who are we?

Welcome to our inaugural Nordic.Africa Day Summit!

Ambitious DABA (The Danish-African Business Association), Ambitious Africa, and a wealth of other organizations and stakeholders have joined forces to promote business interests between the Nordic region and the African continent. The theme of this year’s summit will be ‘New Nordics celebrates African Ambition’.

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day summit


Why ‘New Nordics celebrates African Ambition’?

The Nordic region is renowned worldwide for its high levels of equality, political stability, robust economies, and innovative, sustainable societies. There is a collective goal in the New Nordics to share and export solutions that create impact globally.

Africa is the new continent of growth. With the youngest population of any continent — a population that continues to grow — as well as an increasingly open political landscape, it is steadily emerging as a key player in the global economy. African Ambitions seek to transform the narrative of the continent, thus both highlighting and celebrating the growth and momentum towards a more safe and sustainable direction.


The Nordic.Africa Day Summit is an opportunity for Nordic companies and international stakeholders to showcase their activities and measure the impact of their business activity in Africa. This event will enable Nordic and African organisations to liaise with other business executives and policymakers, share knowledge, develop insights and grow their network of partners.

The main topics we will discuss at this year’s summit are:


- Food & Agriculture

- Youth, Education & Edtech

- Cleantech & Circular Economy

- Culture & Creative Economy

- Health & wellbeing (Covid-19)

- Techvelopment, NGO, Impact (SDG) & Invest


Our goal is for this summit to become a leading Nordic-African international business conference. All of our partners share the same vision in championing business opportunities on the African continent and enabling a more equitable framework for conducting business between our two regions. We are confident that this goal can be achieved by creating a dialogue between influential, international leaders and various stakeholders, as well as engaging with each other and sharing concrete ambitions for new opportunities.


We hope you will join us to further cooperation between two exciting trade markets.

Our goal


meet our speakers


The Nordic.Africa Day Summit will feature a wide array of influential speakers from across the Nordics and Africa, including Nordic Ministers, African Presidents and other ambitious change-makers. The summit will place a strong emphasis on networking opportunities between businesses, organisations, investors, entrepreneurs and government representatives from both Africa and the Nordics. The summit therefore presents an opportunity to go beyond establishing initial dialogues and hearing from high level keynote speakers, to initiate new business relationships and investment opportunities.


Event host speakers

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Maija Luukka
member of the LUT Entrepreneurship Society (LUTES)

Maija is a member of the LUT Entrepreneurship Society (LUTES) with broad experience in working in the startup ecosystem of Finland. As a Project Manager of LUTES, she has been in charge of a startup incubator, mentorship program as well as many smaller entrepreneurial projects.


Tarek Omran
Nordic Brand Ambassador for Future Place Leadership

Tarek will be one of the co-hosts for our event alongside Maija. Tarek is a Nordic Brand Ambassador for Future Place Leadership, and in this role promotes cross-cultural collaborations between the Nordic region and the African continent.


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Lahcen Haddad
vice-chair of The Parliamentary Network on the World Bank

Before Lahcen entered Parliament and joined the Moroccan government in 2012, he worked as an international expert in strategic studies, democracy, governance and development.

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Sara Kobli
founder of Sunshine Danmark

Sara is the founder of Sunshine Danmark, a Nordic private organization supporting youth economic empowerment in Africa. Sunshine Danmark has developed an Action Plan to promote and support youth entrepreneurship.


Peter Vesterbacka
investor & serial entrepreneur

There’s not much to say about Peter Vesterbacka than what has been said already. Named by Time Magazine as one of the 100 most influential people on the planet.


Amie N’Dong
CEO and co-founder of Social Vanilla

Amie is the CEO and co-founder of Social Vanilla, a danish start-up selling premium vanilla grown by small-scale farmers while working to make the vanilla industry more socially and environmentally sustainable.

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Rolf Holmboe
Danish ambassador of the Republic of Mali

Rolf Holmboe is the current Danish ambassador to the Republic of Mali.  Rolf has previously served as Danish ambassador to Pakistan, Syria, Jordan and Lebanon.


Kingsley J Ify
CEO of Springboard

Kingsley is the CEO of Springboard, a visionary platform that seeks to provide a forum for building sustainable growth by pairing the proven innovation and knowledge transfer credentials of the Nordics with the extensive growth and business potential in Africa – for mutual benefit


Brian Baptista
Founder/Chairman of DABA

Brian has over 20 years of leadership experience within the education, consultancy, IT and healthcare sectors, having worked for multinational companies such as Lego and Radiometer Medical, owned by the NYSE-listed Danaher.

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Laura Lykkegaard
Danish Connector & Expeditor, and Business Developer

Laura Lykkegaard is a Danish Connector & Expeditor, and Business Developer with more than 25 years of business experience in South Africa. Laura also acts as a Goodwill Ambassador to Copenhagen, promoting the Danish capital’s accessible business environment to investors in South Africa.


Ronny Eriksson
co-founder of Ambitious.Africa

Ronny is a serial entrepreneur heavily involved in the Helsinki startup scene, using his skills to build ecosystems where they are most needed. From co-founding Envisage Incubators, a Rwanda-based startup that helps solve problems and innovate within agriculture.


co-hosts and partners



We are proud to have formed partnerships with organisations that represent the best of the Nordic business community, ones that pride themselves on innovation, sustainability and efficiency. These organisations recognise Africa as a continent of unparalleled potential and, like ourselves, are helping to bring lasting change to the African continent.


We want to reframe the narrative when it comes to doing business in Africa.

The Danish-African Business Association (DABA) was founded in 2020 by 5 prominent members of the Danish business community - all experienced in conducting business on the African continent.


In the spring of 2020, Ambitious.Africa kickstarted its series of online matchmaking events connecting young changemakers, entrepreneurs, and industry leaders in Africa and the Nordics. The timing was perfect. People were forced to stay at home due to the pandemic and therefore more people across the two continents could attend.


Based in Helsinki, Wärtsilä is a global leader in smart technologies and complete lifestyle solutions for the marine and energy markets. By emphasising sustainable innovation, total efficiency and data analytics, Wärtsilä maximises the environmental and economic performance of the vessels and power plants of its customers.