Francisco A. Laguna & Wojciech Kornacki
The U.S. Department of Defense established the U.S. Africa Command (AFRICOM) in 2007. Since then, AFRICOM has expanded its operations and spending across 38 out of 54 African nations. The increased involvement of the U.S. Department of Defense and AFRICOM in the continent offers enormous potential for international business opportunities relating to U.S. procurement, construction and defense law, as well as interactions with various African states.
As Al-Qaeda operators began to shift their focus from Central Asia to several African nations with weak national governments, the U.S. Department of Defense determined that it needed a concrete presence in Africa to strengthen the defense capabilities of states and regional organizations to deter and defeat transnational threats and to foster rule of law and good governance. Each fiscal year, Congress has allocated more and more funding for AFRICOM; from $274 million in fiscal year 2010, to $276 million in fiscal year 2012. This trend is likely to continue, and the amounts do not include covert funding.
Today, most of the AFRICOM’s spending is directed toward training and equipping various African Armed Forces, increasing security and the rule of law and actively participates in media communications and public relations messages. AFRICOM is also heavily engaged in Northern Africa, where its mission overlaps with CENTCOM’s mission (U.S. Central Command). Thus, any business in the sectors of technology, security, anti-terrorism, public relations, and the rule of law sector has a role to play in AFRICOM’s mission for Africa.
AFRICOM is mostly located in Stuttgart, Germany, and parts of Italy and Spain. Its first and, thus far, only African-based camp is Camp Lemonnier in Djibouti. There are several thousand service members stationed there. Djibouti is strategically located along the world’s busiest maritime shipping routes.
Conducting business with the U.S. Government is a challenging endeavor. There are numerous rules and regulations that affect all aspects of one’s business relationship. TransLegal can assist you from submitting technical proposals, and anti-corruption compliance, to proper reporting on prohibitions against human trafficking.
Knowledge of the rules will assist you in increasing your profits without spending your time and resources on compliance. We can assist you specifically in:
- Government procurement;
- Foreign Corrupt Practice Act compliance;
- Contract Management Compliance;
- African Government Engagement
- Suspension and debarment;
- International contracting; and
- Training and Consulting;
Business leaders and entrepreneurs who seek to seize on the new opportunities that AFRICOM presents for Africa, should contract TransLegal. We offer multi-level strategic business advice on issues and concerns that will help you succeed in Africa.