Irish companies secure over €7million in new export sales to Sub-Saharan Africa15 November 2013
Irish companies participating in this week’s Enterprise Ireland trade mission to South Africa and Nigeria, led by Minister for Trade and Development, Joe Costello T.D., have secured new contracts totalling over €7m and agreed significant business alliances across the financial services, telecommunications and education sectors. These announcements underline the growing opportunities for Irish companies in the developing sub-Saharan Africa region.
The five-day trade mission, which involved 37 Irish companies, was organised by Enterprise Ireland in close cooperation with the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade and the Embassies of Ireland in Pretoria and Abuja, and focused on Financial Services in Johannesburg, Telecommunications in Cape Town and Financial Services and Education in Lagos.
Minister Costello described the trade mission as very important in terms of deepening Ireland’s trade and economic ties in the region, as well as supporting the aims of the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade’s Africa Strategy. Speaking from Lagos Minister Costello said:
“This was a highly successful mission both in terms of business secured and introductions and connections made. It is truly encouraging to see Irish companies continuing to win new business in South Africa, and deeply satisfying to watch Enterprise Ireland working with innovative Irish companies to help them break into developing markets like Nigeria.
“Enterprise Ireland’s new office in Johannesburg will act as a hub for supporting Irish companies in growing their trade relationships and export sales, not just in South Africa but also in other key economic growth areas in the wider Sub-Saharan Africa market of over 900 million people. This is the first time Enterprise Ireland has organised a trade mission to Nigeria which is the most populous country in Africa. Based on the initial success of Irish companies in this enormous market I have no doubt that a second trade mission to the region will quickly follow.
“My Department, the Embassy network and the State Agencies are working closely together to ensure that Irish exports to these increasingly important markets continue to grow – sustaining and creating jobs in Ireland”.
The Minister’s intensive five-day schedule included seven major networking events with South African, Nigerian and Irish businesses and other key contacts, as well as 12 individual company meetings with Irish companies and their sub-Saharan Africa partners and customers. Minister Costello also took part in high-level meetings with major international companies and participated in numerous media interviews. All activities were aimed at promoting the capabilities and strengths of Irish companies in key sectors and highlighting the opportunities for bilateral trade between Ireland and Southern Africa.
In South Africa Minister Costello opened Enterprise Ireland and ESB International’s new offices which are co-located in Johannesburg, and visited the Ireland Pavilion at the Africa Com expo where six Irish companies were participating for the second consecutive year.
While in Nigeria the Minister opened Wexford company Chevron Training and Recruitment’s new training centre, and Kerry Group’s new Nigerian office, and launched Enterprise Ireland’s “Access Nigeria” Guide.
Among the contracts and alliances agreed during the trade mission were:
Digisoft.tv (Cork) signed a development and agency agreement with Discover Digital (South Africa). The Discover Digital and Digisoft.tv program promotes OTT (Over The Top) Video supporting the distribution of TVOD educational and entertainment content in hard to reach and less connected environments. Digisoft.tv will manage this development effort from their headquarters in Cork.
Sentinel Fuel Products (Mayo) signed an initial contract worth €500k with South African company Lebone Engineering (Pty) Ltd. Lebone will distribute Sentinel’s Oilguard 9000 product range and provide front-line support across the Southern African Development Community (SADC) region. Sentinel Fuel Products is a start-up business targeting global markets for the manufacture and supply of fuel anti-theft devices and fuel management systems.
SourceDogg (Galway) signed a partnership agreement with Resolve Solution Partners (South Africa) to deliver their cutting-edge e-procurement solution to the South African market. Resolve Solution Partners, a subsidiary of the Imperial Logistics Group, has identified a strong need for effective e-procurement among public and private organisations in South Africa where uncompetitive procurement practices and non-compliance are longstanding problems.
Nasctech (Dublin), the leading provider of Field Operation Support Systems for Communication Service Providers (CSPs) announced that its STREAMLINE™ solution has been deployed by Vodacom in the Democratic Republic of Congo. STREAMLINE™ is a unique solution that enables CSPs to reduce their network field OPEX spend while increasing visibility and control over their field operations, including fuel management.
Chevron Training and Recruitment (Wexford), specialists in the provision of construction skills training to international learners, officially opened their new Training Centre in Lagos. In February 2013 Chevron Training & Recruitment partnered with Nigerian company ETIWA Vocational Training to provide construction workers in Nigeria with international best-practise training. The partnership will see Chevron Training and Recruitment train 1000 constructions workers in Nigeria in a deal worth €3m over three years.
Hybrid Energy Solutions Ltd. (HES) announced details of a deal with Airtel Nigeria - the world’s 3rd largest mobile phone provider - to improve its network availability and massively reduce operating costs. HES and Airtel, along with HES’ local partner on the ground - ‘Eureka Power’ will invest up to $50m to upgrade and optimize the power supply to Airtel’s Nigerian network over the next 24 months.
Dublin International Foundation College (DIFC) and Professional Global Training Institute (PGTI) (or Greenville Schools) signed an agreement to run education programmes in Nigeria and Ireland for Nigerian students who want to progress to Irish and other EU universities to study Medicine, Business and Engineering. The first programme will concentrate on Medicine and will start in Lagos in January 2014 with an initial intake of 50–100 students. These students will transfer to DIFC Dublin in September 2014 to complete their Foundation Course and then progress on to medical-related courses in Ireland, the UK and Central European universities.
Waterford Institute of Technology announced a MOU with Yaba-Tech University in Lagos.
Brendan Flood, Divisional Manager with Enterprise Ireland, who is accompanying Minister Costello on the trade mission, commented:
”The trade mission has been a significant success for the participating Irish companies. They are carving out a strong reputation for Irish products and services, confirming that there are significant opportunities for increased trade and partnerships between Irish and Sub-Saharan Africa companies. The market growth is in sectors where Enterprise Ireland’s client companies are particularly strong performers – financial services, telecommunications and education. Enterprise Ireland will continue to provide every support to Irish companies to secure more business in this developing region”.