General News

FCPA Compliance in Africa


(Washington, D.C.) Last week, downtown city streets were in gridlock as Presidents from nearly every country in Africa visited our nation’s capital to participate in a summit with the White House. Apart from the crippling traffic, world leaders discussed compliance issues at the heart of U.S. –- Africa trade and investment opportunities.

According to the McKinsey Global Institute, Africa accounts for over half of the world’s 15 quickest growing economies. While it seems like a clear choice to begin to do business with and within those economies, there are major barriers to entry for U.S. entities due to potential compliance issues:

The Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) prohibits bribery of foreign officials and requires a certain level of transparency into accounting;
Many African countries suffer from what Vice President Joe Biden calls, “a cancer of corruption”, which creates significant risk for American businesses; and,
China has already started to do business in Africa and has no legal or ethical compliance obligations like the FCPA: they are more competitive than the U.S..
In an interview with the Wall Street Journal, Alexandra Wrage, president of Trace International, said that it would be incredibly costly to retain legal counsel to monitor each transaction, resulting in relatively minimal profit margins for most U.S. companies. While maintaining legal counsel to ensure a company is compliant in such an environment would be quite expensive, Centurion Group DC (CGDC) can perform the same function at a fraction of the cost! All though we do not offer legal advice, CGDC can expertly monitor and manage compliance and risk for companies seeking to enter into the admittedly corrupt business economies in emerging African nations. For a free consultation, please reach us at 202-591-1737 or