For Ghanaian exporters partaking of the 2019 Africa Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) in New York, USA, the various business sessions and presentations had on doing business in the USA remains priceless.
Organizer of the event, Severin Coulibaly, CEO of the Biziness Group LLC exposed them to key rules and regulations any Ghanaian exporter or business must consider before venturing the US market.
Here are his four rules:
- Lack of knowledge: “Many African and Ghanaian businesses do not know the realities here. In the USA, you have to follow US regulations. Unfortunately, most companies have no clue what the US trade laws require whether it has to do with the FDA or immigration.
- Non-availability of Certification: Before having your product on the shelves of any US market, you must have the required certification that shows you have the go-ahead to do business. Many businesses just jump onto the plane to the US only to get disappointed by US authorities. Without certification from the FDA, EPA or any other US authority, there is no way you can survive, let alone establish in the US market.
- Poor record keeping: Any US investor will want to investigate how much data you have collated regarding your market size, reach, business model and general progress. Let’s face it, Ghanaian and African businesses are doing great but when it comes to good record keeping, most of them fall out in the face of US investors.
- Not adding an international touch: A customer from Ghana is not the same as a customer in the US. Trends change by the split of a second. The US market is a sophisticated one and my Ghanaian and African friends must know this. A product doing great in Accra, Ghana might not survive in the USA or Europe because of consumer preference change. I’m not saying you must change your product entirely. But adding the required international touch is critical.
The AGOA Expo is a cultural and business platform aimed at celebrating US-African cooperation, strengthening bilateral trade relations, promoting AGOA key export products and investment opportunities.
There would be a number of activities including African Beverages and Food Show, African Apparel, Textiles and Footwear Exhibition, AGOA Apparel Fashion Week, Exhibition of Leather and African Cosmetics, African Music and Urban Dances, AGOA Festival Workshops and Networking.
The participants for this event are the United States, AGOA eligible countries including Ghana, Nigeria, South Africa, Kenya among others.
The AGOA festival
The AGOA Festival is a cultural and business platform committed to celebrating the US – Africa cooperation, strengthen bilateral trade relations, promote AGOA Key Export Products and Investment Opportunities through African Growth & Opportunity Act (AGOA).
It is also a great opportunity for American Companies to explore sourcing opportunities in Africa, expand their business or introduce new products, services in the African Countries AGOA eligible with direct access to Authorities and Business Leaders. A wide variety of activities are organized periodically in US Cities to boost African exports products and take advantage of the AGOA legislation with new partnerships and joint ventures.