The Joe Biden administration is eager to start discussing how it can apply its ‘build back better’ mantra to commerce with Africa when it ... virtually hosts the continent’s trade ministers this week. For their part, America's African partners want to make sure that Washington doesn’t bulldoze their two-decade-old, duty-free access to the US market in the process.
France has become more and more involved in Nigeria in recent years. There are particular individuals that have proved vital to this process.
Appointed CEO of TotalEnergies – formerly Total – in 2014, Pouyanné comes from the Elf branch of the organisation, having served as general secretary to the Angolan unit of Elf before it was absorbed into Total in 2000.
In May he announced TotalEnergies’ “intention to transform itself into a multi-energy company to respond to the twin challenges faced by energy transitions: more energy and fewer emissions.”
Nigeria is central to the fortunes of TotalEnergies and a key profit driver. Many of the top Nigeria directors go on to leadership positions in the organisation.
Haas represented the French national defence industry for sales in West Africa from the early 1980s, founded Relais International consultants and spent the next decades representing Dassault, Alstom, Airbus, Naval Group and others in South Africa and Nigeria. President Emmanuel Macron asked Haas to take over coordination of the France-Nigeria Business Council in 2020.
France’s ambassador to Nigeria since 2018, previously in South Korea and Croatia, Pasquier has overseen a number of French investments in Nigeria. He recently led a trade delegation to Cross River State and to visit the deep-sea port under construction in the Lekki Free Zone, which will be operated by French logistics giant CMA CGM. He will also oversee the restitution of artworks looted from the kingdom of Benin.
Having started out running the family car business, Reister is now the minister delegate for foreign trade and economic attractiveness. He is deeply involved in the quest for new markets in Africa, travelling to Nigeria, Senegal and Côte d’Ivoire in recent months to sell President Macron’s New Deal for Africa. He previously served as culture minister.
French hydrocarbons group Axens had failed in several previous bids for refinery contracts. So when the technology partner contract for BUA Group’s refinery was put out to tender, Axens fought hard to head off strong competition from the US company Honeywell UOP, according to sources close to the bid. In 2020 BUA Group finally chose Axens, a deal emblematic of the new Franco-Nigerian cooperation.
This article was first published in The Africa Report’s print magazine.
Understand Africa's tomorrow... today
We believe that Africa is poorly represented, and badly under-estimated. Beyond the vast opportunity manifest in African markets, we highlight people who make a difference; leaders turning the tide, youth driving change, and an indefatigable business community. That is what we believe will change the continent, and that is what we report on. With hard-hitting investigations, innovative analysis and deep dives into countries and sectors, The Africa Report delivers the insight you need.View subscription options