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Brilliant Failures and Best Practices – West Africa

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What is this Workshop about?

Based on recent United Nations data, the current population of West Africa (recognized by the African Union as consisting of 15 countries) is approximately 349 million. Separately, the 14 member states of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) represent one-third of sub-Saharan Africa’s total population. The accumulative GDP is projected to sustain 6.1% growth in 2016. As the largest economy on the continent, Nigeria alone accounted for nearly 78 percent of ECOWAS’ GDP in 2015.

West Africa is the EU’s largest trading partner in Sub-Saharan Africa, and likewise, the EU is West Africa’s largest trading partner. The EU supplies a large part of the equipment that contributes to economic growth and development in the region and is the main export market for West African agricultural and fisheries products.

Three countries, Ivory Coast, Ghana and Nigeria, account for 80% of West Africa’s exports to the EU. In terms of sectors, West Africa’s exports to the EU consist mainly of fuels and food products. West Africa’s imports from the EU consist of fuels, food products, machinery, and chemicals and pharmaceutical products. EU – West Africa trade in services is expanding, covering notably transportation and logistics, travel, and business services.

Already speaking at this workshop, moderated by Fleur Hoog Antink from the Ghana Netherlands Business & Culture Council:


Fleur Hoog Antink (Managing Director GNBCC) has an MSc in Latin American and Caribbean Studies (Social Sciences) and an MA in American Studies (Humanities). Parts of her studies she did in Argentina and in the United States, and she did an internship at the Dutch embassy in Costa Rica.

She is in Ghana since March 2014, when she began working at GHANECC/NABC. During late 2014 Fleur worked on transforming GHANECC towards a broader organisation offering more services to its members and non-members, and a closer cooperation with NABC. She did this together with a consultant, the GHANECC board and NABC.

Speakers include:

Caecilia T.M. Wijgers – Deputy Head of Mission at the Embassy of Ghana in Netherlands

Pieter Niekus – Manager International Desk Africa at Rabobank

– Laureen Astrid Kouassi-Olsson – Investiment Director at Amethis Finance

– Saqib Nazir – Chief Executive Officer at Interpay Africa

– Edward Effah – Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer at Fidelity Bank

For this workshop, we would like the panelists to highlight their study cases related to interesting and innovative ways of investing in and / or with Africa. In order to make it as concrete as possible for the audience we will ask each speaker to come up with 3 Best Practices and 1 failure.

For more information about the workshops, feel free to get in touch with our Head of Operations: Heleen Keijer: +31 (0)70 304 3621 or via africaworks@nabc.nl.