After nearly 25 years in the U.S. Foreign Service, William “Bill” Fitzgerald left the State Department and created Colmac International, his boutique consultancy focusing on Sub-Saharan Africa. In 2012, Bill stepped down as Deputy Assistant Secretary for African Affairs, where he managed State’s policy for West Africa and economic and commercial affairs for the continent. Leveraging a rich network of contacts in Washington, DC and on the continent, Bill works hard to assist U.S. and foreign companies break into the African market.
With on-the-ground experience, living and working in Africa, Bill is ideally suited to counsel companies and help implement their efforts to start up or expand their operations. In all of his assignments in Africa, especially his last in Washington, DC, Bill has worked to support U.S. businesspeople in Africa, particularly those who encountered complications, like government expropriation, corruption, and unfair trading practices. In Mali, for his work in helping a U.S. aviation company sell planes to the Malian Air Force, Bill won the State Department’s Superior Honor Award and Mali’s Croix de Mali.
Since 2012, Bill has worked as a consultant in Washington, DC, for a private-sector military training firm and most recently for an African telecommunications startup that sought to extend mobile and internet access to rural areas across Africa.
Bill’s method for a company to succeed in Africa is basically the following, adapted for each company and country:
- Recall that each one of the 55 countries has its own political and commercial idiosyncrasies;
- Using the latest market data as well as risk indices, identify the country that offers the best opportunity for your company;
- Visit the country, meeting with host government officials, U.S. embassy officials, and local and expatriate business leaders;
- Consider finding an honest, hard-working local partner. You will need to conduct a thorough due diligence analysis;
- Make the investment decision and proceed.
Bill Fitzgerald has the drive, market-based knowledge, and deep experience in Africa to help you enter African markets, avoid the bureaucratic hurdles, and take advantage of the continent’s rich commercial opportunities.
Through his firm, Colmac International, Bill offers a variety of services, but all can start through a conversation with Bill on your goals, objectives, and what you want to do in Sub-Saharan Africa.