fredag 1 december 2017

Kenya & Tanzania: Exploring East Africa - Part I

Samarbete - Collaboration. A concept which sounds deceptively simple. The objective of this delegation trip was to take a limited number of Swedish companies (and in this case one institution) to Kenya and Tanzania in order to meet potential local collaborators with whom they can forge longlasting partnerships in order to expand, and/or establish, their presence in East Africa.

The delegation trip itself would not have come about without the close collaboration between Swecare Foundation and Business Sweden. After the phenomenal initial interest which surprised even us, it seemed that the trip might not even take place. We were obliged to wait for the political situation in Kenya to stabilize before we could confirm the program and bookings with our delegates. By this time, the uncertainty had caused a few of the interested actors to back out. Although we had always wanted a small delegation, one or two companies would not be enough to capture the interest of local partners, nor would it have been financially viable. It had to be lagom. But as is often the case, things have a way of working out at the last minute and we ended up with 15 people from seven Swedish companies participating. And the 19-23 November trip was quite the success.

Program Overview

Anna Jardfelt welcoming the delegation
The trip started with a short but extremely productive cocktail at the Swedish Residence in Nairobi on Monday, presided over by the Swedish Ambassador to Kenya, Anna Jardfelt, and the United Nations' Resident Coordinator, Siddarth Chatterjee. Networking had already started and meetings were arranged even before the program had properly begun. 

Representatives from the Kenyan Ministry of Health, the country manager of PharmAccess, and our own Hans Winberg from Leading Health Care spoke to a targeted Kenyan audience and the delegation during the morning seminar on Tuesday. The Swedish companies also got a chance to present themselves in order to clarify their vision and the types of partnerships they seek. The theme, loosely defined, was increasing efficiency through regional partnership and collaboration, with a focus on the most immediate healthcare challenges in East Africa.

As inspiring as talks were, what our delegation appreciated the most were the B2B meetings arranged in the afternoon. Keeping the group small meant that instead of the quick 10 minute chats one usually has during these sessions, our participants could spend up to 30 minutes on each meeting if it was going well. The value of such meetings cannot be overestimated. The key to successful collaborations often hinges on the unlikeliest of factors - do you actually get along? Do you enjoy the time you spend together? We all know that in our personal lives respect and affinity are the basis of all good partnerships, but we often dismiss this while making professional choices. Don't. Spend the time necessary to get to know each other. We hope and suspect that many left the day's events not only with business cards, but with potential friends.
Part of the delegation during the Coptic Hospital visit in Nairobi

Site visits in Nairobi took place on Wednesday before the evening flight to Dar es Salaam. The delegation received a warm welcome at the Aga Khan University Hospital, Kenyatta National Hospital, and Coptic Hospital. Most common requests:
  • Longterm financing solutions for equipment
  • capacity building & skill transfer
  • local market presence
Our day in Dar es Salaam took the shape of a Road Show which started with a meeting with representatives from the Tanzanian Ministry of Health at the Swedish Embassy. This was a good lead for a number of companies in the delegation who felt that success in Tanzania would very much depend on the goodwill of the government as they crack down on corruption. This meeting was followed by site visits to Medical Stores Department, Muhimbili National Hospital, and Ocean Road Cancer Institute and ended with a reception hosted by the Ambassador of Sweden to Tanzania, Katarina Rangnitt, at her Residence.

Participating Companies

Much of the reason for the success of this delegation trip rests with the participants - a dedicated set of highly intelligent, passionate, and fun individuals. Thank you for coming!
  • AstraZeneca - Health Heart Africa
  • East Africa Technologies, Medtech, Pharmaceuticals, and Medical Supplies (EATMPS)
  • Elekta
  • HemoCue
  • Karolinska Universitetssjukhus
  • MedCardApps (MCA)
  • Pansanté
  • Systemair
Interested in learning more about our leads in East Africa? Email us and plan to join us in Rwanda and Uganda for Part II of this delegation, 19-22 March, 2018.

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