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May 13

West Africa Exploratory Mission

May 13 @ 8:00 am - May 17 @ 5:00 pm

Meet with representatives in targeted international markets to build your business abroad.

West Africa is demographically and economically one of the world’s fastest-growing regions. Consisting of 15 countries with almost 400 million people, West Africa is projected to represent roughly 15 percent of the global population growth over the next two decades. West Africa’s unfulfilled demand for goods and services presents important opportunities for Virginia companies in industries such as technology, education, manufacturing, agriculture, and infrastructure.


Senegal is the African continent’s westernmost point, and through its geography and participation in the Economic Community of West African states (ECOWAS) can serve as a gateway to the region. Senegal has experienced continued economic growth over the last decade – roughly 6.6 percent from 2014-2019 and is projected to rebound from global economic shocks and grow 5.3 percent in 2023. The country has ambitious goals to generate private investment and address barriers to social and economic growth through the President’s Emerging Senegal Plan (PSE), generating a number of market opportunities for Virginia companies. With a population of nearly 18 million people Senegal offers an attractive location for companies looking to serve the West African regional market.

Top opportunities for Virginia exporters to Senegal include:

  • Transportation Equipment
  • Renewable energy solutions
  • Smart grid solutions
  • Solar household equipment
  • Helicopter services for transportation of platform personnel
  • LNG pipeline design and construction
  • Maritime dredging
  • Inspection and testing
  • Waste management
  • Farm equipment
  • Expanded irrigation systems
  • Postharvest handling systems
  • Storage and silo facilities
  • Service equipment for electronic diagnosis
  • Spare parts for the U.S. made automobiles
  • X-ray, scanning, and diagnostic equipment
  • eHealth systems
  • Hospital and clinical development
  • Drone delivery for health care supplies


Côte d’Ivoire, also known as Ivory Coast, is experiencing one of the fastest sustained economic growth rates in Sub-Saharan Africa. In 2022, Vision 2030 was announced to transform the economy of Côte d’lvoire by revitalizing the private sector and investing in infrastructure, education, and technology. Côte d’lvoire plays a central role as a regional economic hub for West African nations and is a receptive market for American goods and services.

Top opportunities for Virginia exporters to Cote d’Ivoire include:

  • Process automation and systems control equipment
  • Renewable energy solutions
  • Energy monitoring systems
  • Building materials
  • Port security services and equipment
  • Water sanitation equipment and services
  • Heavy equipment for infrastructure projects
  • Engineering, procurement, and construction management services
  • Fiber-optic cables
  • Billing solutions (software)
  • Wireless network equipment and related services
  • Cybersecurity solutions
  • Agriculture inputs, such as seeds, agro-chemicals, and fertilizer
  • Farm equipment and agriculture services, such as training for farmers
  • Agricultural processing

Registration Deadline: Friday, February 23, 2024

Who is eligible to participate?

Companies from Virginia who have 51% content or who meet Commercial Service standards are eligible to participate. Each company must go through an application process and receive approval prior to signing up for the mission.

Companies are eligible to participate in this mission if they (1) are a U.S. exporter, as defined by the U.S. Commercial Service; (2) are headquartered or have operations in Virginia; and (3) export or seek to export a good or service that is of U.S. origin or at least 51% U.S. content, which is defined here and includes information on how to calculate U.S. content on the “fee-based export promotion assistance” tab.

How many Virginia companies will participate?

Based on past trade missions, we expect 12 – 15 Virginia companies to participate. The registration process is ongoing until the trade mission is full or the registration deadline has passed.

What is the cost for my company to participate?

You must pay the trade mission participation fee of $500 to the VEDP at the time of registration. The participation fee includes the following:

  • Identifying, contacting and pre-qualifying local distributors, reps and/or partners and organization of your meetings with interested prospects
  • A “Doing Business In” briefing on the market(s)
  • Your VEDP Trade Mission Leader and in-country consultant on hand during the week to ensure everything runs to plan.
  • Interpreter if needed.

All travel expenses, including airfare, hotels, meals, and individual ground transportation are to be paid directly by each participant. Additional estimated costs you will incur include (but are not limited to):

  • Roundtrip airfare
  • Hotels (7 nights)
  • Meals
  • Airport transfers, taxis, and other miscellaneous items

How will I get to my meetings?

  • In most cases, meetings will occur at the hotel in a meeting room hosted by VEDP each day of the trade mission.
  • If a meeting is scheduled at a local business, our consultants will recommend the most effective method of transportation. This will likely be a local car/driver.

Will I need an interpreter?

If required, interpreters will be provided for meetings and are included in your registration fee.

How are airline and hotel reservations handled?

Airline tickets: You book (and pay for) your own airline ticket via local travel agent or online air travel website. If you do not have a travel agent, the Trade Mission Leader can recommend one for you.

Hotels: VEDP will choose the hotel(s) however, delegates will be responsible for their own hotel charges throughout the mission. All delegates will stay at the same hotel in order to facilitate logistics as well as to encourage the interaction and networking that is always a collateral benefit of traveling with a group. You will pay all hotel room charges directly to the hotel.

How can I verify that these are good markets for my company before registering?

Contact your local International Trade Manager or the Trade Mission Leader immediately! We only want you to make the trip if we think there is good market potential for your company. We can perform exploratory market research within a short period of time to verify market potential for you.


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