25 SMEs in Dakar to develop business with their African partners

The pandemic had suspended human ties and relations between the countries of sub-Saharan Africa and our region. 25 companies returned from a mission to Dakar, Senegal which took place over five days from June 26-30 with promising projects and developments. New fact, this mission combined the energies of the Rising Sud development agency and the Africalink network.

Remember that Africalink was born on the initiative of the Marseille Provence Chamber of Commerce and Industry, with Denis Bergé, general delegate and Frédéric Ronal, vice-president of the CCI as facilitators, and that it had the support of the Métropole Aix-Marseille Provence. The independent management of the association was ensured by the members (more than 170, 40% of whom are from Africa), but a link, long delicate, with the Region was missing. In the scale of the responsibilities of the local authorities, it is indeed the Region which finances, and the economy, and the attractiveness, and the export activities through the Team Sud Export.

In March 2022, says Hicham El Mérini, co-president, “We have established links with the Region and we now have a relationship of trust with Bernard Kleynhoff, chairman of the economic and digital development, industry, export, attractiveness and cybersecurity commission, chairman of Rising Sud. We have therefore brought our two projects together to form a single mission. Rising Sud provided co-financing to ten companies, including five members of Africalink, and our network also mobilized about fifteen entrepreneurs from our region. The Business France teams have worked remarkably well to understand the expectations of SMEs and prepare effective, productive and intense B2B meetings, on average a dozen over the three days. »

Meeting Africalink, Rising Sud, South Region, CCI Aix Marseille Provence with Amadou Hott, Minister of Economy, Planning and Cooperation of Senegal. © Africalink RD

Denis Bergé specifies that the alliance of institutional meetings and links directs the companies has worked really, very well.» The delegation was received by the French Ambassador and his team. She was able to visit the port of Dakar, she met the SME development agency and the CCI of Dakar which had mobilized about twenty of its members in coherence with the sectors present.

Africalink and the South Region received by the CCI of Dakar © Africalink

We have special relations with Senegal»

yves delafon

Yves Delafon, past-president offered with the bank he manages, BCI Banque, a cocktail to the members to which he had invited his customers from the territory. We havehe said particular relations, with Senegal, there is a cultural proximity with the language and that are media adventures the affection of its inhabitants. It is a stable country, which is experiencing real, serious organized development, with the discovery of new gas resources at the maritime border between Mauritania and Senegal, it is a quantity of gas estimated at 1,400 billion cubic meters! The ramping up of BP’s “Great Tortoise” mining project guarantees Senegal and Mauritania resources that will accelerate development, notably through public-private partnership projects allowing our SMEs to take an interest. We can access these markets with alliances between SMEs in Senegal and French SMEs, provided that the BPI provides its guarantee for the joint ventures and that we have the capacity to do the engineering.»

Real estate clubs cooperate © Club Immobilier DR

In the field of real estate, following on from Dakar 2020, a partnership agreement was signed between the Club de l’immobilier Marseille Provence and that of Senegal as part of the Real Estate Day in early July in Marseille and this sector offers opportunities in a country that builds a lot but needs more controlled and more sustainable town planning.

This hybrid mission format, partnership, successful Denis Bergé gives very good results and we have a very high rate of satisfaction among entrepreneurs.»

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