Trade Mission

Exploratory Trade Mission to Senegal and Côte d’Ivoire

May 13, 2024 — May 17, 2024

Join the Virginia Economic Development Partnership (VEDP), the U.S. Commercial Service, and Prosper Africa on this first-of-its-kind trade mission for Virginia companies to explore business opportunities in the public and private sectors in Senegal and Côte d’lvoire.

Africa is home to the world’s largest free trade area, growing economies, and a young and increasingly urban and digitally connected population. Specifically, West Africa is demographically and economically one of the world’s fastest-growing regions. Consisting of 15 countries with almost 400 million people, West Africa is projected to represent roughly 15 percent of the global population growth over the next two decades. The region’s unfulfilled demand for goods and services presents important opportunities for Virginia companies in industries such as technology, cybersecurity, ports, education, manufacturing, agriculture, and infrastructure. Senegal and Côte d’Ivoire are two gateway markets for the West Africa region. Understanding the unique challenges Virginia companies face in navigating and pursuing business in Africa, VEDP and its partners will equip mission participants with valuable knowledge and support in these two key emerging markets.

Côte d’Ivoire, also known as Ivory Coast, is experiencing one of the fastest sustained economic growth rates in Sub-Saharan Africa. In 2022, the country’s Vision 2030 was announced to transform the economy of Côte d’lvoire by revitalizing the private sector and investing in infrastructure, education, and technology. Côte d’lvoire plays a central role as a regional economic hub for West African nations and is a receptive market for American goods and services. Top industries for export from U.S. companies include:

  • Agriculture, agricultural technologies, and value-added agribusiness processing
  • Power generation and renewable energy
  • IT services and cybersecurity
  • Ports
  • Digital economy
  • Banking and financial services
  • Insurance
  • Infrastructure

Senegal is the African continent’s westernmost point, and through its geography and participation in the Economic Community of West African states (ECOWAS) can serve as a gateway to the region. Senegal has experienced continued economic growth over the last decade, and the country has ambitious goals to generate private investment and address barriers to social and economic growth through the President’s Emerging Senegal Plan (PSE), generating a number of market opportunities for Virginia companies. With a population of nearly 18 million people, Senegal offers an attractive location for companies looking to serve the West African regional market. Top sectors with potential for U.S. companies include:

  • Oil and gas
  • Power generation
  • Automobiles and automotive parts
  • Aircraft
  • Equipment for construction, agriculture, and telecommunications
  • Cybersecurity, customized software and programming, and computer equipment.
  • Several major infrastructure projects planned will require support for roads, electrical distribution, fiber optic cables, construction, and hospital and healthcare services and equipment.

Registration Deadline


Nathan Day
International Trade Manager, South Central Region
Hannah Robertson-Forrest
Grants Manager

Frequently Asked Questions

We anticipate that 12 - 15 Virginia companies will participate. The registration process is ongoing until the trade mission is full or the registration deadline has passed.

You must pay the trade mission participation fee of $500 to the VEDP upon confirmation of market suitability by the U.S. Commercial Service. This is will formally register your company for the trade mission. The participation fee includes the following: 

  • Identifying, contacting and pre-qualifying local distributors, reps and/or partners and organization of your meetings with interested prospects
  • Welcome reception in each country
  • A “Doing Business In” briefing on the markets
  • Your VEDP Trade Mission Leader and in-country consultant on hand during the week to ensure everything runs to plan
  • Interpreter if needed

All travel expenses including airfare, hotels, meals, individual ground transportation are to be paid directly by each participant. Additional estimated costs you will incur include (but are not limited to):

  • Roundtrip airfare
  • Hotels (7 nights)
  • Meals
  • Airport transfers, taxis, and other miscellaneous items

In most cases, meetings will occur at the hotel in a meeting room hosted by VEDP each day of the trade mission. If a meeting is scheduled at a local business, our consultants will recommend the most effective method of transportation. This will likely be a local car/driver.


If required, interpreters will be provided for meetings and are included in your registration fee.

Airline tickets: You book (and pay for) your own airline ticket via local travel agent or online air travel website. If you do not have a travel agent, the Trade Mission Leader can recommend one for you.

Hotels: VEDP will choose the hotel(s) and make reservations at a pre-negotiated government rate for each delegate. However, delegates will be responsible for their own hotel charges throughout the mission. All delegates will stay at the same hotel in order to facilitate logistics as well as to encourage the interaction and networking that is always a collateral benefit of traveling with a group.  You will pay all hotel room charges directly to the hotel.


Contact your local International Trade Manager or the Trade Mission Leader immediately! We only want you to make the trip if we think there is good market potential for your company. We can perform exploratory market research within a short period of time to verify market potential for you. 

Additionally, after registering your interest, we will request information from your company in order for the U.S. Commercial Service to conduct a market suitability assessment in either or both countries. This will be conducted prior to paying the registration fee to confirm demand for your company’s product or service in the market(s). Please also note that participating companies are required to meet U.S. Commercial Service standards to be eligible – this includes a requirement that companies have 51% U.S. content or products of U.S. origin.