Export, Innovate, Invest - The Canadian Trade Commissioner Service

Join us in Africa!
Canada Trade Mission to Nigeria and Ghana


Dates: January 27th to February 1st 2013

Cities: Abuja, Lagos (Nigeria) and Accra (Ghana)


  • Extractive Industries (oil & gas [Nigeria] and mining [Ghana]),
  • Infrastructure (energy/power generation and mining-related infrastructure projects)

Led by: The Honourable Ed Fast, Minister of International Trade and Minister for the Asia-Pacific Gateway    

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The Markets:


Nigeria is the most populous country in Africa, occupying a strategic location in West Africa at the mouth of the Niger River. With a gross domestic product (GDP) of $241 billion, Nigeria is expected to grow by at least 5% per year for the next 5 years.

After decades in which Nigeria’s economic development languished, in the last few years, it has undertaken several economic reforms and has begun to be perceived very differently by business. Merchandise trade between Canada and Nigeria has more than tripled since 2006 to approximately $2.7 billion. Top merchandise exchange includes mineral fuels and oils, vehicles, cereals, cacao, machinery and equipment and aerospace products. Conspicuous by its absence in the African context is mining, although Nigerian federal and state governments very much want Canadian investment in this sector. The newly formed Nigerian Canadian Business Association (NCBA), with 22 members, is based in Lagos and is determined to assist Canadian and Nigerian companies in reaching their target to double trade to $6 billion by 2015.


Ghana located in West Africa, is one of the world’s fastest growing economies. In 2012, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) reported the economy grew 14.4% in 2011 and is expected to grow 8.2% in 2012. Driving this growth is the continued prosperity of the gold mining industry (Africa’s 2nd largest), high gold prices, and cocoa export. Approximately 100 Canadian companies are currently active in Ghana (47 with offices and the balance agents), and the two countries had over $320 million in two-way trade in 2011. Overall, in the West African context, Ghana is seen as a safe, politically stable business environment with a predictable, regulated business environment and a respect for the rule of law. This stability prompts many companies to use Ghana as a service hub for all of West Africa.

Export Development Canada (EDC) supports the trade mission to these key markets in Africa.

Extractive Industries (Oil & Gas and Mining)

Nigeria (Oil & Gas)

As Africa’s leading oil producer, Nigeria accounted for about 27% of African and 2.9% of total world crude oil production in 2011. The oil industry currently provides 95% of export earnings and approximately 40% of budgetary revenues. Nigeria was designated compliant with the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI), a global standard for transparency in the oil, gas, and mining sectors in 2011, indicating that Nigeria had fulfilled the minimum criterion of annually declaring its extractive sector revenues.

The Nigerian government has pledged to reform the oil and gas industry. Nigeria’s oil minister, a former Royal Dutch Shell executive, is leading the government’s efforts to pass and implement the ambitious Petroleum Industry Bill, which is aimed at increasing transparency in the industry, attracting investors, and creating jobs.

Currently, there are significant opportunities for Canadian oil and gas equipment, services and technology companies in Nigeria.

Ghana (Mining)

Ghana contains the second-largest area of gold deposits in Africa and is ranked 8th globally in terms of gold production. In 2011, Ghana produced 100 tonnes of gold, by comparison Canada produced an estimated 110 tonnes and was seventh in global production in the same timeframe. The nation derives the bulk of its external revenue from gold mining, which accounts for the majority of Ghana's total mineral export value. Formerly known as the Gold Coast, Ghana is a mineral-rich country with a long history in mining.

There are 19 confirmed Canadian mining companies investing in Ghana mining worth approximately $3 billion. All but one of these investments is in gold. Not surprisingly, there are opportunities in associated equipment and services needed for these and other foreign mining companies. These opportunities also overlap into a number of areas in the burgeoning oil & gas sector which holds great promise. As the gold price continues to climb, the urgency for supporting equipment and services increases.

Who should participate?

Manufacturers, developers and research entities with experience in:

  • the extractive sector namely mining, and oil & gas;
  • support services such as consulting services for water, geology, surveying, lab services, Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) experts, resettlement, and environment experts;
  • schools and technical institutes for mining studies and related studies particularly for offerings of speciality courses.

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(Energy/power generation and mining-related infrastructure projects)


Due to the growing infrastructure needs and an energy shortfall, the Nigerian government has made power generation a key part of its economic strategy, pledging to increase electricity generation more than six fold over the next decade. Efforts to privatize power stations and distribution companies are underway.

Recently, the government has recognized the need to diversify the economy beyond oil, and the mining sector has been identified as a priority sector. Nigeria is a country with vast untapped and diversified mineral resources. Some of these deposits are gold and uranium, iron ore, coal, bitumen, zinc, tantalite, columbite, precious and semi-precious stones, among others. Substantial opportunities exist for traditional and renewable energy firms as well as mining-related infrastructure companies in Nigeria.


The state of infrastructure in Ghana is challenged by growing economic activity, however to accommodate and foster further expected growth there is an urgent need for rapid investment in infrastructure. Three areas where there are strong linkages between Canadian capabilities and expertise and the needs of Ghana are in the power generation, transportation and construction sub-sectors.

In late 2011, a $3 billion loan facility from China was agreed to, and will be used to upgrade port infrastructure, gas transportation and processing infrastructure, and the rehabilitation of rail lines. There is a great deal of investment in infrastructure beyond this loan facility. The majority of financing in Ghana takes the form of syndicated loans through either the International Finance Corporation, or some of the private banks in Ghana and overseas.

Ghana is now well positioned to be making major infrastructure investments. In February 2012, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) completed its fifth review of Ghana’s economic performance under a programme supported by the Extended Credit Facility. In addition to a $92 million disbursement to the country, the Fund’s Executive Board also approved a modification of a performance criterion related to Ghana’s non-concessional borrowing limit to provide additional room to scaled-up infrastructure investment.

Ghana continues to successfully attract foreign investments for infrastructure to support the growing economy, including the oil and gas industry. Opportunities exist related to power generation and transmission especially for solar and biomass technologies. At present, installed power generation is at 2000mw, another 500mw is under construction and another 2500mw is being planned of which 80% will be gas fired. There are opportunities for smart grids and for auto voltage control capability systems as well as metering. Specialized civil works, such as hospitals, are also being planned.

Who should participate?

Companies, universities and research institutes with experience in:

  • renewable energy alternatives, particularly in solar and bio-fuels;
  • R&D/innovation collaboration and partnerships in energy and mining-related infrastructure construction and engineering (such as transportation and construction sub-sectors);
  • specialized construction developments such as hospitals.

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Additional Market Information:



For more information contact:

Carrie Marr
Trade Commissioner
Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada
Tel.: 613-995-9293