International Trade Business Unit

Over view of how the international trade is addressing the gaps in Sub-Sahara – Africa and the opportunities in following sectors:

  1. Foodstuff, imports and exports
  2. Retail
  3. Beauty products and spa products

Foodstuff, Imports and Exports

In the last five decades, Sub-Sahara – Africa has always been the continent with the highest population growth rate, which suggests that Sub-Sahara – Africa’s growing population is one of the drivers of its food import increase. Sub-Sahara – Africa’s population growth rate is nearly the double of the worlds’ population growth rate with a young and growing population that poses a serious challenge to food security, implying that in areas where local production is low, food will have to be imported to satisfy demand. If the growing population size has contributed to the rise in imports, it is important to know whether the population growth per se or the growth in net food imports (or consumption) per capita is the main reason for the import rise. Data indicate that the total net food imports (in real term, i.e. deflated,) for Sub-Sahara – Africa as a continent grew at about 3.4 percent per year while population grew at about 2.6 percent annually.

Sub-Sahara – Africa is host to 60 per cent of the world’s uncultivated arable land yet currently spends an estimated US$35 billion per year on importing food with the figure projected to shoot up to US$110 billion by 2025.

Sub-Sahara – Africa is the only region of the world where its proportion of the population that is food insecure is on the increase.

The challenge of feeding Sub-Sahara is immense, with need for rapid increases in global food, feed and biofuel production to feed the region.

Population growth, low and stagnating agricultural productivity, policy distortions, weak institutions and poor infrastructure are the main reasons that  Sub-Sahara – Africa has become a net importer of foodstuffs and agricultural products, despite its vast agricultural potential, is puzzling.

What we offer:

  • Get and deliver orders for foodstuffs from international foodstuff brands and companies seeking Africa market
  • We get orders and projects for value addition services and products into the market; i.e. coffee, tea, macadamia nuts, roaster machineries and equipment’s Speciality tea and other products seeking orders or projects in Africa.
  • Foreign exporters seeking market in the region
  • African exports seeking market in overseas markets
  • African exports seeking value addition services and products


Sub-Saharan Africa remains one of the fastest growing regions in the world and the successful expansion of a number of global and Sub-Sahara African retailers and consumer goods companies across the region speaks to the opportunities that exist.

Despite some of the challenges there remains reason for optimism about doing business in Sub-Sahara -Africa. There are encouraging economic growth rates predicted for in a number of countries in Sub-Sahara – Africa and the growth expected in  Sub-Sahara – Africa’s consumer market provides a major attraction to retail and consumer companies looking to the future.

By 2020, nearly half of all Sub-Sahara Africans will be living in cities, and, as disposable incomes rise, consumer spending will grow to almost $1 trillion. As Sub-Sahara – Africa continues to grow, continued retail growth is inevitable. While many Sub-Sahara African markets are starting from low bases, making an immediate impact in these countries could lead to long-lasting brand loyalty and a growing advantage in coming years.

Even with the challenges of entering and succeeding in Africa, the opportunity—particularly in Sub-Sahara – Africa is impossible to ignore.

Retailers need to assess each country in Sub-Sahara – Africa individually and ensure they understand how the quality of ports, roads and energy infrastructure will impact their operations. Different strategies have been developed for expansion in Africa, including selecting a regional hub to facilitate expansion. Skylinks already has in-house professionals who are always dependable in offering sound advisory in as far as such matters are concerned.

A critical success factor for retailers and consumer goods companies moving into many Sub-Sahara – African countries has been their ability to implement supply chains that deal with the operational challenges that exist. Given the size of Sub-Sahara – Africa, companies often need to make significant upfront investments in distribution centers.

What we offer:

  • We facilitate and get orders for international retailers seeking orders or market for their products in Sub-Sahara market.
  • Facilitate for international retailers seeking to acquire local retailers or seeking entry into the market
  • Facilitate for international loss prevention, risk management and supply management companies seeking to enter into the market we do mobilize seminars, conferences and seek business for them in the region.
  • Facilitate entry and projects for international retail training companies seeking to expand their services in the region
  • Facilitate for local retailers seeking strategic partners.

Beauty, Cosmetics and Spa Products

Sub-Sahara Africa’s middle-class has tripled in size in the last 30 years and is driving the continent’s demand for cosmetics. As a result, cosmetics companies are racing for market share. While multinational brands dominate the market in Kenya and Uganda and lack of capacity for local manufacturing remains an issue, local entrepreneurs are outsourcing manufacturing and are using unique sales strategies. The push towards Sub-Sahara African markets is also an indirect consequence of South Africa, the continent’s most mature market, seeing local economic difficulties dampen demand for premium products.

 The beauty industry in Sub-Sahara – Africa was estimated at about $25 billion in 2018. Of this figure, South Africa alone represented over $4.1 billion; Nigeria and Kenya are second and third among sub-Saharan nations, with Kenya’s market totaling more than $300 million.

Skylinks International provides the following services to the International beauty, cosmetics and personal care products industry:

  • Identify well vetted Sales representatives, sales agents, suppliers & distributors
  • Distinguish potential Importing distributors
  • Pin down joint-venture partners
  • Identify orders and markets for international brands seeking entry in Sub-Sahara market.
  • Find local beauty entities and personal health beauty entities or individuals seeking OEM & ODM services from international beauty products OEM / ODM manufactures.
  • Identify local beauty and spa agents and suppliers.
  • Pick out retail beauty outlets for orders and sale of international beauty products.
  • Distinguish spa market orders and OEM for local entities seeking to brand their spa products.