Forum: Sweden@Zambia – enhancing our enterprises

During the fall, the Tällberg Foundation has been a partner to the Swedish Institute and the Swedish Embassy in Zambia in a project aiming at a new kind of partnership between Sweden and Zambia.

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On November 19-21, in Lusaka, Zambia, Tällberg Foundation was responsible for the program at the event Sweden@Zambia, hosted by the Swedish Institute and the Swedish Embassy in Zambia.

Sweden@Zambia started as a pilot for a new kind of partnership between Sweden and countries in southern Africa. The aim of this pilot was to develop a platform for meetings and conversations on equal terms between entrepreneurs, change-makers and key stakeholders in Sweden and Zambia.

The Sweden@Zambia event helped participants to learn about and share ideas on how to create sustainable and entrepreneurial societies, using digital tools and enhancing women’s participation. The forum highlighted the role of entrepreneurship for development and offered a platform for meetings between various Zambian and Swedish actors. This in turn lead to concrete benefits to all participants, such as ideas, networks, partnerships for mutual support and mentorship.

Tällberg Foundation has been working with concept and program development for Sweden@Zambia with the purpose to create an interactive and co-creative process.  Together with the Swedish Institute and The Swedish Embassy in Zambia, we created a platform for meetings between people, perspectives, skills and ideas. The Sweden@Zambia was not just an event, it was a learning process for all parties involved with pre-meetings, advisory groups and the creation of learning labs.

The event became a success with concrete results and a focus on opportunities. Responses from participants were that they left with inspiration, tools to work in different ways, new connections and to-do-lists for their own next steps. At the same time, the forum conversations helped participants to better deal with some of the obstacles that prevent opportunities to fully materialize.

Listen to my idea - partner with me

Lena Nordström, Swedish Ambassador to Zambia summarizes the impact of Sweden@Zambia in the following way:

“The good relations that Sweden has through decades of aid are a major asset in southern Africa. Sweden is known as a reliable and trustworthy partner and there is interest in Swedish technology, experience and expertise. Sweden@Zambia strengthened the image of Sweden as a country of innovation and new thinking. The corresponding images of Zambia are not in Sweden. Although the image of Africa is slowly changing it still requires individuals and companies in Sweden to see Zambia as an equal partner for trade and investment to take place. Sweden@Zambia helped to bring together people with similar vision and can lead to more long-term relationships based on mutual respect.

Sweden has not had forms to engage in conversation with change agents in a more systematic way. With Sweden@Zambia, we created a platform to be able to have that kind of conversation. It is clear that the model of cooperation and planning model that we used for Sweden@Zambia is a new way to relate to each other and can form the basis for a new form of partnership between our two countries. Follow-up is in full swing and we hope that the model remains wandering elsewhere in sub-Saharan Africa. The “new” Africa is ready for a new kind of partnership – but are we?”

For more information: Caroline Stiernstedt Sahlborn, +46 70 249 77 81. UD blogg: SwedenZambia ska främja Sverigebilden i Afrika.

Sweden@Zambia Forum at Facebook.