With €3.6 billion in bilateral trade in 2017, Nigeria remains France’s leading trading partner in sub-Saharan Africa and also the second largest recipient of Foriegn Direct Investment (FDI) from France. Although there are over 120 French companies that are actively engaged in Nigeria, their activities majorly cover sectors such as petrochemicals, industrial products (heavy equipment, metal products, pharmaceuticals) and construction.
Nevertheless, the dynamism of the trade relations has changed in favour of other sectors such as agriculture, smart cities, transport, renewable energy and digital technology.
The recent visit of Monsieur Emmanuel Macron, President of France, to Nigeria in July 2018 is, in fact, a sign of a strong interest in promoting trade, business, and social ties between both countries, with a focus on private sector involvement across strategic sectors as emphasis was placed on the creative sector as well as the startup or tech ecosystem..
Nigeria, representing one of the MINT countries, has experienced in recent times an increased level of foreign investments in the digital and technology sector, compared to other African countries. In 2017, the country raised ($114.6million) startup funding in the digital space (according to Quartz). Yabacon Valley (YV) is seen as the Silicon Valley of Africa because of the rising establishments of tech hubs by international and national investors including state governments, banks, and international digital companies. In addition, the recent announcements of new hubs by Google and Facebook also denote that the upward investment is steady.