Doing Business in West Africa May 2012. Road Construction - Photo Courtesy of West Africa Trade Hub. Heather Byrnes Senior Commercial Officer Embassy of the United States Accra, Ghana. Port of Tema- Photo Courtesy of West Africa Trade Hub. West Africa - Overview.
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Doing Business in West AfricaMay 2012 Road Construction - Photo Courtesy of West Africa Trade Hub Heather Byrnes Senior Commercial Officer Embassy of the United States Accra, Ghana Port of Tema- Photo Courtesy of West Africa Trade Hub
West Africa - Overview • One of the world’s regions of highest intrinsic wealth: oil/gas, gold, bauxite, manganese, diamonds, cocoa and much of the land highly suitable for agriculture; • Currently one of the poorest areas in the world – but almost all countries showing positive growth – best three performers 6-13% annual GDP growth; • Legacy of colonialism: many countries encompass multiple ethnic groups and have had long-term internal conflicts. But, growing number of peaceful democracies; • Infrastructure poor: power, water, telecommunications, roads, etc. But, this also = opportunities for infrastructure companies; • Endemic health problems in region: malaria, water-borne illnesses, maternal/child mortality – but, progress on almost all fronts; • Known for internet fraud. Check potential business partners with embassy. Payment in advance is highly recommended or other methods of limiting risk (letter of credit, etc.) Courts often slow and judgments difficult to enforce; • Formal business culture (suits, use of titles, etc.) but relaxed sense of time (things take a long time and culturally people are not deadline conscious); • Opportunities for infrastructure companies across the region – growing middle class in a few markets (ie consumer goods).
West Africa – Key Market Statistics Sources: www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook http://data.worldbank.org/indicator/IC.BUS.EASE.XQ
Challenges Photo by WA Trade Hub • Infrastructure: water, power, internet – both reliability and quality • Lack of business service providers (a handful of reliable providers, used by almost all the companies) • High costs (hotel, car rental, commercial real estate – all expensive) • Difficulty sourcing qualified staff and high training costs • Lack of reliable ‘cold chain’, most goods are trans-shipped through Europe • Contract sanctity – contract seen by many as starting point, not end, of negotiation. International arbitration clause is a must. Use qualified lawyers. • Check any potential business partner with the Commercial Service or Embassy. A handful of fraudsters are very active. You would be amazed how legitimate some of them seem. • Payment in advance is highly recommended or other methods of limiting risk (letter of credit, etc.) Just because one transaction was ok – don’t let down your guard. • Culturally some West Africans have a very difficult time saying ‘no’. Actions speak louder than words when dealing with people from the region.
Opportunities • Asian and European competitors already very aware of opportunities in the region – but U.S. companies much less aware/experienced in this part of the world; • In many parts of West Africa, U.S. brands/goods are highly sought after/esteemed; • While risks higher in this part of the world, returns can also be higher; • Sectors of particular opportunity: • Energy (Power and Oil/Gas – both will see sig. growth in next decade) • Transportation (Bridges, Rail, Ports, Aviation and Roads) • Heavy Equipment (Mining, Construction and Oil/Gas) • Telecommunications (high cell phone penetration, increasing use of internet) • Agriculture (starting to transition from very small farms to larger-scale commercial farming) • Healthcare – equipment, hospital construction in particular • Consumer – Limited for most of region but opportunities in some markets (e.g. Nigeria and Ghana)
Traveling to West Africa • Crime/security issues vary considerably from country to country. Ghana for example is similar to the United States while Nigeria is more dangerous. Check travel.state.gov before planning any trip. • Malaria is big risk across region. We advise all travelers to take prophylaxis. Other vaccines etc. are important. Visit the CDC website for more information on health preparations: www.cdc.gov. • Weather is HOT and air conditioning can be variable. Suits are a must for business but lighter fabrics are better. • Bring any medicines you take regularly – not all pharmacies are reliable and some medicines available in the U.S. are not available here. (Also, counterfeit medicines are a problem.) • Visa in advance is required for some countries. Allow 2-3 weeks for processing for each country. • Lots of new flights coming and many airlines already here: Delta, United, BA, KLM, British Airways, Virgin Atlantic, Emirates, Lufthansa for example. Photo by Tullow
Is West Africa for my company? • Business is West Africa is very relationship driven. Business relationships take time to develop. (Any process takes time in West Africa.) Do you need an immediate sale? Or are you willing to wait a year or two? • Business in West Africa is personal. You may need to travel to West Africa on a somewhat frequent basis – even if you have a partner on the ground. Are you prepared to travel to West Africa? • To develop in West Africa long term, you will need a local partner. Are you prepared to work through a distributor, reseller or other partner? • West Africa can be challenging for new-to-export companies. Do you have experience in other export markets? • After-sales service/repair/support can be a challenge in West Africa. Does your product or service depend on on-the-ground after-sales service or support? • Infrastructure can be unreliable (power, water, internet, etc.) Does your product depend one or more infrastructural aspects? • Are you a flexible, patient person with a sense of adventure? Photo by Tullow
GHANA: MARKET OVERVIEW 12th fastest growing economy in the world last year. Steady growth over last decade. Ghana one of the fastest growing economies in the world in 2011 at 13.5 %. 24 million people Growth from low base, just moving into bottom of middle income status. High debt to income ratio. English speaking, former British colony Growing popularity as regional HQ for U.S. companies: stable, good quality of life, easy to attract ex-pat employees, ease of travel. Lots of real opportunities for U.S. companies – U.S. exports grew more than 30% in 2010 vs. 2009
Your Gateway to West Africa • Sub-regional market of 250 million people. • Immediate access to all markets of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS). Although, not completely free trade. • Many companies moving regional HQ’s from other countries in region to Ghana.
