Black Country companies have returned from a trade mission to Africa with a clutch of orders.

Representatives from eight local firms spent a week in Ghana in a mission organised under the auspices of Black Country Chamber in conjunction

with Advantage West Midlands and UK Trade & Investment.

Delegates returned with orders worth more than £150,000 and the prospect of further deals.

DRC Plant and Equipment of Wolverhampton signed a $247,000 deal with

Construct Equip of Ghana for construction plant and equipment, Enterprise Date Systems of Oldbury - which had already visited Ghana - secured a $12,000 contract with Digital Logicx Tech for small IT components, and Linkway Global Associates of Codsall, Staffordshire, is forming a consortium with Softtribe and Cutting Edge IT Securities and is in talks to provide data security services to the Kofi Annan Centre of Excellence in Accra and the Bank of Ghana.

In addition, Future Training 2000 of West Bromwich is in the advanced stage of talks with the Ghanaian Ministry of Health for skills development training.

Wolverhampton IT component supplier Domain Technologies and Mindstyle of Pattingham, near Wolverhampton, a training and personal development company, are also

investigating quotes as a result of the trip.

International trade consultant Tony Lear, who organised the mission, said: "The deals that have been done and the prospects for future work should help dispel the myth that Africa is too dangerous a place to do business.

"The embassy vetted and validated all the companies and agencies we met, so the mission members could feel secure they were negotiating honest deals with serious people.

" Ghana is a stable democracy with a population of 20 million and GDP growth of 5.8 per cent a year, putting it well to the fore of the 'mini tiger' economies."

Ian Brough, chief executive of Black Country Chamber, said: "Support from the chamber and UK Trade & Investment has meant that local businesses are tapping into the vast potential in Africa."