African News

10 Senegal tech firms visit Guinea to find new prospects

8 April 2024 at 19:32 | 1280 views

One of the most effective ways of getting started in exporting is through a business trip, to better understand a target market and to make contacts. Thanks to the Netherlands Trust Fund V (NTF V) project at the International Trade Centre (ITC), a dozen small Senegalese tech companies traveled to Conakry from 20-24 November to seize new business opportunities.

For Cheikh Sy, head of digital services company YOWIT, this business trip came at just the right time.

‘We already had a customer in Guinea, but we didn’t have enough time to look for new prospects. NTF V took care of scheduling around 10 sales meetings for us, with strategic prospects,’ he said. ‘We quickly signed our first contract with an Internet service provider, followed by two others with fuel distributors. Further discussions are currently underway. This mission has clearly exceeded our expectations.’

For Cheikh Sy, this is not the end of the story: he regularly returns to Conakry to assess the possibility of teaming up with a major local partner. For him, there’s no doubt that NTF V’s support has accelerated his export strategy.

‘This collegial visit saved us precious time, as well as encouraging synergies among the companies in the delegation. I’ve kept in touch with several of them with a view to possible partnerships,’ he said.

Supporting and facilitating export prospecting

Aristarc, a Dakar-based company that develops web and mobile applications, had already launched sales initiatives in Guinea when the opportunity for the business trip to Conakry arose.

For managing director Diyé Dia, the mission was a real boon.

‘While it’s a very effective way of gaining a better understanding of a foreign market and forging new relationships, business travel is still costly,’ he said. ‘Thanks to this mission, NTF V gave us the means to continue and strengthen the prospecting work we had begun in Guinea.’

With a particular interest in microfinance institutions, Aristarc was able to make seven key meetings with Guinean banking and insurance players.

‘It was very convenient because the interviews were planned in advance. To increase our chances of success, we extended our visit and offered our prospects two days of training. This was an opportunity for Aristarc to showcase its solutions and know-how.’

The initiative paid off, with the company issuing around 10 quotes. Discussions are ongoing, and Diyé Dia is confident.

‘NTF V is opening up new horizons for us. Last year we were in Ulan Bator, this year in Guinea. The strength of the program lies in its ability to get us involved in international events and to facilitate our access to prospects.’

Distributed by APO Group on behalf of International Trade Centre.