More than 1000 Nordic companies are operating and investing in Africa

Focusing on the differences in business culture will optimise your business and save valuable time of operation

We have arranged and facilitated more than 140 seminars about doing business in Africa

At each seminar the case companies will provide insights on scaling, strategy and partnerships


AFRICA INNOVATION NETWORK® is the largest business network in the Nordics with focus on investments and trade in Africa frica

AFRICA INNOVATION NETWORK® is the gateway to business in Africa      



AFRICA INNOVATION NETWORK® is the leading professional and private business network for Nordic companies with business interests in Africa. 

AFRICA INNOVATION NETWORK® has existed for more than 10 years with the goal of forging the most exciting and value-adding connections between Nordic and African business interests. We connect investors, ecosystems, clusters, companies and organisations across continents and create dynamic spaces for meetings, networking, exchange of knowledge and experience, and exploration of Nordic-African business.

AFRICA INNOVATION NETWORK is a private, unbiased and independent professional network, facilitated by Nordic–African Consultancy. Members and seminar participants provide the network’s core funding. This entails complete autonomy from special interest and AFRICA INNOVATION NETWORK does not hold party political ties and does not promote specific industrial or organisational agendas. While close dialogue with members and collaboration with our partners to the benefit of other members is a valued and valuable tenet of AFRICA INNOVATION NETWORK®, the network is operated in accordance with the values and policies of Nordic-African Consultancy. 

We arrange network activities in the form of seminars, cluster meetings, roundtables, investor pitches and diplomatic in the Nordics as well as business delegations to African countries and seminars in Africa in collaboration with local partners.


AFRICA INNOVATION NETWORK® is all about connections. However, the network is equally about improving knowledge and understanding. 

At seminars, we always invite specialists, experts and knowledgeable speakers to give presentations on key topics in African business contexts, e.g. funding your business, critical infrastructure, sustainable business etc. Likewise, we present relevant and interesting business cases, from a range of African countries and sectors, to share their experiences with network members. And we always incorporate plenty of breaks for mingling, networking and discussing business opportunities. The true value of AFRICA INNOVATION NETWORK® lies in these meetings, exchanges and in the sharing of knowledge. 

In our experience, differences in business environments in the Nordics and on the African continents are many and important, as are the business cultures. Understanding these differences is key to business success and smooth operations.


Gateway to diplomacy

Meet South African and Nordic diplomats and learn more about the local and Nordic political framework  

Discuss business

Discuss business opportunities in the Nordics as well as in South Africa with potential clients, partners, authorities, organisations and diplomats 


It´s about knowing the right people when doing business in the Nordics and South Africa. Meet the right people with the competences you need for scaling up your business in both the Nordics and South Africa. 

Knowledge sharing

Meet companies already operating in the Nordics and get valuable information about how to do business with Nordic companies and Nordic business people. 

  • Networking: “Doing business in the Nordics and in Africa is all about valuable, relevant contacts and connections. Meet the right people and get access to the competences you need for establishing and scaling your business – in the Nordics or in Africa.”
  • Knowledge sharing: “Get introduced to companies already operating in the Nordics or in Africa. Gain knowledge about doing business in novel markets and unfamiliar business structures and cultures.”
  • Discuss business: “Learn about the innovative solutions offered by peers. Discuss business opportunities and possibilities for cooperation with potential clients, suppliers, partners and cross-sectoral stakeholders.”
  • Gateway to diplomacy: “Meet distinguished representatives from the African or Nordic diplomatic corps. Learn about regional, national and local frameworks, plans and priorities.”


Ever more Nordic companies engage in business ventures in African countries. We estimate that more than 1000 Nordic companies do business in Africa. We believe that Nordic companies can make a significant difference in Africa with innovative solutions fit for the current and future needs of African consumers and societies.

Nordic-African business takes place at many different stages and in even more different modes – from simpler exchanges such as direct sourcing or exports to fully fledged market penetration and collaboration with local partners, or more extensive forms of market presence with local subsidiaries or complex operations. One set of exciting approaches to establishing and doing sustainable business in African markets, increasingly adopted by Nordic companies, is consortia across the value chain, multi-stakeholder collaboration or public-private partnerships. In AFRICA INNOVATION NETWORK®, members exchange ideas and experiences with all these ways of doing business in Africa. 

