The Eastern Trade Council (ETC) organized an informational session on business opportunities in Africa for U.S. companies in preparation for a Virtual Trade Mission to Africa scheduled for May 2021.

The Eastern Trade Council is a 501(c)(3) non-partisan, not-for-profit organization dedicated to strengthening state and regional economic competitiveness in the global marketplace. Established in 1998, the ETC is the only regional organization dedicated to helping small and medium sized businesses gain access to overseas markets. The ETC promotes cooperative approaches amongst the 10 northeastern states and is committed to increasing regional exports, creating jobs, and enhancing the competitiveness of the eastern region in the international marketplace. The ETC assists northeastern companies export goods and services through a variety of regionally oriented projects. Membership consists of the state trade directors or their designees from the 10 northeastern states: Connecticut, Delaware, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, and Vermont.


  • Africa, a continent of more than 1.3 billion people, includes many of the fastest-growing national economies on Earth. The youthful entrepreneurial African middle class is growing significantly, allowing for many opportunities across a range of consumer, industrial, and resource sectors.
  • The African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) was enacted in January 2021 to move the entire African continent into one common market. This is the largest common market in the world by geography and is forecast to be the largest in terms of population by 2050.
  • Business opportunities for U.S. companies are present across a wide variety of industry sectors, including:
    • Agricultural / Food Processing Technology
    • Education
    • Healthcare and Medical Devices
    • Information Technology
    • Mining/ Related Equipment

The informational session included an overview of the economics and demographics that drive growth across Africa, in addition to highlighting business opportunities for U.S. companies across industry sectors and presenting plans for ETC’s Virtual Trade Mission to Africa in May 2021.

Companies interested in doing business in Africa and learning more about how to approach this dynamic and diverse region are encouraged to participate.

The session was presented by Richard Zurba, director of Zurcom International (Pty) Ltd. Zurcom is an export trade promotion firm with two decades of experience assisting American firms entering the African marketplace. The firm maintains a staff across Africa to enable in-person and virtual missions to have a wide array of country markets represented in an Africa-based mission.

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