Public procurements in Africa : - the way to Swedish success

University essay from Linköpings universitet/Institutionen för ekonomisk och industriell utveckling


Africa is a poor continent with many of the worlds least developed countries. The latest years the Swedish export to Africa has diminished, at the same time Sweden continues to be a big contributor of aid funds to the continent. However, trade in all its form contribute to prosperity in the trading countries which indicates that the trade with Sweden could help Africa to develop into a bigger and more important economy. Also, since trade increases a country’s welfare, both the Swedish and African societies could benefit from an increased trade between the countries.

By getting involved in public procurements in Africa the Swedish companies would get an economic security in the otherwise quite risky market. The public procurements could also mean a way to enter the market or to increase the market shares in Africa. This Thesis is focused on public procurements from the African Development Bank, mostly since Sweden is a big contributor in the bank but only a few Swedish companies has won contracts from the bank and also because many studies has not been made regarding their procurement process.

By using theories mainly from project marketing and networking, the market of public procurements in the African Development Bank, the process and the ways to succeed on this market has been studied.

It has been showed that the competition for the procurements from the bank is hard, and that the Swedish companies have not been successful. There are many underlying reasons for this, one of the most important being the fact that the Swedish companies have not even been interested in participating in the procurements since they find the market, the process and the bank to complicated. New possibilities are emerging on the market with the African Development Bank improving the efficiency of the procurement process, more lobbying being performed from the Swedish Foreign Ministry and also the growing African market, which makes this market more interesting and could mean new opportunities for the Swedish companies.

To improve the Swedish statistics in winning contracts from the bank the Swedish companies need to improve their networking to a great extent. Personal contacts and relationships are extremely important in making business in Africa and also when making bids on procurements from the bank. From the relationships in Africa, the Swedish companies can receive early information about upcoming projects in order to prepare the bid and market the company early. The Swedish companies must be more proactive in their marketing and visit Africa more often, as well as matching the needs with their offer to a better extent than today. It is important for the companies to have a long-term strategy when entering the African procurement market and not to resist too easily. Hard work and many resources will be spent before being awarded with the first contract and thereafter one success will lead to others.

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