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Access Africa Forum Initiative

The Access Africa Forum is an initiative developed by the U.S. Embassy in Lisbon and the American Chamber of Commerce in Portugal back in 2009. Its purpose is to foster business relations between Portuguese and American companies for increased trade and investment in Portuguese-speaking countries in Africa.

Why Portugal?

Today, over 1.3 million Portuguese live in the United States, with sizable communities in Massachusetts, Rhode Island, New Jersey, California, and Hawaii. At the same time, Portugal is uniquely situated at the crossroad of continents, with the rest of Europe to the east, the Americas to the west, and Africa to the south. It shares a special historical, political, and economic relationship with the Community of Portuguese Language Countries (Comunidades dos Países de Língua Portuguesa - CPLP), which includes Angola, Brazil, Cape Verde, Guinea-Bissau, Mozambique, São Tomé and Príncipe and East Timor. Over 223 million people around the world speak Portuguese, making it the 6th most spoken language in the world. Portugal is well-positioned to serve as an effective gateway and low-risk facilitator between the U.S. and these promising world markets.

Portugal has been the main foreign supplier of products and services to Angola and Cape Verde, and one of the top five suppliers to Mozambique, which helps explain the presence of more than 10,000 Portuguese companies in those markets.

The Portuguese national airline, TAP, offers direct flights to Luanda 20 times per week, and to Cape Verde 14 times per week, and major Portuguese companies are substantially increasing their operations and investments in those markets. The Portuguese government has also prioritized Lusophone Africa as an important destination for exports and investments, with Ministry of Economy officials leading business delegations to the region, extending new credit lines across sectors, and expanding their network of Investment Agency offices in major African cities.


  • The first Access Africa Forum (AAF) took place in Lisbon in June 2010, over 200 participants amongst companies and institutions from Portugal, the United States, Angola, Cape Verde and Mozambique, as well as representatives from the respective embassies.
  • The second AAF, focused exclusively on Mozambique, took place in Lisbon in May 2012.
  • Business Mission to Mozambique in March 2013.
  • Business Mission to Angola scheduled for March 2014.



  • AICEP Portugal Global - Portuguese Trade and Investment Agency
  • The Luso-American Development Foundation
  • Chamber of Commerce and Industry Portugal – Angola
  • Chamber of Commerce, Industry and Tourism Portugal - Cape Verde
  • Chamber of Commerce Portugal - Mozambique

For more information, please access:

Doing Business in Africa Campaign

Launched by Acting Commerce Secretary Rebecca Blank on November 28, 2012 in Johannesburg, South Africa, the Doing Business in Africa Campaign helps U.S. businesses take advantage of the many export and investment opportunities in sub-Saharan Africa: http://export.gov/africa/eg_main_055226.asp