Smart City Sweden, together with Dalarna Science Park and Gästrike Återvinnare, have for two years carried out study visits and introduced projects in the cities of Berbera, Hargeisa and Odweine.
Several Swedish companies have been involved to assist with knowledge and competence as well as materials in recycling and waste management, solar-powered street lighting, cooking for schools with solar energy solutions, cooling management of medicine and food, plantation of a forest, and more. Somaliland’s municipalities are prepared to make investments in selected parts and assist with approximately US $ 250,000 for a tree planting facility.
Somaliland, located in East Africa, has an interest in developing into a smart, sustainable area and wants innovations, knowledge, and business contacts with the outside world. Ministers in Somaliland have therefore been in contact with Sweden for support in tackling the challenges of building sustainable cities and thinking smart. Gästrike Återvinnare has good knowledge in waste management and recycling and broad international experience and together with Smart City Sweden Central, a dialogue and visits have been carried out to contribute with smart solutions and business contacts.
One of the companies that currently delivers both knowledge and qualified technology is QC Renewable Energy from Borlänge.
"We have now received a large contract for street lighting in Berbera and will soon install 500 solar-powered batteries that store energy and illuminate one of the streets in the evening. We also have several contracts to install solar panels for private homes in the three selected municipalities. It feels good to be able to contribute with a sustainable quality-assured solution that will benefit both the climate, the economy, and the population. Electricity is expensive in Somalia and we know that especially women and children will benefit greatly from a safer electricity system," says, Faisa Gura and Muse Farah, who have their own experience from growing up in Somalia and neighboring Kenya. They have been running the company QC Renewable Energy for just over a year.
Nilar, a Swedish company with expertise in solar-powered batteries, has also been introduced to the initiative, which will test its batteries on-site in Somaliland. The development of waste management in the three municipalities is also very important and a clear strategy is needed to develop this.
Another investment that is made is in a plantation of forests in the region when much of the existing forest has been felled or burned. Through the company BCC Plant the Planet from Landskrona, several tree planting facilities will be implemented in Somaliland. The goal is to offer solutions in both reforestation programs and projects against the commercialized forest industry.
Tempix in Gävle are experts in securing the management of the cold chain for food and medicines. The company has been on-site in Somaliland and discussed various needs and solutions. The purpose is to maintain high quality to avoid diseases and secure sustainable deliveries of medicine to different areas where there can be a big difference in temperatures.
Sunfuria from Arvika, which produces innovative, sustainable cooking solutions powered by solar cell collectors, will offer schools and hotels to test their solutions as an alternative to electricity.
"We have delivered energy storage that will be filled with recycled engine oil and stoves that will cook for 700 children in a school in Kenya. To be able to develop and test our solar-powered kitchen in another country feels good as it contributes to a better climate as we recycle waste oil," says Adam Fjaestad, CEO of Sunfuria.
Much is going on in Somaliland and the export platform Smart City Sweden is an enabler for sustainable urban development. Somaliland’s municipalities themselves contribute to the development and will make investments in rural areas as well as finance solar energy lighting in Berbera and pay for the pilot project for the investment in solar energy for private households.
"Gathering strength and working strategically means that Sweden proves that we are innovative; and the very best is when we share, connect knowledge with competence and that it benefits companies’ business development and other countries’ needs," says Ann-Louise Larsson, project manager at Smart City Sweden’s office in Borlänge.