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Global Diversity Trade Mission to Africa
South Africa | Ghana | Nigeria
August 6-15, 2023

Apply to join this business development mission to South Africa, Ghana, and Nigeria (Optional).

Global Diversity Export Initiative Mission to Africa

The Global Diversity Export Initiative Business Mission to South Africa, Ghana, and Optional Stop in Nigeria - August 6-15, 2023

The Global Diversity Export Initiative (GDEI) Trade Mission to Africa is focused on building commercial bridges between U.S. owned or led businesses from underserved communities and business communities in South Africa, Ghana, and Nigeria.

  • The mission will begin in Johannesburg, South Africa where participants can have pre-arranged business-to-business meetings with potential partners and customers and be given market briefings from commercial officers and in-country trade experts from South Africa and surrounding countries.
  • The next stop is Ghana in West Africa where mission participants can have pre-arranged business-to-business meetings with potential partners and customers.
  •  After Ghana, mission participants have the option to proceed to an additional stop in Nigeria for two additional days where they can have business-to-business meetings with potential partners and customers.

The mission will help participating firms and organizations gain market insights, make industry contacts, solidify business strategies, and advance specific projects, with the goal of increasing U.S. exports. By participating in an official U.S. industry delegation, rather than traveling on their own, U.S. companies will enhance their ability to secure meetings and gain greater exposure in these markets.

Want to Learn More? We will be hosting an information session on the upcoming mission on January 26, at 12:00pm EST.  Please join us to learn more about the mission and the application process.

Apply for the Mission Register for the Information Session
Application Deadline: May 31, 2023  Info Session: January 26, 12:00pm EST
Apply Now Attend Info Session



 

Global Diversity Export Initiative Mission to Africa: Mission Details

Please review the information below to learn more about the upcoming trade mission and application details.

About the Mission

The Department of Commerce’s International Trade Administration is seeking to improve outreach and representation of businesses with owners and/or leaders from underserved communities. This mission is in alignment with Executive Order 13985 on Advancing Racial Equity and Support for Underserved Communities Through the Federal Government (January 25, 2021) (“EO 13985”), the U.S. Department of Commerce Equity Action Plan, and the Global Diversity Export Initiative of the U.S. Commercial Service. For the purposes of the trade mission, ITA adopts the definition of “underserved communities” in EO 13985: “populations sharing a particular characteristic, as well as geographic communities, that have been systematically denied a full opportunity to participate in aspects of economic, social, and civic life, as exemplified by the list in the preceding definition of ‘equity.’”

“Equity” is defined by EO 13985 as “the consistent and systematic fair, just, and impartial treatment of all individuals, including individuals who belong to underserved communities that have been denied such treatment, such as Black, Latino, and Indigenous and Native American persons, Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders and other persons of color; members of religious minorities; lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ+) persons; persons with disabilities; persons who live in rural areas; and persons otherwise adversely affected by persistent poverty or inequality.”.  This trade mission is also designed to be responsive to the priorities stated by Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo and outlined in the Equity Action Plan released in April 2022 which includes “Strengthen[ing] small businesses in underserved communities by helping them be successful exporters”.

Why Join the Mission

Sub-Saharan Africa consists of 49 countries and is in the process of integrating into the world’s largest free trade area. The region presents real opportunity for American businesses, encompassing combined market population of over 1 billion people and GDP of more than $1.5 trillion. Rapid population and GDP growth will only increase this opportunity in the future, as the region is home to some of the fastest growing economies in the world. 

The three countries included in this trade mission include some of the largest players on the continent:

  • South Africa is the most advanced, diversified, and productive economy in Africa. Boasting one of the most pro-business environments on the continent, South Africa is a logical and attractive option for U.S. companies seeking to enter the Sub-Saharan Africa marketplace. The country has a population of over 58 million covers 1.22 million square kilometers. 
  • Ghana is a country of 31 million people with a fast-growing, young, globally and digitally connected population. Many Ghanaians have strong personal or business ties to the United States, and a strong affinity for American brands and technology. Ghana is the third largest U.S. export market for goods in Sub Saharan Africa. 
  • Nigeria which is the largest market in Africa with a population of over 200 million. According to the Nigeria Bureau of Statistics, the United States was Nigeria’s third largest import partner with 8.54% of the entire volume of imports in the fourth quarter 2020. Products such as durum wheat (in seed and not in seed), and used vehicles were mostly imported from the United States, and the country spent over 153.13 billion naira ($372 million) on the importation of used cars from United States in the first quarter of 2021 alone.

