Seminar about urbanisation in Africa, November 22nd, 2017 in Helsinki

Urbanisation in Africa, November 22nd, 2017 in Helsinki

We welcome you to this AFRICA INNOVATION NETWORK seminar in Helsinki about Urbanisation in Africa.

Under the heading “Urbanisation in Africa” this AFRICA INNOVATION NETWORK seminar will focus on how the urbanisation of Africa will have an considerable influence on the entire value chain in Africa. Urbanisation in Africa is about how infrastructure, housing, design, logistic and fx.supply will change.

Target group

This seminar target companies from all sectors that offer goods, products, concepts and solutions for the African B2B and B2C segment, especially infrastructure, design, housing, logistic, architecture, sanitation and supply.



1.00 pm: Registration

1.10 pm: Welcome and presentation of the programme

1.20 pm: Introduction to urbanisation
– Facts and figures and trends about urbanisation

2.00 pm: Company Case: NIRAS
Director, NIRAS Finland, Mr. Antti Inkinen (Finland) 
– Urbanisation i Africa – from a holistic perspective
– ICT and water projects in cities and urban areas
– Our social, governance and human rights work with both urban and rural development

3.45 pm: SAMK (www.samk.fi) 
PhD, Mrs. Minna Keinänen, Head of Smart Urban Business Research
– Research themes
– Combining natural sciences, social sciences and technology
– Pilot cases: Industry and Municipality

4.30 pm: Company Case: TBA
– Design and construction in Africa

5.30 pm: Panel discussion
w/ All

6.00 – 7.00 pm: Networking, light dinner including wine and beer will be served.

Coffee, water and snacks will be served during the seminar as we will have many networking breaks enabling you to discuss and share experiences.


NIRAS Finland (www.niras.com)
NIRAS is an international, multidisciplinary consultancy company with over 1300 employees located in offices in Europe, Asia and Africa. NIRAS was founded in 1956 by graduate engineers Jørgen Kristian Nielsen and Konrad Rauschenberger and is today one of the leading consultancy companies in Denmark. NIRAS provides consultancy in a variety of fields, many of which compliment the business areas within the UK such as construction and infrastructure, public utilities, environmental and natural resources, climate change and energy, planning and development consulting.

SAMK (www.samk.fi)
Satakunta University of Applied Sciences (SAMK) is a horizontal, internationally active and research-oriented institution of higher education located in South West Finland. SAMK has participated and coordinated several national and international projects  during the last 20 years in each of the four faculties. Namibian co-operation started 2012 with training the seafarers of research vessel RV Mirabilis in Finland. Resource efficient urban development concept has also been generated (NAMURBAN project 10/2015 – 09/2017)

Tuesday, November 22nd, 2017 at 1.00 pm
Radisson Blu, Royal
Runeberginkatu 2, Helsinki, Finland.
Members: Free of charge
Non-members: EURO 350 (ex. VAT) each person
Please register at: esa@nordekon.com.




Africa’s turbocharged urbanization is driven by several factors. First, there is what’s called organic population growth, the natural expansion of population due to the surplus of births over deaths, a phenomenon driven, in Africa’s case, by persistently high fertility rates. Second, there is in-migration – both voluntary and involuntary – from rural areas, with locals seeking a better life in the city and leaving poorer, and in some cases war-torn, rural settings behind.

Rural-to-urban migration is driven by both pull and push factors. Pull factors draw rural populations into the city and include economic opportunities, employment, better connectivity, access to essential services and education. Push factors drive people out of rural environments, and include rural conflict, environmental degradation, climate change and resource shortages. These factors can work together to create a vicious cycle, where poor rural conditions are exacerbated by a brain drain as people leave the countryside looking for a better life in town.



Third, labour migration and new forms of connectivity are driving migration across borders, stimulating booms in some cities while draining others of human capital. This is especially true in Africa, which has seen some of the fastest growth in connectivity since the turn of the century. In the year 2000, for example, there were only 30,000 cellphones in the whole of Nigeria; by 2012 there were 113 million.

The blistering pace of urbanization, combined with the so-called youth bulge – especially the high proportion of young people with few job prospects – is a major risk factor for instability. Africa’s youth population (15-24) is growing faster than any other region. About 70% of the continent is under 30, and this figure rises even higher in so-called fragile settings. Young people account for about 20% of the population, 40% of the workforce and 60% of the unemployed. While offering a potential demographic dividend, the youth bulge is also a formidable challenge and potentially destabilizing factor for cities across the region.



  • You get knowledge about urbanisation in Africa and how urbanisation can affect the entire value chain

  • You will learn how other companies are doing successfully business in Africa

  • Start an ongoing networking journey with both the African diplomatic level and other companies operating in Africa