SA Businesspeople Upbeat Ahead of Trip to West Africa to Explore Opportunities

Business representatives of about 40 South African companies are confident of successfully exploring trade and investment opportunities in Ghana and Nigeria. The delegates depart for West Africa on Sunday to participate in an Outward Trade and Investment Mission (OTIM) that will be taking place in Accra and Lagos from 9-14 February 2020.

The mission is organised and funded by the Department of Trade and Industry (the dti) through its Export Marketing and Investment Assistance (EMIA) Scheme. The objective of the scheme is to develop export markets for South African products and services. The mission will comprise of trade and investment seminars, business-to-business meetings and site visits that will take place in both cities.

The Director of a Bloemfontein-based company, Basils Business Opportunists, Mr Basil Phupha says he is looking forward to the trip as it provides his company with an excellent opportunity to expand its market to West Africa.

We are currently exporting our agro-processing equipment to neighbouring countries such as Botswana, Namibia, Mozambique and Lesotho. We are determined to find companies in Ghana and Nigeria that can import our products and distribute them in the two countries and the rest of the sub-region. We are optimistic that our mission of finding a market for our products in the two West African countries will be a success as we are already in contact with Ghanaian and Nigerian companies that have already shown interest in our equipment, says Phupha.

Ms Sandiswa Qayi is the Managing Director of the East London-based company, AET Africa that manufactures high quality energy efficiency and clean technology products. She says she is fortunate that the dti afforded her an opportunity to travel to Ghana and Nigeria last year.

Those trips were very valuable for our company in that I managed to establish good contacts and generated promising leads that will probably see us exporting our products or technology to the two countries. This mission could not have come at a more opportune time as I have set up meetings with the companies that I met last year to discuss the way forward, as well as follow up with potential customers that I shared samples with, says Qayi.

She adds that her company is determined to penetrate the West African market. She reckons that if the keen interest shown by the companies that she is in contact with is anything to go by, then she is optimistic that the trip will be successful.

The Director of CFAM Technologies, Mr Louis Grobler says he is positive that he will find clients and a distribution agent that will be interested in doing business with the Potchefstroom-based company, which manufactures agricultural processing equipment.

Our objective is to penetrate the West African market and expand our footprint as we have already exported our products to countries such as Namibia, Botswana, United Kingdom and Canada. We are positive that the trip will yield positive results for our company, adds Grobler.

The Managing Director of the Pretoria-based Tintswalo Project Managers, Ms Lucy Klein says she will be using the trip to have face-to-face meetings with representatives of the two companies that she has been communicating with in Nigeria and Ghana.

There are construction and infrastructure development projects in Nigeria and Ghana that we are targeting. We have already made contact with relevant parties involved with the projects. The trip will provide us with an ideal opportunity to meet them and discuss possible partnership deals that will enable us to participate in the projects, says Klein.

According to the Deputy Minister of Trade and Industry, Ms Nomalungelo Gina, the objective of the mission is to increase bilateral trade and investment between South Africa and the two West African countries.

Source: Department of Trade and Industry