A Vibrant Democracy July 2009 – President Obama visited Ghana, first visit by President Obama to sub-Saharan Africa. Third sitting U.S. president in a row to visit Ghana, Presidents Bush and Clinton also visited. WHY GHANA? • Two peaceful handovers of power between parties in a row – best track record on the continent and by far in the West African region. Two main parties: NDC (National Democratic Congress) and NPP (New Patriotic Party). Each have over 40% of the vote. • Last election was roughly 8 million voters, decided by 40k votes. No sig. violence. • Free and active media (albeit sometimes rather colorful).
Akwaaba (‘Welcome’) • Ghana is sometimes called the Ireland of Africa. Ghanaians known everywhere as friendly, welcoming and fun-loving. • Relaxed mode of life, and business. Can be enjoyable (when you want to relax) and frustrating (when you want to get something done). • Although pace is relaxed, aspects of society very traditional, formal: Ghanaians dress formally and modestly. Greetings and titles very important. • Traditional rulers still important feature of power structure. • U.S. companies setting up presence in Ghana encouraged toestablish and maintain good relations with both electedgovernment and traditional rulers.
Opportunities • Steady growth of 5-7% for past decade. Oil find in 2007 (and further oil finds since) have created further economic momentum. 13% last year. • Number of inquiries to Embassy Ghana has more than tripled in last three years. Companies already in Ghana have increased footprint (e.g. GE, IBM, etc.). HEAVY EQUIPMENT E.G. MINING ANDCONSTRUCTION POWER GENERATION & TRANSMISSION PORT/MARINE DEVELOPMENT OIL AND GAS AUTOMOTIVE HEALTHCARE Consumer Goods Franchising
GHANA If you are interested in opportunities in Ghana.. Heather Byrnes, Senior Commercial OfficerEmail: email@example.com Direct tel. +233-21-741-086 Cell: +233-244-331-244 OR Abdul-Aziz Anyang, Commercial Clerk Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Direct tel. +233-21-741-498 Cell: +233-244-331-245 Mailing address: Foreign Commercial Service 2020 Accra Place Washington, DC 20521-2020
NIGERIA: MARKET OVERVIEW Nigeria More than twice the size of California Rich in natural gas, petroleum, tin, iron ore, coal, limestone, lead, zinc and arable land 170 million people Long-standing ethnic & religious tensions but 2007 marked first civilian-to-civilian transfer of power in country’s history English speaking, former British colony Oil sector provides 80% of country’s revenues but since 2008 government attempting to diversify and instituting economic reforms. Growth in 2011 of 6.9% and 2010: 8.7%
Nigeria: Africa’s Largest Nation • Nigeria has world’s 31st largest GDP at $414 billion in 2011 and aspires to be in world’s 20 largest economies by 2020. • To reach that goal, government is liberalizing the economy and promoting public-private partnerships. • Nigeria accounts for 40%+ of all imports in West Africa and is the third largest consumer market on the continent, after Egypt and South Africa. Africa’s most populous country (one-sixth of the continent’s population lives in Nigeria). • One of the most diverse markets in the world with 250 ethnic groups. • Diverse nationalities and cultures offer opportunities for U.S. companies – but also challenges. For example, sales/ad literature with certain female portraits might work well in majority-Christian areas, but could cause problems in the Muslim-majority North. Cashew Factory in Nigeria - Photo Courtesy of West Africa Trade Hub
