How do you choose your foreign market in Africa?

With 54 countries, Africa offers plenty of opportunities for companies looking for growth. Nevertheless, as much as Africa may seem familiar to us, it might sound to be a daunted task to determine...

With 54 countries, Africa offers plenty of opportunities for companies looking for growth. Nevertheless, as much as Africa may seem familiar to us, it might sound to be a daunted task to determine where you should focus your energy. Hereunder are few tips to help you determine with success the market to choose:

Research Trade Barriers

Before you fully jump in the export adventure, you may want to consider the following elements: 

  • Identify Trade Barriers
  • Competition analysis
  • Culture

 

Trade agreements

Check if there are not any trade agreements signed between your country of origin and country of interest in Africa. The chances are there is a trade agreement in place through which you may benefit of exemptions, trade tariffs and other support to boost import-export between the countries. 

 

Regional integration

Like other regions in the world, African countries are regrouped in various regional markets to help harmonize trade and reduce barriers among its members. As a new exporter and considering the size of each individual market, you will probably target one or 2 countries at the same time to ensure a sufficient return on your investment. Investigate the regional integrations and include it your export plan. 

 

Infrastructure

One of the key element for the success of your export project lies with the existence of local infrastructures. Considering that one out 2 persons in Africa lives in an urban area, your customer will mostly be located in one of Africa largest cities. The lack of infrastructure may reduce some of your profits and lead to unplanned costs. 

Plan also properly if you need skilled staff as the process may be lengthy and you will need to include this factor in your business plan.

 

Investigate Intellectual Property Protection and Other Laws.

Investigate the countries against intellectual property laws and If needed, take necessary steps to protect your brand, your product. Regulatory requirements shall also be assessed as it may mean some additional licenses authorisations and incapacity to sell your products locally. 

 

Study economic indicators and stability

Be aware of the latest political, social and economic development of the country where you want to do business. Political elections are in some cases sources of tensions and may impact your export project.