US-startup Africa Business Portal (ABP) has launched in order to facilitate safe and successful bilateral trade and investment in Africa, assembling a team of more than 45 Africa industry advisors, local resources and ABP network members throughout the United States and Africa.
The goal of ABP is to prepare US companies to capitalise on Africa’s growth and establish the US as Africa’s largest trading partner, a designation China captured in 2009, by promoting knowledge of and investment in the region.
“We have the infrastructure in place to make trading and investing in Africa as risk-free and as profitable as possible,” said founder and president Lee Clegg.
“We’ll connect businesses to the many valuable resources available from Washington, DC. But the other key to successful US/Africa trade is offering resources on the local level. We’re the first US-based organisation that will soon have local-level resources in every US state and Sub-Saharan country.”
ABP’s advisors and network members include multinational executives, a former US ambassador to two African countries, two American Chamber presidents in Africa, state-based District Export Council leaders and members, highly respected educators, US-based Africa chambers of commerce leadership and international legal and accounting firms.
“As a former diplomat who worked for years with US companies trying to do business abroad, I deeply appreciate the Africa Business Portal,” said ABP advisor Melissa Sanderson, who is also vice president of international affairs for Freeport-McMoRan.
“This group understands the power of relationships, the importance of being guided by reputable and reliable in-country individuals, and the vital role of information.”
Clegg said ABP’s advisors were savvy regarding opening doors for US companies and investors to enter the African market with full Foreign Corrupt Practices Act compliance.
“When I explained our business model to them, they all said this is what needs to happen to make US/African trade more accessible. They know it needs to be based on a process, and not so much on events,” he said.
ABP requires all network members and advisors to participate in a third-party pre-screening process to ensure each is committed to national and international compliance standards, resulting in a network of trustworthy partners. A paid ABP membership is required to view other network members and contact information, and to access additional resources. Most of the website information, however, is accessible with a free login.