AFRICA INNOVATION NETWORK® invites all Nordic companies, across sectors and industries, with interest in Africa, to become members of the network. We facilitate cross-sectoral seminars with focus on broad topics and business megatrends as well as sector-specific business clusters, focused roundtables and targeted business delegations. 







  • December 16th, pitch: “Investor Pitch“, Copenhagen, Denmark. 
  • June 14th, cross-sectoral seminar: 10 year Anniversary seminar Innovative and successful Nordic companies doing business in Africa (First physical event post COVID-19), Copenhagen, Denmark.
  • April 13th-16th, business delegation: “Healthcare Business delegation” to South Africa” (Cancelled due to COVID-19), Johannesburg, South Africa. 
  • March 18th, cross-sectoral seminar: “Nordic Innovative Digital Solutions in Africa” (Cancelled due to COVID-19), Stockholm, Sweden.
  • March 18th, pitch: “Investor pitch” (Cancelled due to COVID-19), Copenhagen, Denmark.
  • February 11th, cross-sectoral seminar: “Infrastructure in Africa“ (Cancelled due to COVID-19), Copenhagen, Denmark.


  • December 17th, cross-sectoral seminar: Strategic and operational advise on Africa, Oslo, Norway. 
  • November 11th, cross-sectoral seminar: “Digital Healthcare business in Africa”, Copenhagen, Denmark.
  • September 16th, cross-sectoral seminar: “Where are the Nordic innovative companies doing business in Africa?”, Copenhagen, Denmark. 
  • June 25th, cross-sectoral seminar: “Public private partnerships with significant impact in Africa“, Oslo, Norway.
  • June 18th, cross-sectoral conference: “Nordic investor pitch – business with an impact in Africa“, Copenhagen, Denmark.
  • June 4th, cross-sectoral seminar: “Nordic digital healthcare business with an impact in Africa“, Copenhagen, Denmark.
  • June, 1st – 5th, “Business delegation to South Africa” + “Cross-sectoral seminar in South Africa”, Johannesburg, South Africa.
  • April 2nd, cluster meeting: Kickoff of Tourism & Hospitality Cluster, Copenhagen, Denmark.
  • March 5th, cross-sectoral conference: Unlock the growth opportunities in Africa, Copenhagen, Denmark.
  • February 25th – 29th, business delegation: “Nordic Business delegation to Kenya”, Nairobi, Kenya.


Not a member yet?


AFRICA INNOVATION NETWORK seminars are great events to meet with other organisations and people who actively develop business and projects in the fastest growing and youngest continent on our planet. They are also great for establishing pan-Nordic contacts

Aape Pohjavirta

Funzi Chief Evangelist, Founder , Funzi (Finland)

The seminars organised by Africa Innovation Network are great platforms for being updated on relevant subjects when doing business in the growing African economies and to meet and share experience with like-minded. If Africa is part of your future strategy, this network is highly recommendable

Ib Albertsen

Investment Director , IFU (Denmark)

Africa Innovation Network arranges interesting and insightful seminars about businesses opportunities in Africa. A continent full of opportunities and also potential missteps that should be avoided. The seminars are a great platform for networking and for sharing experiences. If you intend to do business in Africa, then we recommend keeping an eye on the seminar program

Hans Becker

CEO, Red Flash (Sweden)

in South Africa

Connecting Nordic and South African businesses


We are inviting existing South African ecosystems, clusters, investors and companies to become a part of AFRICA INNOVATION NETWORK®. We aim to create the foundation for what is going to be a stimulating Nordic-South African movement and inclusion, Below you´ll find links to our seminars and if you like to be part of AFRICA INNOVATION NETWORK® please contact us through the contact form in the bottom of this page. 


Seminars in 2019 



Seminars in 2020 


AFRICA INNOVATION NETWORK® is now embarking on the most ambitious network strategy to date. We do this in cooperation with our local partner InterGest South Africa.

AFRICA INNOVATION NETWORK® comply with UN Sustainable Development Goal nr. 17 “Partnerships”

“Strengthen the means of implementation and revitalize the global partnership for sustainable development”

Partnership with us

We would like to promote your business in the section below. The fee for local partnership is ZAR 30.000 (ex. VAT) a year. As partner you´re automaticaly member of AFRICA INNOVATION NETWORK® with access to any seminar in Africa and the Nordics that we arrange. Only criteria is, that your company bring value to the AFRICA INNOVATION NETWORK® members.


