Supported by the NTF IV programme, ten Senegalese companies, specialising in digital innovation, went to Abidjan from 5th to 9th November. Under the aegis of ASEPEX and OPTIC, the prospecting mission enabled the delegation to discover the Ivorian business environment and to make contact with potential clients and partners. This nascent propinquity should encourage business cooperation in the digital sector between Senegal and the Côte d'Ivoire. The two countries demonstrating the most dynamic economies in Western Africa.
Towards an inter-regional partnership
The Côte d'Ivoire is attractive due to its geographical proximity to Senegal, but also because of its ambition to make digital a real driving force. The recent creation of the Village of Information Technologies and Biotechnology (VITIB) is a revealing indicator of this. Indeed, the Senegalese delegation was welcomed at the heart of this technological showcase which encourages investment and installation projects. Altogether, more than 70 targeted business meetings were organised over the course of the operational mission.
As a business diplomat, the Senegalese Agency for the promotion of exports (ASEPEX) ensured the smooth running of these encounters and the quality of the discussions. "All the actors of the digital ecosystem were represented: Ivorian management representatives as well as operators from the IT and communication sector. We also met with supervisory ministries and the Senegalese ambassador in Abidjan. In fact, we were able to mingle with the whole value chain from the ICT sector. We're optimistic regarding future business opportunities", enthused Bathie Ciss, ASEPEX General Secretary.
Côte d'Ivoire: a high-priority partner
Mamadou Oumar Diop is the manager of business development at FINETECH, a consulting and audit firm that provides services in information systems. Member of the delegation, he bears witness to its success: "There's no doubt that this mission has allowed us to approach new partners in the banking, microfinance and agribusiness sectors". Worldwide primary producer of cocoa and cashew nuts, the Côte d'Ivoire exercises considerable economic influence in the sub-region.
Optimising alliances between Senegal and the Côte d'Ivoire therefore, makes perfect sense. "This prospecting mission has enabled us to begin establishing relations with high-level contacts. We have also re-encountered some of our Ivorian clients. No better way to maintain and strengthen business relations", said the FINETECH representative. Indirectly, this mission has also contributed to burgeoning collaborations between Senegalese entrepreneurs who recognise that their synergy could lead to new opportunities. Conclusive, it should incite new initiatives towards the other states of the West African Economic and Monetary Union.
True to its vocation of supporting Senegalese companies in exports, ASEPEX is already looking to Mali, Togo, Benin and Burkina Faso. An outlook endorsed by Mamadou Oumar Diop: "We look forward to being able to renew such an inspirational experience in French-speaking sub-Saharan Africa".