The Danish company Kamstrup has recently entered into an agreement with the national water supplier in Ghana about the delivery of 40.000 smart water meters. This is the first and largest project within intelligent water metering in Ghana.
When the company Kamstrup sends 40.000 smart water meters to Ghana, it is not only a large deal for the company, but also a sign that the large challenges with water shortage in Africa now results in demand for sustainable solutions.
Jacob Kahl Jepsen, who is trade advisor on the Danish Embassy in Accra, explains:
“Being a middle-income country, with growing urbanisation, globalisation and increasing foreign investments in Ghana, we have seen an increase in demand for more effective service both privately and publicly. The price on both water and energy has increased massively the last couple of years, which has implied a need for efficiency improvements and an introduction to more long-term and resource saving initiatives.”
The Ghanaian water supplier Ghana Water has with support from The World Bank chosen to invest in new water technology. The smart water meters give the supply company the opportunity to detect leakage and receive the necessary information in order to prioritise the most critical repairments and replacements.
Potential in Ghana
To Kamstrup the agreement with Ghana Water is the first and largest order of water meters in West Africa, and the collaboration with the Trade Council has been necessary for the deal with Ghana Water.
“It is important to know the market and culture. Therefore, we are dependent on good business partners, who help with the understanding of culture differences and also create the right opportunities” says Senior Vice President in Kamstrup Per Trøjbo. The company expects there will be a development in the future deliveries to Africa.
“There is a large potential for smart measurement instruments in Africa, due to the large challenges with water shortage. We expect to see a market in rapid growth within the next 3-5 years. We are following the development in Africa closely, and can see large opportunities for an African-adventure for Danish water technologies” Per Trøjbo.
Interest for Danish solutions
The interest for Denmark from Ghana Water came in 2014, where the Danish Embassy in Accra arranged a business delegation from Denmark to Ghana. The theme of the visit was Renewable Energy and Environment. The visit to Kamstrup became the beginning of a collaboration, and resulted in the order of water- and electricity meters.
Jacob Kahl Jepsen explains that Danida also has taken part in creating the good relationship with Ghana. “Denmark and the Nordic countries have a strong brand in terms of quality and business culture. Besides this, it should be mentioned that Denmark through Danida and our assistance has been strong within the water sector. Through the years many links have been created between Denmark and Ghana, especially through coaching, education and investments. Denmark is seen as a strong partner to Ghana and to the water sector.”
The deal between Ghana Water and Kamstrup shows that Danish export also goes to West Africa. According to Jacob Kahl Jepsen, Africa is the new large growth market, and there is a demand for exactly the same products, like many other places in the world.
What should we learn from this deal?
Danish companies with energy solutions are encouraged to investigate the export opportunities in West Africa. Trade Advisor Jacob Kahl Jepsen has some advice to the companies, who wish to start exporting to West Africa:
“Generally it is important to be patience. It often takes time to secure an order. Financing and bank guarantees are often one of the major challenges to secure export opportunities in West Africa. For SMEs, this is particularly crucial. Corruption is a challenge, and it is important from the start to make it clear to business partners and authorities that this is not a path, which you tolerate."
If you want to know more contact the Danish Embassy in Accra,
Want to know more about your opportunities in Ghana? Reach out to our sector adviser, Jacob Kahl Jepsen / firstname.lastname@example.org