World Credit Risk Guide – Western African Countries (Part 1)

From the simple analogies regarding credit and legal risk of Northern African countries (of which there were five to delve into), the following is a breakdown of the same but for the large portion of Western African countries that need to be covered today, broken down as follows:

(Risk Ratings in understanding Risky Customers are between 1 and 5, with 1 being the lowest and 5 being the highest.)


Infighting between ethnic African Arabs and Chad Africans has caused this Country to be held under a fragile ceasefire.  Prior to the discovery of oil in 2003, which has now built a pipeline, this country was heavily dominant on its cotton and labour dominated market.

Were it not for issues regarding access to financing and corruption running highly amongst the central government, would be a Country where many a foreign company chose to invest in.  However, as this is not the case, then credit facilities should not be awarded to this Country, and nor should any legal activity take place at this moment in time.

Risk Rating = n/a

Central African Republic

Like that of Chad, Central African Republic or CAR for short, is rich in the natural resources it possesses, including that of diamond, however due to the infactions of rebels and the corrupt government it would be better placed in dealing with issues as they come unstuck.

At present, until all political and economic sanctions are resolved, it would be better placed not to resolve to providing either credit or legal facilities in this Country for the time being.

Risk Rating = n/a


Destined to be an upcoming nation by the mid 30’s, Cameroon has a lot of rich export markets and although its country debt is now reducing, there is still a long way to go before it actually reaches that limit.

Although livestock and fishing are its major thoroughbred countries, and it being heavily incentivised by the IMF, Cameroon relies heavily on exports to bring it much needed income especially from Countries in Western Europe and Far East Asia.

At present, they are perceived as being of high risk, and therefore legal action and credit facilities should not be afforded to this Country at this stage.

Risk Rating = 5


This former British colony is another economy which is a great trading partner to that of the USA, and also other wealthier countries.  However, the oil production that it brings to the nation, is in itself corrupt as it the wealth is only shared by a minority of the population, and has not passed through to the majority.

However, its only been recently that Nigeria is now perceived as a lower middle income country, but it will take some time before the wealth passes through deservedly to the rest of the population.

Cases previously passed for legal action have not been successful, as when Customers have disappeared it has not been worthwhile in finding their whereabouts as the details kept have not been updated.  Once again, the intel that you keep on your Customers is only as good as the database where the information is being logged.

Legal action is therefore not beneficial and Credit Facilities should not be awareded at this stage.

Risk Rating = 5


This small country has had an influx of refugees from Togo, who are currently refusing to go home, and hence having a strain on its infrastructure.  Traditionally, hot on the agricultural and cotton mining industries, it benefited from having a large amount of its debt written off following a G8 sumit as far back as 2008.

There is still some way to go before it can reach that vision, as the government is corrupt, and policy setting far from being intact.

Legal action and credit facilities should not be awarded to this Country, until such time as it becomes a more stable economy.

Risk Rating = 5


A devalued currency, a country still coming to terms with the civil war which exaggerated its long term recovery plans in 2005 as resulted in a Country which has no trust and little by way of any stability measures put in place.

Legal Action and Credit Facilities or any contractual transactions should be best avoided, unless there is a 100% pre-payment up front, given the above.

Risk Rating = n/a


In contrast to that of Togo and Benin, Ghana is fast becoming an emerging economy and one to watch, as it attracts many a foreign investment, especially as there are strong and developing industries within the world or Science and Technology, as well as in natural resources, such as oil and cocoa.

It pretty much held its own ground, especially during the wake of the 2008-09 global recession which bought other prices for natural resources come crashing down, Ghana in return were able to stabilise themselves.

Nurturing key relationships with South and East Asia, and has a port which can be relied upon by other Countries when delivering items for import.

Legal activity has not been that sucessful, so would urge investors to exercise caution, and that Credit Facilities into the Country should be perceived cautiously too, as there is still some way before the infrastructure takes on board the different types of foreign investment that the country is currently attracting.

Risk Rating = 5

Cote d’Ivoire

A former French colony, which still is maintaining ties with France.  The World’s largest Cocoa producer and rubber manufacturer.

Ideally, this Country can if it wishes become of Africa’s greatest nations, and its GDP certainly shows that this is the case, but what lets it down is the fact that the central government are still at loggerheads with one another and until such time that the matters are resolved, Credit Facilities and Legal Activity should not be considered.

Risk Rating = n/a



Please note that this Article is not designed to disturb or offend anyone, but are the views gathered from a purely economic and legal point of view in terms of the recovery of bad debt from these regions.


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