View over Cape Town with Table Mountain

Ahlan wa sahlan! Sawubona! Habari!

Welcome to Africa. The second largest and second most populous continent, Africa is known for its wealth of natural resources, rich culture and extensive history. It’s also home to the world’s longest river, the Nile.

Africa is undergoing a major transformation as its nations open up their extensive energy and resource markets, and economic growth brings better living standards to millions of Africans. This change opens up exciting opportunities for New Zealand businesses ranging from sustainability and services to food and agritech.

If you’d like to find out more about making the most of these opportunities, download our Africa profiles on this page.

Quick facts

Here's a snapshot - you can find more detailed country data in our profiles.

 Export market ranking  Consolidated, Africa is NZ's 5th biggest export market (20161)
 Free trade agreements   None
 Ease of Doing Business ranking2  Range: Mauritius 25 to Angola 175 out of 190
 Corruption Perceptions Index ranking3  Range: Mauritius 54 to Angola 167 out of 176

1 Source -
2 World Bank Ease of Doing Business 2017
3 Corruption Perceptions Index 2017 

Getting to Africa

The busiest airline hubs in Africa are Cape Town, Durban and Johannesburg in South Africa, Casablanca and Marrakesh in Morocco and Cairo in Egypt. Flights from New Zealand to Africa have at least one stop. Airlines that can take you there include Air New Zealand, Qantas, Emirates and Etihad Airways, and it will take you at least 26 hours. 

When to visit

Africa ranges from being mostly hot and dry in the North, to equatorial with dry and rainy seasons in central and Southern parts of the continent. Summer spans June to September, with often extremely hot temperatures. National holidays such as Ramadan and Eid take place in many African countries. These are set by the moon sightings so the dates can change. It’s a good idea to familiarise yourself with these holiday periods as many businesses close during this time.

Before you go, check Safe Travel for travel advisories on African countries, and be sure to check the visa requirements and vaccination requirements for the specific country or countries you’re planning to visit. Some African countries won’t let you enter without required vaccinations.

Cultural tips 

Muslim countries in Africa share customs including bringing gifts when you visit someone’s home, taking your shoes off before you enter the house, and using your right hand to greet and eat.

From a business perspective, networking is the foundation of business in Africa. It’s also important to look your best for meetings, which are typically quite formal, and be prepared for meeting times to be fluid.

For more country-specific cultural tips, take a look at our profiles on this page.

Working in-market

Getting the most out of your visit means hitting the ground running. Co-working is an excellent option if you’re staying put for more than a few days. Facilities vary, but typically you can expect a desk, and access to wifi, printer / scanner, tea / coffee and a lounge area. Some facilities may offer extended perks such as parking and on-site cafes. If you’re visiting the market solo, it also means the chance to work in the company of other like-minded business people and freelancers. Co-working spaces can be searched by city on Nomad List

Connect with NZTE in Africa

If you’re an NZTE customer and preparing to visit Africa, please get in touch with your Customer Manager to discuss your plans and possible areas of assistance. If you don’t have a Customer Manager, contact our Advisor Team for more information.

If you're interested in connecting with NZTE's services in New Zealand, take a look at the services we offer.

New Zealand's relationship with Africa

If you're looking for more information about our trade and diplomatic relationship in Africa, take a look at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade website. Their Africa page is packed with information, including a list of embassies and details of recent official visits.

Algeria market profile

Angola market profile

Cote dIvoire market profile

Egypt market profile

Ethiopia market profile

Ghana market profile

Kenya market profile

Mauritius market profile

Morocco market profile

Mozambique market profile

Nigeria market profile

Senegal market profile

South Africa market profile

Tanzania market profile

Tunisia market profile

India, Middle East and Asia insights

Prepare for doing business in this region with our library of market guides, videos and resources.

  • I'm visiting my market. How can NZTE help me?

    If you’re an NZTE customer, please get in touch with your Customer Manager to discuss your plans and possible areas of assistance. If you don’t have a Customer Manager, contact our Advisor Team for more information.

  • I want to find an in-market distributor for my business
    NZTE doesn’t maintain lists of distributors for specific products and markets. We encourage companies to do as much of the initial search process as they can for themselves, while bringing in professional help where needed.

    You’ll find useful information on researching, finding and selecting the right distributor for you in our Export Essentials guide to understanding your channel partner options.
  • I want to find out about regulations and tariffs for export
    Regulations and tariffs should be one of the first things you find out before exporting. They often determine whether a market will be easy or hard for you to export to, or whether you should try to do business there at all.

    Understanding regulations in your export destination is a must-do. For an introduction to what you need to think about, see our guide on understanding international compliance requirements. This includes tips on how to research regulations, as well as insights on local regulations, standards, health and safety, and dealing with local bureaucracy.

    It’s a good idea to take a look at the rest of the international compliance process while you’re doing your work on regulations – see more information in our guide to understanding international compliance requirements.

    If you’re planning to export food or food-related products, you should also check out the food exporting page on the Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) website. MPI maintains a list of Overseas Market Access Requirements (OMARs) for New Zealand food products in different export markets – search and identify OMARs for your product online

    Tariffs can make your products more expensive and less attractive to overseas buyers, so you need to know the charges your products will attract before you commit to a new market.

    You can get a big head start in finding tariff information by using the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade (MFAT) tariff finder or the World Trade Organisation’s tariff download facility. You can search the databases by product name, but they work best when you know the approximate Harmonised System (HS) code for your product. HS codes are used by customs authorities around the world to identify products and apply tariffs. The longer the code is, the more precisely it describes your product. The first six digits of an HS code are usually the same worldwide – after that, there can be up to eight further digits, which often vary from country to country.

    New Zealand Customs can help you to find out the first six digits of your HS codes – email

    To get a longer and more precise HS code for a particular market, look up and contact the local customs authority online, or talk to a customs broker or freight forwarder who has done business in that market.
  • I want to find out about packaging and labelling for export
    Packaging and labelling requirements can be very different from country to country, so get as much information as you can before making the decision to export. 

    Depending on where your products will be sold, you might need to use different materials or labels, and include different types of information. In some countries, you might have to translate all your packaging or labels into the local language – in others, applying a sticker with a few key details will do the job. 

    Make sure that you check out all of the requirements for packaging and labelling before tackling a new market, including anything that’s needed during transport or distribution. 

    You’ll find more details on the kind of things you need to think about in our guide to understanding international compliance requirements.

    We suggest that you work with a customs broker or freight forwarder, or get advice from a lawyer in-market, to understand all the requirements for your product and the place where it’s headed. The Customs Broker and Freight Forwarder Federation (CBAFF) has a list of customs brokers and freight forwarders within New Zealand.

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