At Nedbank Business Banking we know that success in business is often about strong partnerships. That is why we put the importance of value-adding relationships at the centre of everything we do. Our clients’ goals are our goals, their vision is our vision, and their success is our success.

Through our bigger-picture approach, we immerse ourselves in your business and your industry so that we can be an extension of your team, with a full understanding of your business requirements. This enables us not only to provide you with the banking solutions you need, but also to give you a bigger-picture view of how our products connect to create a framework that yields maximum impact across every aspect of your business.

Add to this the insights and expertise available to you across Nedbank’s extensive network of multidisciplinary specialists, and you know that you have a banking partner backing you throughout your business journey.

Africa’s integration into the global economy is rapidly rising.

African economies are predicted to outperform global growth in 2020. While these forecasts are promising, global growers should consider including translation as a key part of their growth strategies in order to amplify expansion efforts.

Inteprit Language Solutions is a full-service content localisation agency with its focus on the multilingual needs of the global business community. We provide a dynamic environment for businesses and organizations that need to adapt to specific situations, which vary with each country and new culture they do business with. 

This presents a unique challenge to businesses who want to create multilingual versions of any combination of text, audio or video content to successfully drive marketing messaging to promote products and services, as well as encourage interaction with consumers on a regional and international level.

Our experience in working with businesses across different sectors has informed the fact that there is an ever-increasing global demand for translation and localisation services to support the successful implementation of global expansion strategies.

Not a member yet?

Video: Networking session: “How to do do business in the Nordics” 

Video: Consultant, Sarah Skou Andreasen: “How to do do business in the Nordics” 

Business in the Nordics 


In the Nordics there is a strong focus and commitment towards green transmission, climate change and the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDG´s) and a sustainable and good governance in general. Below you´ll find some of the driving sectors in the Nordis: 

Motor vehicles, telecommunications, pharmaceuticals, industrial machines, precision equipment, chemical goods, forestry, iron and steel, wind turbines, medical equipment, healthcare solutions, digital solutions, shipbuilding, food processing, machinery and transportation equipment, textiles and clothing, electronics, construction, furniture and other wood products, oil/offshore solutions.

Ease of doing business ranking (2020): Denmark: 4th, Norway: 9th, Sweden: 10th, Finland: 20th 
(Source: World Bank). 

Business in South Africa 


South Africa is the second largest economy in Sub Saharan Africa with a GDP on $765.5 billion. South Africa has a highly developed economy and advanced economic infrastructure facilitating a strong business environment. South Africa is one of the world’s largest producers and exporters of gold, platinum, and other natural resources. Also, it has well-developed and well-established financial, legal, communications, energy, and transport sectors. However, changing structures have simultaneously led to new rapidly growing sectors such as ICT, agriculture, mining, manufacturing, tourism, textile, financial services and wholesale and retail trade creating lucrative investment opportunities.

Ease of doing business ranking (2020): South Africa: 84th (Source: World Bank). 
(Source: World Bank). 

Business culture 


South Africa and the Nordics differ significantly in business procedures, etiquettes and norms, which are essential to be acquainted with in order to maximise chances of success when doing business. South Africa is a diverse country making it complicated to describe one business culture, however, in general the following characteristics of South African business culture differs the most from Nordic business culture; a low level of trust, hierarchical organizational structure, a slower decision-making process and less focus on punctuality. On the contrary, Nordic business cultures are in general characterised with high level of trust, a flat organisational structure, fast decision-making process and great emphasis on punctuality.

The Nordics are among the countries with lowest corruption in the world. The latest (2018) rankings are: Denmark: 1st, Sweden/Finland: 3rd, Norway: 7th, South Africa: 73rd
(Source: Transparency International). 

AFRICA INNOVATION NETWORK® the largest business network with focus on business in the Nordics and the leading Nordic consultancy company in how to do business in Africa

In South Africa we facilitate AFRICA INNOVATION NETWORK® in cooperation with InterGest South Africa 

Managing Director, Mr. Volker Werth 

AFRICA INNOVATION NETWORK in South Africa is for South African companies with focus on business in the Nordics. If you would like to apply for membership please send us a message by using the contact form.

Contact our local partner InterGest Ltd (Pty) in South Africa if you have any questions regarding AFRICA INNOVATION NETWORK in South Africa:

Yes, I would like to be part of AFRICA INNOVATION NETWORK in South Africa

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