In an agreement with the national water supply in Ghana, the Danish company Kamstrup is set to deliver 40,000 intelligent water gauges to the African country. It is the first and biggest project related to intelligent water metering in Ghana.
Kamstrup sending its 40,000 intelligent water gauges to Ghana is not only a good deal for the company. It also signals how the challenges related to water shortage in Africa are resulting in demand for sustainable solutions.
Jacob Kahl Jepsen, the Export Counsellor at the Danish embassy in Accra, explains:
– As the status of middle-income countries changes, the urbanization and globalization expands, and foreign investments in Ghana grows, we see a rise in the demand for more effective services in both the private and the public sector. The prices of water and energy have both increased over the last few years. This has resulted in a growing need for efficiency improvement and an introduction to more long-term and resource saving initiatives.
With financial support from the World Bank, the Ghanaian water supply company Ghana Water has decided to invest in a new water technology. The intelligent water gauges, also known as smart water-meters, allows the company to detect leakages and gather the information necessary to know where the most dangerous problems in the network are located and in what places repairs and replacements should be prioritised.
Growth in Ghana
For Kamstrup, the agreement with Ghana Water is their first and biggest order of water-meters in West Africa. The collaboration with the Trade Council was a necessity for the trade with Ghana Water.
– It is always important to know the market and the culture. Which is why, we are dependent on business partners to understand the cultural differences and to open the right doors to us, says Senior Vice President in Kamstrup Per Trøjbo.
The company expects an expansion of future deliveries to Africa.
– There is great potential for intelligent metering in Africa where challenges related to shortage of water are great. We expect to see a the market grow rapidly within the next three to five years. We are following the development in Africa closely and we foresee many opportunities for Danish water technology to join the African adventure, says Per Trøjbo.
Interest in Danish Solutions
Ghana Water’s interest in Denmark was first awoken back in 2014. The Danish embassy in Accra arranged for a Ghanaian business delegation to visit Denmark. The focus of the visit was renewable energy and environment, and their visit to Kamstrup during their stay was the beginning of a collaboration and the order of water and electricity meters to Ghana.
Danida has also helped to establish a close relation with Ghana, says Jacob Kahl Jepsen:
– Denmark and the Nordic countries have a very strong brand in regards to quality and business culture. Furthermore, it needs to be mentioned, that Denmark, with the support from Danida, has a particularly strong position in the water sector. Through the years, many links have been made between Denmark and Ghana – training, education, and investments. Denmark is perceived as a strong business partner to Ghana and not least within the water sector.
The trade between Ghana Water and Kamstrup highlights Denmark’s export to West Africa. According to Jacob Kahl Jepsen, Africa is the new big growth market with the same demand for products as many other places in the world.
White paper: Reducing Urban Water Loss
What can we learn from the trade?
Danish companies with energy solutions are encouraged to explore export opportunities in West Africa. Export Counsellor Jacob Kahl Jepsen even has some advice for companies interested in exporting to West Africa:
– It is generally important to be patient. Securing a deal often takes time. Financing and guarantees are some of the real big challenges when securing export opportunities in West Africa. For smaller and medium-sized companies, this is vital. Corruption is also a challenge, which is why, it is important to make it immediately clear to partners and authorities that such paths are not tolerated.
– Photo: Kamstrup