Ford's Stephen Odell and Jim Benintende announced the company's new effort at the International Motor Show in Dubai this week. Photo credit: Ford Motor Co.

Once upon a time, Ford (NYSE:F) was content to do most of its business in North America and Europe, with just a few small outposts elsewhere.

But times have changed. Ford was late to the Chinese auto boom, and is spending nearly $5 billion to make up for lost time. The company is determined not to make the same mistake in other regions. Ford has already set up sizable manufacturing operations in Russia and India. Sales are modest now, but both could become big in time.

This week, Ford announced a new initiative to boost its presence in Africa and the Middle East. In this video, Motley Fool contributor John Rosevear explains what Ford's new plan includes, and how this region could become one of the world's major automotive markets over the next several years.

Fool contributor John Rosevear owns shares of Ford and General Motors. You can connect with him on Twitter at @jrosevearThe Motley Fool recommends Ford and General Motors. The Motley Fool owns shares of Ford. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.