U.S.-Africa Business Success Stories: How a Supplier of Powerboats to the U.S. Military Started Doing Business in Nigeria
Note: This post is part of the U.S.-Africa Business Success Stories series highlighting the work of the Department of Commerce to strengthen the economic relationship between U.S. and African businesses. This series will lead up to the U.S. Africa Business Forum on August 5th, the first of its kind event, which will convene African heads of state and government, U.S. government officials and business leaders to discuss trade and investment opportunities on the continent.
Hann Powerboats’ customers include the United States Air Force, United States Navy, and the United States Army Corps of Engineers – and now, because of assistance that the company received from the Department of Commerce, they can add another name to their impressive list: the Nigerian oil and gas company, MOP Marine.
businesses like Hann Powerboats are increasingly seeing tremendous economic
opportunity in Africa, and the reason why is simple: Africa is thriving. From
1995 to 2013, Africa experienced an average annual GDP growth rate of 4.5
percent. In 2012, eight of the twenty fastest growing economies in the world
were in sub-Saharan Africa, and, according to the IMF, in 2013, total U.S.
two-way goods with the region were $63 billion. Africa’s potential to be the
world’s next major economic story is why businesses in the United States, like
Hann Powerboats, want to offer their products, services, and expertise to help
unlock even more of Africa’s potential – that is why the Obama Administration
and the Department of Commerce remain committed to assisting American
businesses in finding opportunity in this economically expanding region.
Hann Powerboats became interested in expanding its business to Africa when it was approached by a potential client in Nigeria to secure MOP Marine’s need for patrol boats. Hann Powerboats asked for assistance from the Tampa Bay U.S. Export Assistance Center (USEAC) and the U.S. Commercial Service (CS) team in Lagos to help with vetting this potential partner, and CS Lagos was able to facilitate meetings between Hann Powerboats and MOP Marine. The Tampa Bay USEAC then helped put Hann Powerboats in touch with the Nigerian Embassy in Washington D.C. to help with them acquire proper documentation. The result of this assistance allowed Hann Powerboats to make sales to MOP Marine for over $4 million.