The Regional Director of Innovation Norway (IN) East Africa, Marit Karlsen Brandal, presented how IN operates in the region on this meeting. The presentation focused on the main areas of Norwegian interests and discussed some of the opportunities that are available for Norwegian companies and innovations operating in the region. East Africa is one of the fastest growing emerging markets in the World and IN focuses on giving strategic advice, operational assistance, and networking services to Norwegian companies. Renewable energy, health, smart societies, ocean, bio economy, and creative industry are the six focus areas for IN as a whole.
The Norwegian Permanent Mission to the AU presented updates on the Africa Continental Free Trade Area agreement (AfCFTA) and its status. The agreement has now received 22 ratifications, which would mean that it could enter into force during the AU Summit planned for July this year. The Mission also introduced the work of the Embassy on the Blue Economy.
The Bilateral Team of the Embassy also presented updates and current developments that have implications for the private sector in Ethiopia. These included the recent announcement of the Job Creation Commission of their plan to create 3 million jobs in the next Ethiopian fiscal year, the plan to open the financial sector to the diaspora, and the newly adopted development strategy of China known as the Belt and Road Initiative, and how Ethiopia is cooperating with China in implementing the initiative.
In addition, the Visa Section of the Embassy gave a presentation about the visa and residence permits for business and official visits to Norway. These orientations were especially important in connection to the changes that will be implemented in August 2019, when the Visa Section in Addis will relocate to the Norwegian Embassy in Nairobi. Applicants may still submit their applications at the VFS Schengen Application center in Bole, but follow-up will be done by the Visa Section in Nairobi and UDI.
Norad representative from the Business Section also participated in the meeting and briefly presented the funding schemes that are available in Norad for private sector development. He also presented Norad’s recently launched AgTech project with the IFC, which focuses on enhancing operational efficiencies in strategic agribusiness supply chains in Ethiopia thereby improving smallholder farmers’ productivity and income.
The meeting was concluded after security updates were given by the Embassy, followed by open discussion with the participants on various issues. The date for the next Team Norway meeting will be communicated to the members via email.
About Team Norway
Team Norway is a network-based collaboration between various public and private actors who work for Norwegian-based businesses internationally. The purpose of the cooperation is to contribute to increased value creation in the Norwegian economy through information exchange, coordination and coordinated efforts and initiatives. Norwegian businesses operating in Ethiopia or Norwegian citizens with a local businesses in Ethiopia can register to join the Team Norway group. The Embassy is open to suggestions on potential dates and topics of interests for discussions from Team Norway members for next meetings. For registration and suggestions, please contact the Embassy by sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Business promotion is a top priority for the Norwegian Embassy and the type of support given to Norwegian businesses are listed on this page – Bistand til norsk næringsliv
Read more about Team Norway here.
Read more about the members of Team Norway here.
Read more about Norad’s funding schemes here.
All Norwegians coming to and traveling within the country are advised to refer to our continuously updated travel advice; Etiopia-reiseinformasjon
Norwegians traveling to Ethiopia should also make sure to register themselves and the duration of their stay on; reiseregistrering.no