By participating in an official U.S. industry delegation with the Department of Commerce, your company can leverage our credibility and contacts and enhance your ability to secure meetings and gain greater exposure in Africa.  Join our mission and you will:

  • Experience the African market for U.S. goods & services in person and up close
  • Gain market insights from in-country trade experts 
  • Make personal industry contacts, solidify business strategies, and advance specific projects

Mission Schedule

The mission will be  in Johannesburg, South Africa for two and a half days, where participants can have pre-arranged business-to-business meetings with potential partners and customers and be given market briefings commercial officers and in-country trade experts from South Africa and surrounding countries.  The market briefings will be an opportunity for mission participants to network and to gain a deeper understanding of the region.  Mission participants from the automotive industry have an optional site visit to a local automotive OEM.   

After South Africa, the mission will proceed to Ghana in West Africa for two days.  In Ghana, mission participants can have pre-arranged business-to-business meetings with potential partners and customers.  For mission participants from the automotive industry, an optional site visit to a local automotive OEM will be a part of the mission agenda. 

After Ghana, mission participants have the option to proceed to the optional stop in Nigeria for two days after a weekend break. In Nigeria, participants can have business-to-business meetings with potential partners and customers.  The mission will conclude in Nigeria.

Schedule (subject to change)

Date Activity
Sunday, August 6, 2023
  • Trade Mission Participants Arrive in South Africa
  • Welcome Reception
Monday, August 7, 2023
  • Regional Market Briefings – AM
  • B2B Matchmaking Meetings - PM
Tuesday, August 8, 2023
  • B2B Matchmaking Meetings Continue AM/PM
  • Optional site visits to manufacturing facilities PM
Wednesday, August 9, 2023
  • Travel day to Ghana
Thursday, August 10, 2023
  • B2B meetings AM/PM
  • Welcome Reception PM
Friday, August 11, 2023
  • B2B Matchmaking Meetings Continue AM
  • Optional Site visits to manufacturing facilities PM
Saturday & Sunday 
August 12-13, 2023
  • Weekend in Ghana and depart for Nigeria for optional stop in Lagos
Monday, August 14, 2023
  • B2B Matchmaking Meetings AM/PM
  • Welcome Luncheon or Dinner
Tuesday, August 15, 2023
  • B2B Matchmaking Meetings AM/PM
  • Trade Mission concludes


 

Targeted U.S. Industries

  • Automotive
  • Safety & Security
  • Information Communications Technology
  • Consumer Goods

Fees & Expenses

Expenses for travel, lodging, meals, and incidentals will be the responsibility of each mission participant. Interpreter and driver services can be arranged for addition al cost. Participants will be able to take advantage of U.S. Embassy rates for hotel rooms.

  South Africa & Ghana  South Africa, Ghana & Nigeria Each Additional Organizational Representative
Small or Medium-Sized Companies1 $3,723 $5,721 $800
Large Companies $6,517 $10,301 $1,300

 

 

 

 

Payment of a participation fee is required within 5 business days once a company or trade association has been selected to participate on the mission. 

The Small Business Administration provides financial awards to state and territory governments to assist small businesses with export development through the State Trade Expansion Program (STEP). Please check to see if STEP grants are available in your state.

1For purposes of assessing participation fees, an applicant is a small or medium-sized enterprise (SME) if it qualifies under the Small Business Administration’s (SBA) size standards (https://www.sba.gov/document/support—table-size-standards), which vary by North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) Code.  The SBA Size Standards Tool [https://www.sba.gov/size-standards/] can help you determine the qualifications that apply to your company.  

How to Apply

For questions, please email Eve Lerman or Dusan Marinkovic.

To apply, please click the link below.

Apply Now

Application & Selection Process

Recruitment and consideration will be extended to all export-ready companies that meet the established criteria for participation in the mission. All parties interested in participating in the trade mission must submit an application package for consideration by the U.S. Department of Commerce (DOC). All applicants will be evaluated on their ability to meet the criteria as outlined below. A minimum of 20 participants will be selected for South Africa and Ghana, and 8 for the optional stop in Nigeria. The total number of participants will not exceed 30.

Participants selected for a trade mission will be expected to pay for the cost of personal expenses, including, but not limited to, international travel, lodging, meals, transportation, communication, and incidentals, unless otherwise noted. Participants will, however, be able to take advantage of U.S. Government rates for hotel rooms. In the unlikely event that a mission is cancelled, no personal expenses paid in anticipation of a mission will be reimbursed. However, participation fees for a cancelled mission will be reimbursed to the extent they have not already been expended in anticipation of the mission.

If a visa is required to travel on a particular mission, applying for and obtaining such a visa will be the responsibility of the mission participant. Government fees and processing expenses to obtain such a visa are not included in the participation fee. However, the Department of Commerce will provide instructions to each participant on the procedures required to obtain business visas. 

Trade Mission members participate in trade missions and undertake mission-related travel at their own risk. The nature of the security situation in a given foreign market at a given time cannot be guaranteed.  The U.S. Government does not make any representations or guarantees as to the safety or security of participants. The U.S. Department of State issues U.S. Government international travel alerts and warnings for U.S. citizens available at https://travel.state.gov/content/passports/en/alertswarnings.html.  Any question regarding insurance coverage must be resolved by the participant and its insurer of choice.
 

