Building capacity to help Africa trade better

Trade facilitation to be among topics of meeting on Doing Business in Africa


Trade facilitation to be among topics of meeting on Doing Business in Africa

Trade facilitation to be among topics of meeting on Doing Business in Africa
Photo credit: AZRainman | Flickr

The President’s Advisory Council on Doing Business in Africa will hold an open meeting November 29 to deliberate on analysis of the top three obstacles U.S. companies face in approaching African markets, competing for business opportunities, and operating business activities.

Topics may include market risk, capital market development, market size, localisation requirements, foreign government support to enable competitors, procurement practices, local skilled workforce availability, foreign exchange, trade facilitation, and infrastructure. This meeting will be broadcast via live webcast.

The Council provides information, analysis, and recommendations that address a number of Africa-related issues, including creating jobs in the U.S. and Africa through trade and investment, facilitating U.S. business participation in Africa’s infrastructure development, encouraging partnerships to bring innovative agricultural technologies to Africa, developing and strengthening partnerships and other mechanisms to increase U.S. public and private sector financing of trade with and investment in Africa, and identifying other means to expand commercial ties.

Tasking for the President’s Advisory Council on Doing Business in Africa, FY 17/18

When it comes to doing business in Africa, some American companies have never considered exploring the opportunities, some are actively pursuing strategies to enter or expand into the market, and some have been operating on the continent for decades.

Recognizing this range of perspectives, the PAC-DBIA will draw on its collective experience negotiating these three different stages of doing business in Africa – approaching the market, competing for the market, and operating in the market – to identify the top challenges that affect the greatest number of American companies, to recommend actions for the U.S. government that will benefit the greatest number of American companies, and to highlight the top opportunities and keys to success.

These insights will inform the Administration’s economic and commercial strategy for Africa, in order to advance the President’s mission of supporting American jobs through increased exports to Africa.

Tasking #1 – due the end of October 2017

A.  Three stages of doing business in Africa


Despite available and emerging opportunities, most American companies are still not looking at most African countries as viable markets for their goods and services.

  1. From a regional perspective, what are the greatest areas of opportunity for American industry in West, Central, East, and Southern Africa?

  2. Identify the top three issues that keep American companies from choosing to approach African markets.

  3. What can the U.S. government do to get more American companies to seek out and pursue business opportunities in Africa?

2.  COMPETING in Africa

Despite the superior quality and reputation of American products and services, when American companies compete for project tenders and consumer markets in Africa, they are too often unsuccessful.

  1. Identify the three factors that most hinder the ability of American companies to successfully compete for business opportunities in Africa.

  2. How can the U.S. government help American companies be more successful in competing for projects and market share in Africa?

3.  OPERATING in Africa

While the perceived level of risk of doing business in Africa is often higher than reality, most African markets do present an array of challenges to efficient, stable, and sustainable business operations.

  1. Identify the three biggest challenges African markets present to American companies in executing their business in Africa.

  2. What can the U.S. government do to mitigate those challenges?

B.  Keys to success

Drawing on your collective experiences negotiating the three stages of doing business in Africa, compile a list of keys to the successes you have had in each stage, including any U.S. government programs that have been particularly helpful to your success.


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