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Looking to Grow Your Export Sales?

Curt Cultice

Apply to Join the U.S. Department of Commerce Global Diversity Export Initiative Business Trade Mission to South Africa, Ghana and an optional stop in Nigeria.

Ready to expand your business through new export sales? U.S. businesses with owners or leaders from underserved communities are the focus of the U.S. Department of Commerce Global Diversity Export Initiative (GDEI) Trade Mission to South Africa, Ghana and an optional stop in Nigeria from August 6-15, 2023. The mission—which advances a Biden administration priority of boosting commercial engagement with Africa—will center on several critical high-growth industry sectors: automotive, information and communication technology, consumer goods, and safety and security.

“Sub-Saharan Africa is home to some of the world’s fastest-growing markets with a strong demand for innovative U.S. goods and services,” says Camille Richardson, deputy assistant secretary of Commerce for the Middle East and Africa. “This mission offers an ideal venue for diverse U.S. businesses to grow their bottom line by developing personalized, long-term relationships with potential African partners, many of which are small businesses.” 

Face-to-Face Networking and Personalized U.S. Commercial Service Support

The U.S. Commercial Service is the trade and investment promotion arm of the U.S. Department of Commerce’s International Trade Administration (ITA). It has a network of over 100 offices across the United States and in U.S. embassies and consulates in more than 80 international markets. Our trade professionals have an in-depth knowledge of their respective markets and deep connections to the local business communities. Businesses on the trade mission will benefit from a full slate of partnering opportunities and support, including:

  • Pre-arranged, one-on-one matchmaking meetings with foreign partners screened for the needs of individual mission participants in all three countries. 
  • Networking venues with representatives of local Chambers of Commerce and Industrial Association members who may be interested in partnering to buy or invest in your product or service.
  • Ongoing support before, during, and after the mission from U.S. Commercial Service trade professionals. The mission will include market briefings, interpretation when needed, and follow-up export assistance by our trade experts working with our U.S. Commercial Service domestic network. 

A brief sampling of industry opportunities in South Africa, Ghana and Nigeria: 

  • ICT Sector – Ghana’s ICT sector continues to play a key role in Ghana’s broader economic growth. Over the last few years, it has been one of the country’s brighter industry sectors despite the broader economy’s fiscal constraints and more recent currency devaluation. Industry experts estimate that Ghana’s ICT sector is currently valued at about $1 billion and may reach $5 billion by 2030. Ghana has particular strengths in the fintech and mobile money space. It also has several ICT startups and indigenous companies partnering with U.S. companies. Those local companies, in particular, are well poised to partner to expand from Ghana into other regional African markets for ICT.    
  • Automotive – South Africa’s automotive industry growth strategy centers on the country becoming highly integrated into the global automotive environment through increased foreign direct investment and trade. Under the South African Automotive Masterplan (SAAM) 2021-2035, the objective is to produce 1 percent of global vehicle production, or 1.4 million vehicles, per annum in South Africa by 2035, which will substantially improve the country’s status and global vehicle production ranking. Several top U.S. automotive component suppliers are represented in South Africa. 
  • Safety and Security  Security and safety training for government officials, private security companies, and organizations is an opportunity for U.S. businesses that can bid directly or through public tenders. Equipment such as military jets, unmanned aerial vehicles, surveillance systems, body scanners and covert cameras are primarily sourced from U.S. manufacturers. U.S. companies are the preferred suppliers for high-profile security products purchased by public and private sector stakeholders in Nigeria. Cyber security is a growing niche in the Nigerian market, focusing on financial institutions and related companies.
  • Consumer Goods South Africa imports approximately $65 million of beauty products annually from the United States. This industry has a few prominent players but is characterized by many small players and is highly fragmented. However, many U.S. small businesses are well-positioned to compete in this space. Imports face formidable competition from local manufacturers specializing in creating products appealing to South African consumers. The U.S. Commercial Service can help U.S. exporters compete and boost their competitiveness in the South African market.

Information on Applying for the Trade Mission

The trade mission best suits U.S. businesses with owners or leaders from underserved communitieswith some export experience or new-to-export companies with a strong product and success selling in the domestic U.S. market. Consideration will be given to all export-ready firms that meet the criteria for participation. The deadline for application is May 31, 2023, but applicants are encouraged to apply early since participants are accepted on a rolling basis. For more on sector opportunities, mission eligibility and participation fee, please view our website or contact us.

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