In economies like Ghana and Nigeria where the local currency’s value is very likely to drop against major currencies, earning foreign exchange becomes a great cushion to the value of your income. The world is becoming a single marketplace for goods and service – without boundaries, aided by international trade and the internet. Ghana for instance exported goods of value $10.2 bn in 2014 according to OEC. Among top destinations of Ghana’s exports are Switzerland ($1.73bn), China ($1.06bn), France ($939M), India ($789M) and the Netherlands ($778M).
The market for indigenous foods such as yams, potatoes, fruits and vegetables are also goods you can export for foreign exchange. There are a lot of standards (international and/or country-specific) your goods have to meet before they are accepted. Always make sure you meet all standards before you ship your products, else they would not be accepted in the destination country.
Medicated Body Creams and Medicines
Ghana, Nigeria and some sub-Saharan countries are noted for the efficacy of their herbal-based medications. However, in some parts of the world some of these medications are in short supply or are not even aware of the existence of such potent treatments. If you partner with a local firm in your destination country, you seek agreements with local manufacturers of these treatments/medicines to become a sole distributor in those countries, you’re on your way to earning large sums of money. However, you must seek clearance from local authorities and satisfy or food and drugs requirements/licensing.
The growing population of Africans in the Diasporas is an indication of a growing market for African clothes and accessories. Patronage may not be as high as it is back home but once a market is identified and quality products supplied, you are definitely in business. Products shipped outside the continent are often priced higher than those on the local market. The US, UK and Europe are profitable markets.
Services via Internet
Digital marketing, data entry, designing, blogging, news reportage, accounting services, are some services you can provide to clients outside the continent or your country and get paid in foreign currency. Your only job here is to look for organizations that provide such opportunities. The internet will be of great help. Once you do, and sign up for the service, the rest is up to you –how much work you are willing to put in for money. Often you only get paid for work done so it’s up to you to work hard.
U can upload a lot of images that you own on the internet for onward sale. There are many sites where you can create your account and begin uploading images. To make more money, make sure your photos are original and especially appropriate for use by global brands who are willing to pay for them and use them as part of their social media marketing. You have to be a good photographer, but amateurs can also earn decent income in this business.
Alcoholic and non-Alcoholic Beverages
Raw materials are not the only products you can export. There are finished products in Ghana and other African countries you can export for money. Some notable brands (I won’t mention here) in the beverage industry (alcoholic and non-alcoholic) are yet to expand beyond the boundaries of Ghana. Taking the lead to become a sole agent in some countries would make you rich. We have already heard the success stories of how some local alcoholic beverages are doing when exported to some parts of the continent. The acceptance of Alomo in Nigeria is a good example.
This may require big capital but it’s very lucrative. You must get your measurements and standards right. African countries abound in this resource but there is also growing concerns about how these are grown and harvested, and importantly sustainability steps adopted in your business.
Exports from African countries are a sure way to earn fairly stable income. Margins are often better if you export in large quantities. There are many products and services you can export. In subsequent posts, I will look at another set of products.