Conditions for Participation

Applicants must submit a completed and signed mission application and supplemental application materials, including adequate information on their products and/or services, primary market objectives, and goals for participation that is adequate to allow the Department of Commerce to evaluate their application. If the Department of Commerce receives an incomplete application, the Department may either: reject the application, request additional information/clarification, or take the lack of information into account when evaluating the application. If the requisite minimum number of participants is not selected for a particular mission by the recruitment deadline, the mission may be cancelled.  

Each applicant must also certify that the products and services it seeks to export through the mission are either produced in the United States, or, if not, are marketed under the name of a U.S. firm and have at least fifty-one percent U.S. content by value. In the case of a trade association or organization, the applicant must certify that, for each firm or service provider to be represented by the association/organization, the products and/or services the represented firm or service provider seeks to export are either produced in the United States or, if not, marketed under the name of a U.S. firm and have at least 51% U.S. content.

A trade association/organization applicant must certify to the above for all of the companies it seeks to represent on the mission.
In addition, each applicant must:

  • Certify that the products and services that it wishes to market through the mission would be in compliance with U.S. export controls and regulations; 
  • Certify that it has identified any matter pending before any bureau or office in the Department of Commerce; 
  • Certify that it has identified any pending litigation (including any administrative proceedings) to which it is a party that involves the Department of Commerce; and 
  • Sign and submit an agreement that it and its affiliates (1) have not and will not engage in the bribery of foreign officials in connection with a company’s/participant’s involvement in this mission, and (2) maintain and enforce a policy that prohibits the bribery of foreign officials.

In the case of a trade association/organization, the applicant must certify that each firm or service provider to be represented by the association/organization can make the above certifications.

Selection Criteria

Targeted mission participants are U.S. firms, services providers and trade associations/organizations providing or promoting U.S. products and services that have an interest in entering or expanding their business in the mission’s destination country. The following criteria will be evaluated in selecting participants:

  • Suitability of the applicant’s (or in the case of a trade association/organization, represented firm’s or service provider’s) products or services to these markets; 
  • The applicant’s (or in the case of a trade association/organization, represented firm’s or service provider’s) potential for business in the markets, including likelihood of exports resulting from the mission; and
  • Consistency of the applicant’s (or in the case of a trade association/organization, represented firm’s or service provider’s) goals and objectives with the stated scope of the mission.
  • ITA seeks to ensure that the trade mission represents a diverse swathe of U.S. businesses seeking to export. Considerations when reviewing applications will include: size of the company represented; volume and/or value of the company’s current exports; [if possible: whether the company has ever participated in an ITA trade mission in the past; and whether the company has ever used ITA services in the past].

Balance of company size and location may also be considered during the review process.

Referrals from a political party or partisan political group or any information, including on the application, containing references to political contributions or other partisan political activities will be excluded from the application and will not be considered during the selection process. The sender will be notified of these exclusions.

Timeline for Recruitment & Application

Mission recruitment will be conducted by the traditional methods of a notice published in the Federal Register, posting on the Commerce Department trade mission calendar (https://www.trade.gov/trade-missions) and in other Internet web sites, press releases to general and trade media, direct mail, notices by industry trade associations and other multiplier groups, and publicity at industry meetings, symposia, conferences, and trade shows. Recruitment for the mission will begin immediately and conclude no later than May 30th, 2023. The U.S. Department of Commerce will review applications and inform applicants of selection decisions on a rolling basis. Applications received after May 30th will be considered only if space and scheduling constraints permit.

Global Diversity Export Initiative Mission to Africa: Market Opportunities

Find out more about the opportunities for exporters in South Africa, Ghana, and Nigeria.
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Join the U.S. Commercial Service for Our Webinar Series - Know Before You Go!

Every Second Wednesday from February to September 2023

Participants will receive timely, actionable market intelligence, and learn about opportunities and challenges from in-country U.S. Department of Commerce staff in Kenya, South Africa, Ghana, Nigeria, Tanzania, Mozambique, Angola and Ethiopia.

Additional Resources

Learn About the GDEI Initiative
The U.S. Commercial Service’s Global Diversity Export Initiative is committed to helping underserved communities in the United States, including African-American, Asian-American, Hispanic-American, Native American, veteran and service-disabled veteran, women, LGBTQI+ businesses among others increase their exports.
Find Other GDEI Events
The U.S. Department of Commerce, International Trade Administration, organizes trade programs and events to support minority businesses interested in exporting. Learn about export events specific to minority-owned businesses.
GDEI Export Toolkit
Explore our robust resources dedicated to assisting U.S. exporters begin and expand sales into international markets.