Irish businesses in Africa get trade push

August 11, 2010

IRISH BUSINESSES in Africa will be supported by a new Government push to boost trade on the continent, Minister for Foreign Affairs Micheál Martin has confirmed.

Mr Martin said Ireland’s network of embassies would be used in the drive to identify new contacts that could help Irish businesses get access to key markets.

“As a first step, I intend to instruct our missions in Africa to give greater priority to promoting economic and business links with Ireland,” the Minister said. He added that while this was being done already in a number of countries, he believed more could be achieved. The Minister also said he would be seeking to develop alumni networks of Africa-based professionals who were educated in Ireland, while Irish Aid would be asked to support a business promotion event in Dublin that has been proposed by African ambassadors who are resident here.

On a State visit to Ethiopia last month, the Minister said Irish companies could no longer afford to ignore business opportunities in Africa and that the development of trade links would benefit Irish businesses and Africans alike.

Companies who already trade successfully between Ireland and Africa include Medentech, a Wexford-based business that sells more than 40 per cent of its water purification tablets in Africa, while Irish companies are also active in the mobile payment services market in Ethiopia.