Did you know there are significant opportunities for American small businesses in Africa’s emerging markets? With six of the ten fastest-growing economies in the world and over one billion consumers, Africa is poised to play a pivotal role in the global economy. Prosper Africa is a U.S. Government Initiative that unlocks opportunities to do business in this emerging market — benefiting companies, investors, and workers in both Africa and the United States. Through Prosper Africa, the U.S. government plans to establish a one-stop-shop to facilitate deals and coordinate the resources of federal agencies to help companies pursue commercial opportunities across the African continent.
Prosper Africa grew out of the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA), signed into law on May 18, 2000, that provided U.S. market access for qualifying sub-Saharan African countries and U.S. trade with Africa has increased over 300% since that time. In 2019, Prosper Africa seeks to build on that success and substantially increase two-way trade and investment between the United States and Africa.
Prosper Africa focuses on three primary activities:
- Modernizing how the U.S. government works by making the full range of our services available both through a virtual platform, and in trade and investment centers across the African continent and the United States.
- Supporting public and commercial transactions by facilitating and expediting deals and managing their risk.
- Partnering with African governments to foster business climates that are mutually beneficial for Africa and the United States.
U.S. firms are already finding success through this initiative. Environmental Chemical Company (ECC), an employee-owned environmental services firm, has been awarded the East Nairobi Sewerage Project (ENSP) focusing on the environmental restoration of the Nairobi River which has been adversely impacted by informal settlements contaminating its ecosystem. ECC is constructing technologically efficient sewerage systems in multiple highly congested settlement areas and major urban and peri-urban sections of Nairobi while also providing social services to the residents in those target areas.
The U.S. Small Business Administration is here to help your small business reach new customers, be it with market information, trade finance support, or matchmaking opportunities. As you consider your company’s path to growth, look to Africa for your next customer, and ask how the SBA can help get you there.