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Export to Africa

For U.S. businesses looking to enter or expand in African markets.

Browse Our Toolkit

Exporting Goods and Services to Africa

Africa is home to some of the world’s fastest-growing economies, playing an increasingly significant role on the global stage. The continent’s rapidly growing middle class—forecast to triple by 20301—represents a stronger labor pool and more purchasing power than ever before. 

The populations within African countries are young, growing, and increasingly urbanizing—and household incomes across the continent are on the rise. By 2030, Africa’s population will grow to roughly 1.7 billion2, and the continent will be home to one-fifth of the world’s population3. Given that Africa’s infrastructure gap is narrowing and the continent is primed for mass industrialization, U.S. businesses are well positioned to meet the increasing demand for goods and services.

Despite the economic opportunity, companies also face challenges to doing business in Africa. A lack of infrastructure can present barriers to trade, and companies may need to vertically integrate to fill gaps in the value chain. There can also be high levels of competition from established firms or entrants with institutional support from their home governments. Businesses can also face information gaps about African markets.

To help mitigate these challenges, the Prosper Africa initiative empowers U.S. businesses to export to Africa by offering financing, loan guarantees, market intelligence, and more. The initiative brings together the full suite of U.S. Government services to guide businesses as they identify partners, advance opportunities, and close deals.

Export Opportunities in Africa

African household consumption is projected to increase to over $2 trillion by 20254 with most of the growth coming from Egypt, Nigeria, and countries in East Africa. In the same year, there will be 100 cities with more than 1 million inhabitants, compared with Latin America, which is projected to have only half as many highly populated cities5. By 2034, the size of Africa’s working-age population is expected to surpass that of both India and China.6

Increasing U.S. exports to Africa will provide African nations with a viable alternative to other markets that don’t adhere to the highest standards of quality, transparency, and social responsibility. Many businesses have successfully closed deals by working with Prosper Africa, making a significant impact across the nations of Africa.

Sector Opportunities for U.S. Exports to Africa

Africa’s tech sector is rapidly growing, and the U.S. Government offers resources that can help reduce risks and lower costs for trade and investment deals in tech. Other opportunities for U.S. export to Africa are spread across many countries and various sectors, including the following:

  • Aerospace and defense
  • Apparel
  • Automotive
  • Biopharmaceuticals
  • Chemicals
  • Digital services
  • Food and beverage
  • Machinery and equipment
  • Medical supplies and devices
  • Motor vehicles
  • Natural resources
  • Oil and gas

Prosper Africa supports U.S. businesses with market intelligence and tools to pursue trade leads in Africa.

The above analysis is informed by the Prosper Africa Roadmap. From March-August 2020, the Roadmap team from McKinsey & Company and the CrossBoundary Group engaged in a collaborative research process, drawing from data-driven analysis, in-depth interviews, and interactive workshops with key U.S. Government and private sector stakeholders, think tanks, and other thought leaders to chart a course for strengthening the trade and investment partnership between the United States and Africa.

How to Export to Africa

Prosper Africa serves as a catalyst to increase two-way trade and investment, bringing together like-minded partners to overcome barriers and make the best use of the considerable support available across the U.S. Government. We offer businesses tools from 17 U.S. Government agencies to help identify trade opportunities, facilitate deals, reduce risk, and lower costs.

Contact Prosper Africa’s Advisors

Not sure where to begin? Contact our trade and investment advisors for free assistance with getting started. We want to learn more about your business so we can provide tailored resources to support companies doing business in Africa, including financing, loan guarantees, market intelligence, and more.

Prosper Africa advisors are supported by leading private-sector transaction advisors, as well as U.S. Government Deal Teams in Washington, D.C., and at U.S. embassies across North Africa and Sub-Saharan Africa. Deal Teams offer local market insights and can provide on-the-ground advocacy. 

Contact us

 

700%

the amount by which Ohio and Delaware increased exports to the African continent between 2017 and 2020

$1.1 billion

in exports from Louisiana to the African continent in 2020

2x

increase in Oklahoma exports to African nations in 2020

Browse The Prosper Africa Toolkit

Browse the full Prosper Africa toolkit below for resources that enable you to identify new export opportunities and trade leads and support you in closing deals. Prosper Africa also has resources for U.S. investors seeking to expand by investing in Africa.

Prosper Africa Tools Explore Tools by Agency

Sources

  1. Landry Signé, “Capturing Africa’s High Returns,” The Brookings Institution, Wednesday, March 14, 2018

  2. Jacques Bughin et al, “Lions on the Move II: Realizing the Potential of Africa’s Economies,” McKinsey & Company, September 2016

  3. Damian Hattingh et al., “Lions (still) on the move: Growth in Africa’s consumer sector,” McKinsey & Company, October 2, 2017