West Africa-A vibrant urban transportation system needed as bedrock- Mr. Fredrik Morsing, MD/CEO.
  • Equinor Nigeria-Innovative technologies supporting growth in Oil & Gas Sector- Mr. Heine Melkevik, MD/CEO.

 

 

MAKING INNOVATION HAPPEN IN NIGERIA.

How does an Innovator go from conceptualization, to creating a bankable project, to scaling–up in Nigeria?

Discussion centered on necessary criteria to creating an enabling environment (policies, financing and IP issues) for a digital transformation using innovative entrepreneurship as key driver of its innovation ecosystem.

Presentations by various Nordic companies followed Panel Discussion and Q&A session.

Moderators include:

  • Anthonia Adenaya Huard, Regional Director North & West Africa, Business Sweden
  • Chukwuemeka Fred Agbata, Co-founder, GoDo Nigeria and Tech Journalist at Channels TV & Punch.

 

Session Panel Participants include:

  • Lanre Osibona, Senior Special to the President on Technology, Federal Republic of Nigeria
  • Samuel Ojomnimi Eneayan , Director, Technology Innovation and Commercialization (TIC) National Agency for Technology Acquisition and Promotion of Nigeria (NOTAP).
  • Anna Ekeledo, Executive Director, AfriLabs-The Largest Network of African Technology Hubs.
  • Kingsley Ify, Co-founder and CEO, Springboard-Afro Nordic Business Platform.
  • Manpan Wungak, CEO, Itzinya Nigeria-Swedish Entrepreneurship Development Company.
  • Ifie Sekibo, Managing Director/CEO, Heritage Bank- Runs the Youth Innovative Entrepreneurship Programme (YIEDP), backed by the Central Bank Of Nigeria.

 

INNOVATION AND LEARNING IN NIGERIA

Towards Economic and Societal Development:

Talks centered on how to achieve a sustainable and competitive economy with more skilled and motivated labour pool via innovation and continued learning form early childhood education to vocational schools and universities, and finally to working life and lifetime learning? How to manage individual learning process in the workplace through technology, social Innovations and inter-cultural understanding?

Presentations by various Nordic companies followed Panel Discussion and Q&A session.

 

Panel Participants include:

  • Heramb Kulkarni, Head of Strategy and ICT Development, Council for Creative Education (CCE) Finland.
  • Ebgert Schram, Group CEO, Hofstede Insights
  • Janne Lauanne, CEO, Webuust.
  • John Owuor, Director, SPIDER Center-Swedish Program for ICT in Developing Regions.

 

INNOVATION AND TRANSPORT IN NIGERIA

Sustainable mobility in urban development- solutions for Nigeria’s rapid urbanization.

Discussions on by the participating Nordic firms focused on urban development with a holistic view in (Transport, Waste Management, Environmentally–friendly solutions, connectivity, smart-traffic plans, dynamic solutions for easier and safer mobility while contributing to economic growth).

 

Presentations by various Nordic companies followed Panel Discussion and Q&A session.

 

Moderator: Ms. Anthonia Adenaya Huard, Regional Director North & West Africa, Business Sweden

 

Panel Participants include:

  • Boboye Oyeyemi, Corps Marshal, Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC).
  • Abiodun Dabiri, CEO/MD, Lagos Metroplitan Area Traffic Mnagement Authourity (LAMATA).
  • Olawale Musa, General Manager, Lagos State Traffic Management Authourity (LASTMA).
  • Fredrik Morsing, Managing Director, Scania West Africa.
  • Laolu Mabawonku, CEO, Misol M&E Limited (Representative of Sensys Gatso Group in Nigeria).
  • Arto Tlitinen, CEO, Tramigo.
  • Rasaq Jadgal, Founding Partner of Artic Shipping AS, Artic Securities.

 

RECEPTION AND FASHION SHOW

Comprising activities on Nordic-Nigeria Fashion Revolution-the sustainable future of textiles: involving

Finnish-Nigerian fashion show and design by Marita Huurinainen, and  Oriflame Cosmetics-Beauty by Sweden.

Mr. Isidore Ogunjiofor. Managing Director

Day 2

 Energy Efficiency and Access to Financing Solutions [all sectors]

As Nigeria strives to transform from being a petroleum – products – import dependent country into one that is fully self–sufficient in local refining and a net exporter of petroleum products; the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation [NNPC] is currently at the frontier of these targets supporting several projects driven by private capital in Upstream, Refining, Gas, Power and Renewable Energy. The country wants to generate 30% of its electricity via renewable sources by 2020.

   The Nordics are some of the leading countries that have achieve over 80% renewable sources, harnessed the power of oil & gas energy and reached a high level of energy efficiency. The efforts to diversify the Nigerian energy sector will require innovative solutions much of which can be provided by these countries. All these key investments in the energy sector and other relevant sectors needs to be supported by viable financing solutions. The power of collaboration and co-creation is therefore key.

 Keynote Presentations include:

 HARNESSING THE POWER OF OIL AND GAS- – on the North Sea Experience and cost reduction achievements relevant for launching new projects in Nigeria: by Mr. Heine Melkevik, Managing Director of Equinor Nigeria

Other important Thematic Sessions featured the following:

 SHARING THE NORDIC EXPERIENCE IN OIL AND GAS (Featured a Panel Discussion followed by Q&A Session)

Capacity and capabilities to implement new projects:

Nigeria is working on economic diversification, however oil and gas still remains a key revenue generator and needs to be digitalized and industrialized. For this to be realized, critical innovative projects are relevant with adapted capacity,

Followed by a Panel Discussion and Q&A session.