Nigeria: Challenges • Safety and security situation also creates cost for companies – both in terms of direct costs and (for international companies) attracting retaining staff; • Clearance of goods at ports can be slow, cumbersome and highly bureaucratic. Reports from companies that corruption and congestion are significant issues; • Cost and availability of credit are problems (interest rates are 20-35%); • New local content laws for petroleum industry are higher than actual local content seen in the industry globally – may be challenging for companies in the sector. • Infrastructure inadequate = high costs for transport, water, power; • Less than 4,000 MW total so most businesses rely on generators. Recent reforms to power sector, which may result in increased power gen, but will take several years. Pent-up demand estimated at 20,000 MW; Photo Courtesy of West Africa Trade Hub
Nigeria: Opportunities • Growing and increasingly sophisticated consumer base, coupled with strong affinity for U.S. products and American culture; • Best prospects in these sectors: • Oil and Gas Field Machinery/Equipment • Safety and Security Equipment/Services • Power Generation Equipment • Health Care Equipment/Services • Agriculture Equipment/Machinery/Supplies • Education Services and Supplies • Secondary best prospect sectors: • Maritime Equipment, esp. workboats • Construction Equipment/Supplies • Financial & Insurance Services • IT Equipment and Services • Water/Wastewater Equipment • Aviation Equipment and Supplies Photo Courtesy of US Embassy Nigeria
Nigeria: Resources • U.S. companies interested in the Nigerian market are strongly advised to seek the assistance of experienced commercial lawyers. For a list of legal firms, contact the Commercial Service office in Lagos. • The Nigerian Embassy in the United States has information for U.S. businesses considering exporting to/working in Nigeria: www.nigeriaembassyusa.org • Check out any prospective local partner with the U.S. Commercial Service in Lagos: www.buyusa.gov/nigeria. • Commercial Service in Nigeria can provide lists of pre-vetted companies as part of an International Partner Search or Gold Key Service. They can also conduct International Company Profile reports, useful as part of due diligence. Photo Courtesy of US Embassy Nigeria
If you are interested in opportunities in Nigeria.. Rebecca Armand, Senior Commercial Officer Email: email@example.com Tel. +234-1-460-3581 OR LagosOfficeBox@trade.gov A list of specialists and their sectors can be found on the website, buyusa.gov/nigeria at http://www.buyusa.gov/nigeria/contactus/index.asp
SENEGAL : LOCATED FOR SUCCESS NORTH AMERICA EUROPE SOUTH AMERICA AFRICA SENEGAL
- + SENEGAL : PROS AND CONS ATTRACTIVE INVESTMENT CODE MAJOR INFRASTRUCTURE PROJECTS HIGH FACTOR COSTS RIGID LABOR MARKET A CONSERVATIVE BANKING SYSTEM CORRUPTION NON-TRANSPARENT JUDICIARY. FRENCH LEGAL SYSTEM EAGERNESS FOR AMERICAN BRANDS – INTEREST IN DOING BUSINESS WITH THE U.S. SMALL MARKET STABLE DEMOCRACY STABLE MACRO ECONOMIC CLIMATE GATEWAY TO ECOWAS, MARKET OF 255 MILLION
SENEGAL : COMPETITIVE ADVANTAGES AND OPPORTUNITIES FOR INVESTMENT ATTRACTIVE INVESTMENT CODE INFRASTRUCTURE PROJECTS STABLE DEMOCRACY
SENEGAL : COMPETITIVE ADVANTAGES AND OPPORTUNITIES FOR INVESTMENT GATEWAY TO ECOWAS COUNTRIES STABLE MACRO ECONOMIC CLIMATE INTEREST IN DOING BUSINESS WITH THE U.S.
CONSTRUCTION EQUIPMENT AND HEAVY MACHINERY TELECOMMUNICATIONS VALUE-ADDED SERVICES AGRICULTURAL EQUIPMENT SENEGAL : BUSINESS OPPORTUNITIES AUTOMOBILES LOGISTICAL PLATFORM SERVICES HUB POWER GENERATION
SENEGAL : POWER GENERATION Senegal’s Plan Takkalrequiresbiginvestments and mayresult in opportunites for U.S. Companies
If you are interested in opportunities in Senegal.. Youhanidou Wane Ba, Commercial SpecialistEmail: firstname.lastname@example.org Tel. +221-33-829-2231 OR Steve Perry, Econ Counselor Email: email@example.com Tel. +221-33-829-2227