The Africa Strategy of the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade acknowledges the need to build on its successful development cooperation programme by seeking deeper political and economic relations with Africa. This approach recognises the role of the private sector in investing in Africa, developing key infrastructure and services, contributing to economic growth and creating much needed employment. Irish firms make a considerable impact on development in Africa through job creation and employ over 13,000 people in South Africa and 15,000 in West Africa. This pilot project aims to provide Irish companies with relevant information on EDF contracts in Africa in order to facilitate and increase their participation in the tendering process. The project is also aligned to the Department of Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation’s Action Plan, which is aimed at assisting indigenous businesses to grow, as well as assisting small companies to participate in large contracts.
Winning business through EDF contracts is a low risk entry point into the African market as funding is pre-approved. The contracts are subject to the EU’s terms and conditions and often contracted directly with the EU institutions.
An awareness and understanding of where funding is likely to emerge and how it will be allocated are vital to tendering for projects. The Winning Business in Africa project seeks to increase Irish companies’ awareness of the EDF opportunities available. The added services of enhanced analysis and related training will increase companies’ participation in the tendering process.