 

Moderator: Mr. Gulbrand Wangen, Director Africa, Norwegian Energy Partners (NORWEP).

 

Presentations by Nordic Companies:

  • Yusuf Wale, Business Development Manager, Wartslla, Marine and Power Services, Nigeria.
  • Hany Abd-ElAzim, Country Manager Director, ABB Nigeria.
  • Raphael Klandiko, Country Manager, Atlas Copco-Nigeria.
  • Sam-Ben Ohen, Business Development Manager, TechnipFMC, Nigeria
  • Betrand Huet, Country Manager, NOV Oil and Gas Services, Nigeria.
  • Woji Well, General Manager, BW Offshore.
  • Maxime Carramon, Africa Operation Director, Deep Ocean.
  • Onyekachi Howard Omeni, Head of Section, DNV Maritime Oil & Gas, DNV GL, Nigeria.
  • Utomi Ebodagha, Operational Manager Nigeria, Aker Solution.
  • Robert Kretschmer, CEO, Kabelmetal Nigeria Plc, Nexans affiliate, Nexans.

 

 STIMULATING AN OIL AND GAS-BASED INDUSTRIALIZATION IN NIGERIA.

Industrialization as key to an efficient sector with higher yields and resilience to external Shocks.

This important session was moderated by Mr. Gulbrand Wangen, Director Africa, Norwegian Energy Partners (NORWEP), and featured Panelists, questions, contributions and comments.                     

Participants:        

Engr Abayomi Bamidele, STA to ES&, General Manager & Special Projects, Nigerian Content Development & Monitoring Board (NCDMB).

  • Jide Jadesimi, Executive Director Business Development, Lagos Deep Offshore Base (LADOL Free zone).
  • Heine Melkevik, Managing Director, Equinor Nigeria.
  • Hany Abd-ElAzim, Country Manager Director, ABB Nigeria.
  • Raphael Klandiko, Country Manager, Atlas Copco-Nigeria.
  • Mario Lagunes, Country Manager, TechnipFMC, Nigeria

 

RENEWABLE ENERGY SUPPORTING HARMONIZED DEVELOPMENT AND INNOVATION.

Increasing the access to electricity as necessity for development especially in rural areas with key presentations on:            

  • Rural Electrification Agency- Status, opportunities and the way forward in rural electrification focusing on off-grid solutions by Mrs. Ngozi Chimdi-Ejiogu, Assistant Director.
  • ABB Nigeria- Sharing the experience on creating off-grid renewable energy sources by Mr. Hany AbdEL-Azim, Country Manager Director.

 

RENEWABLE ENERGY AS A RESPONSE TO RURAL DEVELOPMENT IN NIGERIA

How to reach the goal of 30% renewable energy by 2020 and areas of collaboration with Nordic companies

Presentations were made by relevant Nordic Companies followed by Panel Discussion and Q&A Session.

Moderator: Dr. Boer, CEO, All On.

Panel Participants:

  • Shanbanu Dutta, Head of Global Sales, Solar Village.
  • Robinson Emoh, Executive Director/CEO Sweborg Ltd.
  • Nickle Johnson, Business Development & Partner, Stella Futura.
  • Ngozi Chimdi-Ejiogu, Assistance, Rural Electrification Agency.
  • Femi Adeyemo, CEO, Arnergy.
  • Emmanuel Dangana, Vice Chairman, Kusamotu and Kusamotu Law Firm.
  • Chuks Umezulora, Co-Founder & COO, Auxano Solar Energy.
  • Bolade Soremekun, CEO, Rubitec Africa (Rubitec Solar)

 

Keynote Presentation on:

 ACCESS TO FINANCING SOLUTIONS IN ALL SECTORS:

Nigerian Investment Promotion Commission, by Ms. Yewande Sadiku, Executive Secretary/CEO

The quintessential NIPC Boss gave a good account of herself and the establishment she represented, as she captured the rapt attention of the audience

 

 Access to financing solutions in all sectors—What Nordic instruments are available for Nigeria?

The financial tools and supports offered by respective agencies of the Nordic countries for collaborations and businesses.

This session included Presentations, Panel discussions and Questions & Answers time, and was moderated by

Mr. Taofik Adegbite:  Honorary Consul General of Norway and CEO of Marine Platforms.

 

Panel participants:

Norwegian Export Credit Guarantee Agency or Eksport Credit Norway.

Ms. Anthonia Adenaya Huard, Regional Director, Business Sweden North & West Africa, Representing Swedish Export Agency (SEK,), Swedish Export Credit Corporations, EKN, and the Development Financing Institution, Swedfund.

Mr. Oliver Andrews, Executive Director and Chief Investment Officer, African Finance Corporation.

Ms. Mojisola Bakare, General Manager, Corporate Banking, Sterling Bank.

Mr. Ilam Salem., Director, Artic Securities

Mr. Joakim Hedenstedt, COO and Co-Founder AON Sigma.

 

Nordic-Nigerian Sounds-creative nations, music and innovations

Swedish artists Sabha Ddumba and Kim Cesarion collaborated with Nigerian artists in a concert connecting creativity, while a Tribute Lifestyle featuring Nigerian products with a Swedish heritage was also showcased.

Acclaim Nigeria was there!