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Grow Your Exports to Sub-Saharan Africa

January 05, 2017

Tatiana Bertolo, Office of Small Business

sub saharan african.jpgIn 2014, the Obama administration started the Doing Business in Africa (DBIA) campaign to increase investments and export opportunities to an area of the world that continues to grow. Six countries in Africa are in the Top 10 for fastest growing economies in the world, therefore, there is no surprise why this has become one of the top foreign economic initiatives coming out of the executive branch. This commitment has been spread across each of the government agencies (e.g., Export-Import Bank of the U.S.[EXIM], Department of Commerce, OPIC and more) to focus resources and time on expanding U.S. involvement in Africa.

On August 3rd ,2016, the President added members to his advisory council on DBIA after some members visited Nigeria and Rwanda in January of 2016 to conduct findings about Africa’s current relationship with the U.S. and economic opportunities. There were five recommendations that came out of the trip:

  • Invest more resources in Power Africa and Energy Infrastructure projects
  • Increase vocational and skills training for U.S.-Africa programs
  • Deepen commercial dialogue and engagement between both governments
  • Improve travel routes and transportation infrastructure within Sub-Saharan Africa
  • Pursue tax treaties with key African markets

U.S. exports to Sub-Saharan Africa top $21 billion now and trade to and from Africa has tripled over the last decade. With these numbers in mind, the opportunities in Africa are vast for U.S. small businesses and it’s critical for them to be prepared so they don’t lose to foreign competition. As a result, federal agencies are working together to expand trade promotion programs and trade missions, as well as creating an online portal called the Africa Business Portal  to connect U.S. small and medium-sized businesses to federal resources.

Learn How EXIM Supports Exports to Sub-Saharan Africa

The Sub-Saharan region of Africa has become an important priority for EXIM Bank and since 2009, the Bank has supported over $7 billion in transactions in this area.  As a finance-assisting federal partner, EXIM offers solutions to U.S. exporters and African buyers who are pursuing business deals. These offers include increased access to working capital, protection against commercial and political risks and the ability to offer financing on competitive terms to African buyers.

As an example, Polytrade International of Herndon, Virginia, used an EXIM insurance policy to support the sale of fuel additives, plastic bottles and hand pumps valued at $10,000 to Logistque Commercial of Togo. You can find more EXIM Bank success stories on doing business in Africa, by clicking here.

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