Negative Media Hinders U.S. Entry in African Markets

Gene Detroyer, Executive Director of Global Commerce Education, was invited to be a featured panelist at the 2018 African Trade and Investment Global Summit (ATIGS), which brought 2000 delegates from 70 countries to Washington D.C. for 3 days. The topic under discussion, “Africa and the United States: A defining relationship of the 21st century”, addressed the promotion of commerce and investment in the African market, equitable collaboration and trade and investment policies.

Gene discussed the misimpressions that American businesses have regarding Africa, propagated through the media’s portrayal of famine, war and waste on the continent. He highlighted the lack of positive press coverage - namely of the vibrant cities, valuable resources and hardworking citizens living in the 54 countries of Africa.

The other panelists agreed wholeheartedly when Gene shared his position that, “Until that image shifts to a more positive one in the minds of business leaders, the U.S. will continue to miss out on the great opportunities the African continent offers.” According to Gene, we need to see a change in how Africa is covered by our media so that the success stories are shared widely in our business community.” Only then will we begin to take advantage of such a wealth of possibilities in the African market.

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