To main content

Official visit to Kenya: Business Seminar

Speech given by His Royal Highness The Crown Prince at the business seminar “Norway, Sweden and Kenya: Pioneering, Sustainable solutions together" in Nairobi, Kenya, Thursday 24 November 2022.

Your Royal Highness 



Ladies and gentlemen  


Thank you, Crown Princess Victoria!  

As we heard, Her Royal Highness has for several years worked for the UN and the Sustainable Development Goals. It is always good to have someone competent on your team!

I am really pleased to be here – on my first official visit to beautiful Kenya.

Here today are also Swedish and Norwegian business delegations – showcasing green technology and sustainable solutions. Their presence illustrates the Norwegian and Scandinavian business community’s growing interest in Kenya itself, and in Kenya as a hub for the East-African region and beyond.  

As Her Royal Highness mentioned, Sweden and Norway are good neighbours and each other’s most important trading partners. Our business communities collaborate extensively, not least in efforts to achieve the green transition through innovative and sustainable solutions. 

For Norway, Kenya is an attractive partner for the private sector. Our countries already enjoy substantial economic cooperation. There are more than forty Norwegian companies active in the Kenyan economy, and our sovereign wealth fund has invested nearly 500 million USD in Kenya since 2017.  

Innovation Norway and Norfund, our two main actors for investments, partnership, and business development are present in Kenya with regional offices here in Nairobi. Kenya is Norfund’s largest investment market.  

I am convinced that today’s gathering will help to increase cooperation even more between our two nations and between our business communities.  

A stable democracy is of great importance in creating predictability for companies and attracting further foreign investment and business activity. I would like to congratulate you on the recent peaceful election and transition of power. 

Kenya has long been a leading economy in this region in sectors such as agriculture, tourism, and maritime transport. Now Kenya is emerging as a pioneer in new sectors where technology plays an important role.   

The M-Pesa mobile money transfer system, developed by a Kenyan student in 2007, and rapidly adopted by Kenyans from all walks of life, is an impressive achievement.

I understand that Norwegians living here cannot imagine a day without M-Pesa  

Kenya is also at the forefront in using mobile technology to enhance access to microfinance, insurance, and marketplaces where small-scale farmers and fishers can interact directly with buyers.   

These examples demonstrate how new technologies can increase economic inclusion and have an impact on a wide variety of sectors.  

Kenya is known as the Silicon Savannah, a very fitting name indeed. 

This diversity in the Kenyan economy is mirrored in the Swedish and Norwegian business delegations present here today. Norwegian companies are investing in renewable energy, financial services for a digital economy, and high-tech solutions for agriculture.  


Ladies and gentlemen,  

We know that the world is contending with growing economic, social, and environmental challenges. Climate change is having a severe impact on Africa. The recent COP27 in Egypt was yet another reminder of the need for strong international cooperation in addressing this common challenge. Guided by the Sustainable Development Goals, our countries are committed to addressing, and finding solutions to, these challenges.  

But governments cannot do the job alone. According to current estimates, substantial investments need to be done if we are to reach the Sustainable Development Goals. This is where the private sector has a key role to play. We need to mobilise the private sector to pioneer solutions to our global challenges.  

We need to create opportunities for women and young people and build sustainable societies. And we need to do it all in a responsible manner. 

Norway commends Kenya on its National Action Plan on Business and Human Rights (NAP), which is a comprehensive strategy to protect against human rights abuses by businesses, whether private or owned by Government. As the first African country to launch such a plan, Kenya now leads the way in promoting responsible business conduct.  

The purpose of this business seminar is to provide an arena for companies to expand existing business relations and investments, and to build new relationships. Food security is one area where we can join forces in combating our shared challenges. This is a topic that will be discussed further today.  

We need trade and innovation to develop smart solutions to ensure the best yield.   

Let me tell you a little secret. Norwegians are serious coffee drinkers. In fact, we are number two in the world (only beaten by our good neighbours, the Finns). And coffee is among the top items that Kenya exports to Norway. So, you can always try offering a Norwegian a cup of Kenyan coffee to help seal the deal. 

Kenya, Sweden, and Norway: I am confident that we can work together to establish strong value chains for sustainable development.  

On that note, I wish you every success with today’s seminar.  

Asante sana! 


To share this on Twitter or Facebook:

Share on Twitter Share on Facebook