Somaliland in focus for sustainable business development with Sweden
Following a request from the Ministry of Somaliland for support in the development of sustainable cities, several business processes have started. Gästrike Återvinnare, together with Dalarna Science park and Smart City Sweden, have for two years carried out study visits and introduced projects in the cities of Berbera, Hargeisha and Odweine. Several Swedish companies have also been involved to assist with knowledge and competence as well as materials in recycling and waste management, solar-powered street lightning, cooking for schools with solar energy solution, cooling management of medicine and food, plantation of forest etc. Somaliland’s municipalities are prepared to make investments in selected parts and assist with approximately US $ 250,000 for a tree planting facility.
Somaliland, located in East Africa, has an interest in developing into a smart, sustainable area and wants new innovations, knowledge, and business contacts with the outside world. Ministers in Somaliland have therefore been in contact with Sweden for support in tackling the challenges of building sustainable cities and thinking smart. Gästrike Återvinnare have good knowledge in waste management and recycling and broad international experience and together with Dalarna Science Park, a dialogue and visits have been carried out to contribute with smart solutions and business contacts.
One of the companies that currently delivers both knowledge and qualified technology is QC Renewable Energy from Borlänge.- We have now received a large contract for street lighting in Berbera and will soon install 500 solar-powered batteries that store energy and illuminate one of the streets in the evening. We also have several contracts to install solar panels for private homes in the three selected municipalities. It feels good to be able to contribute with a sustainable quality-assured solution that will benefit both the climate, the economy and the population. Electricity is expensive in Somalia and we know that especially women and children will benefit greatly from a safer electricity system, say Faisa Gura and Muse Farah, who have their own experience from growing up in Somalia and neighboring Kenya. Both are university-educated environmental engineers from Dalarna University with solar cell solutions as their specialty. They have been running the company QC Renewable Energy for just over a year. And this venture and business in Somalia is a dream come true; to be able to deliver knowledge back and raise the standard of living in the land of childhood. Right now, Muse is in Somaliland and contacts customers, signs contracts while Faisa works with the company’s finances and sales from Borlänge.
Nilar, a Swedish company with expertise in solar-powered batteries, has also been introduced to the initiative, which will test its batteries on site in Somaliland. Development of waste management in the three municipalities is also very important and a clear strategy is needed to develop this; – We have now worked with Somaliland for several years and created a strong contact area with MOUs with three municipalities and with the Minister of Investment. We can see that interest in Sweden and Swedish companies has accelerated. Our work will provide an opportunity for sustainable development in Somaliland, where it can hopefully also provide job opportunities on site and that Swedish environmental technology can be utilized and Swedish companies can establish themselves in the East African market. Gästrike Återvinnare will work to develop both planning, organization and follow-up, and hopefully the responsible municipalities will have the opportunity for partial financing to secure landfills and create opportunities for recycling.
Another investment that is made is in plantation of forests in the region when much of the existing forest has been felled or burned. Through the company BCC Plant the Planet from Landskrona, several tree planting facilities will be implemented in Somaliland. The goal is to offer solutions in both reforestation programs and projects against commercialized forest industry.Tempix in Gävle are experts in securing the management of the cold chain for food and medicines. The company has been on site in Somaliland and discussed various needs and solutions. The purpose is to maintain high quality to avoid diseases and secure sustainable deliveries of medicine to different areas where there can be a big difference in temperatures.
Sunfuria from Arvika, which produces innovative, sustainable cooking solutions powered by solar cell collectors, will offer schools and hotels to test their solutions as an alternative to electricity.- We have delivered energy storage that will be filled with recycled engine oil and stoves that will cook for 700 children in a school in Kenya. Electricity is expensive and sometimes in short supply, which has consequences. To be able to develop and test our solar-powered kitchen to another country, feels good as it contributes to a better climate as we recycle waste oil. Our unique, patented solution enables cooking even when the sun is not shining. We hope that our technology will spread well and save a lot of money and forest that is not always replanted. Ecological and economic sustainability, says Adam Fjaestad, CEO of Sunfuria.
Much is going on in Somaliland and the export platform Smart City Sweden is an enabler for sustainable urban development. Somaliland’s municipalities themselves contribute to the development and will make investments in rural areas as well as finance solar energy lighting in Berbera and pay for the pilot project for the investment in solar energy for private households.- It feels good that we can contribute with knowledge, competence and a smart innovative business development between the countries. Gathering strength and working strategically means that Sweden proves that we are innovative; and the very best is when we share, connect knowledge with competence and that it benefits companies ‘business development and other countries’ needs, says Ann-Louise Larsson, project manager Smart City Sweden, node mitt.If you want to know more about Smart City Sweden, please check www.smartcitysweden.com or contact firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com