Between 20–23 March, fifteen businesses from Brussels went on an economic mission to Senegal with hub.brussels, as part of the creation of a new economic and commercial attaché post for the Belgian Embassy in Dakar. In the lead up to their departure, Carole Moné, Area Manager for Sub-Saharan Africa at hub.brussels, and Ivan Korsak, our new economic and commercial attaché in Dakar, explains the strategic importance of the senegalese capital and this new office…
Why did you choose Senegal for the location of this new post?
C.M. : Africa is a priority for the Brussels Government in terms of foreign trade. Last year, we conducted a study across five West African countries to determine the ideal location for opening a new economic and commercial attaché post. Besides being the second biggest African trade partner for the Brussels region, Senegal has several advantages: political and economic stability, a strategic geographic location, linguistic similarities, and an increasing interest from Brussels-based businesses for this market.
Is Senegal an African economic hub?
I.K. : The political stability in Senegal makes it more attractive for investors. The country is in fact gradually transforming into a “hub” or supply market for the subregion of West Africa, with improved ports, transportation links (motorways, railway, new airport) and IT infrastructures. This economic transformation is generating opportunities in several sectors. In terms of socio-cultural exchanges, Senegal is close to Europe and particularly France, which allows them to operate on a more understandable level than in some other countries on the continent.
What commercial opportunities will there be for Brussels-based companies?
I.K. : There are several, across many sectors. Tourism, the country’s second-highest source of foreign currency, is experiencing a steady growth. The construction sector, particularly with the new Diamniadio development: a vast project spanning 2,500 ha that will create new industrial and commercial activities and will become a new administrative area in the country. There is also an energy transition, with the promotion of alternative energy sources, particularly solar power. Finally, there will also be opportunities in the medical sector (including pharmaceuticals), since Dakar now has the most developed healthcare sector in the subregion. But we can also highlight finance, the gas and fuel sector, infrastructures, agri-food and even telecoms.
Is the Brussels region present in other African countries too?
C.M. : Yes – we have a new attaché in Tunis, where a post was created in January. The Brussels-Capital Region is also represented by economic and commercial attachés in Nairobi, Kenya, and Kinshasa, DRC. Thanks to a collaboration agreement between the regions, Brussels businesses can also make use of the Flemish and Walloon attachés present in other countries such as South Africa, Ivory Coast or even Egypt.
Is Africa therefore a destination of choice for our exporting companies in Brussels??
I.K. : Definitely. Having worked as an economic and commercial attaché in Africa for nearly 8 years, I have had plenty of time – and experience – to witness proof of this. I’m now ready and waiting for you in Dakar!
Want to be part of one of our missions to Sub-Saharan Africa? Contract Carole and Ivan!
Area Manager sub-Saharan Africa
Tel : +32 2 800 40 29
Mail : firstname.lastname@example.org
Economic and Commercial Attaché
Tel : +254 20 405 20 90
Mail : email@example.com