Lets Talk about Nigeria

Continuing the Let’s Talk- serie, NIR organised another successful member event; “Let’s talk about Nigeria”, the 7th of October.

We proudly presented Ambassador Carl Michael Gräns , Embassy of Sweden in Abuja; Ms. Anthonia Adenaya Huard, Head of West Africa, Business Sweden and Ms. Tariye Gbadegesin; Managing Director & CIO, ARM-Harith Infrastructure Investment. All three speakers sharing their views of the economic and political development for Nigeria together with future perspectives for the region together with CEO Christine Bäckström and Karin Åker from NIR.

Nigeria is projected to be one of the largest consumer markets by 2030. Considering population growth, increased affluence and growth of the middle-class, urbanisation rates, and rapid spread of access to the internet and mobile phones, there exists exciting opportunities for expansion in retail and distribution as well.

But the Covid-19 pandemic has yet led Nigeria into a new recession with 2020 projected figures of a GDP of -5,4%, increased unemployment up to 27% and inflation over 14%. The Giant of Africa- Nigeria- is Africa’s largest economy (pre-covid-19) and relies heavily on oil as its main source of foreign exchange earnings and government revenues.

More recent highlights



lack of enabling environment for social dialogue at the workplace level, despite the provision of legislative acts that protect and promote workplace cooperation is a reoccuring issue  in Kenya. To implement good policy there must be a fertil ground.

Therefore SWP developed the UP!  project. Together with Swedish companies as an entry point, and with unions i South africa and Kenya. 

In Kenya SWP created the SWP UP! Programme targeting skills development of the union Shop Stewards from 18 companies in the Automotive sector in Kenya during 2021. As a result, the Stewards were able to use their skills to build trust and cooperation with management in new ways to avoid conflicts. 

A second cohort of training, in close cooperation with union AUKMW, takes place in 2022.

The training allows shop stewards to step out of their daily routines and understand their role and the purpose of their union, understand the labour market context, the laws that regulate relationships and the business itself. But on a human level, many shop stewards also highlighted that they feel respected as human beings, and that they have developed the skills to engage with supervisors and management and experience respect in professional relations. The experiences had deeply impressed them and helped to project the vision of dialogue and mutual respect and their own potential as a means to change workplaces.

The intervention of the SWP programme had a direct effect at the workplaces, where shop stewards listed several cases where they had managed to intervene and secure results in dialogue with management, avert crises or find solutions based on opportunities and the communication skills obtained during the SWP training. For the Amalgamated Metal Workers Unions in Kenya, the shop stewards pointed to how the training had enabled them to design their own strategies at the workplace in relation to supervisors and staff, and to achieve many concrete results.

Based on this shop steward upskilling, I feel confident that as a union we now have change ambassadors that will grow the industry, protect, and promote decent work principles for both the employer and the employees represented. And that disputes will be dealt with at the workplace level by though consultative dialogue.

Rose Omamo

General Secretary
Amalgamated Union of Kenya Metal Workers