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About the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA)
The African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) is a trade mechanism that was passed by the US Government in 2000 to encourage US-Africa trade.
AGOA currently provides the 40 AGOA-eligible countries with:
- Most liberal access to US markets for any country or region without at free trade agreement
- Reinforced Africa reform and development efforts
- Access to US credit and technical expertise
Eligibility for AGOA was designed to reward and provide incentives for Sub-Saharan African (SSA) countries that are making progress in political and economic reforms.
Each SSA country’s performance is assessed using the following criteria:
- Establishment of market based economies
- Development of political pluralism and the rule of law
- Elimination of barriers to US trade and investment
- Protection of intellectual property rights
- Efforts to combat corruption
- Policies to reduce poverty and increase access to health care and education
- Protection of human rights and worker rights
- Elimination of certain child labor practices
By creating tangible incentives for African countries to implement economic and commercial reform policies, AGOA contributes to better market opportunities and stronger commercial partners in Africa for US companies.
AGOA should help forge stronger commercial ties between African countries and the United States, while it helps to integrate Africa into the global economy. US firms may find new opportunities in privatizations of African state-owned enterprises, or in partnership withAfrican companies in infrastructure projects. US firms can also benefit by forming joint ventures with African or other firms to take advantage of AGOA benefits.
2nd Annual AGOA CSO Network
Spring Conference ♦ April 13- 15, 2016 ♦ Washington, DC
Our 2nd AGOA Spring conference under the theme “The Role of Civil Society in AGOA Trade Expansion and Inclusive Development in Africa” kicked off with the Chairman’s Advisory Board Meeting on Wednesday, April 13, 2016, from 10 am -12:30 pm, followed by a Town Hall Meeting in the afternoon from 2:30 pm - 4:30 pm for the purpose of discussing the planning for the Civil Society Session of the 2016 U.S.-Africa Trade and Economic Cooperation Forum, also known as the AGOA Forum; and concluded with a panel discussion on Trade and Private Sector Expansion: A Vehicle for Increased Economic Growth and Improved Standard of living in Africa at the World Bank on Friday, April 15th from 4:00 pm -5:30 pm.
Download Communique from Spring Conference
Agenda for Spring Event
Continental Free Trade Area on Track for 2017 Completion
By Fred Oladeinde
The African Union Commissioner for Trade and Industry assured participants attending the 2ndAGOA Spring Conference panel discussion on Trade and Private Sector Expansion: A Vehicle for Economic Growth and Improved Standard of Living in Africa at the World Bank that the African Union Continental Free Trade Area, (CFTA) is on track and will be completed by 2017. Commissioner Fatima Acyl stated that “the African Union is committed to the success of its Agenda 2063 that was launched in 2013 under the leadership of the Chairperson, H.E., Dr. Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma, and the Commission is working closely with member States, regional economic groupings, Civil Society, business and other important stakeholders to boost intra Africa trade and economic cooperation.” She also reiterated African Union Commission’s commitment to use trade and private sector expansion as vehicles for economic growth and improved standard of living in Africa. (Read More)
2016 Spring Newsletter
Download Spring Newsletter
South Africa: SA's Suspension from AGOA to Be Lifted
By Thulani Gqirana, News24
The cloud of uncertainty hanging over South Africa following its suspension from the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) will be lifted, Trade and Industry Minister Rob Davies said on Thursday.
The minister said he had received an email from the US trade representative, informing him of the intentions to lift the suspension.
"Based on the actions taken, I will be sending recommendations today to the president to revoke the suspension of AGOA benefits for South Africa," the letter reads.
Davies said it could take up to a couple of weeks to get signed, but the goal was to secure it before March 15.
This follows the arrival of the first US frozen chicken in South Africa on Friday. The consignment, comprising about 16 tons of chicken pieces, arrived at the port of Durban and hit store shelves almost immediately.
The country has agreed to 65 000 tons of US poultry imports annually.
Davies said the lifting of the suspension was a result of the work done jointly in the negotiating process. (Read more)
DATE: 07 JANUARY 2016
TO: ALL NEWS EDITORS AND JOURNALISTS
NEGOTIATIONS BETWEEN SOUTH AFRICA AND THE USA WITH REGARD TO TRADE RELATED TO EXPORTS OF POULTRY, BEEF AND PORK MEAT FROM THE USA TO SOUTH AFRICA
Negotiations between South Africa and the USA on key areas related to the importation of poultry, beef and pork from the USA to South Africa were concluded at the meeting of the 06th January 2016. Both negotiating sides concluded with positive sentiments.
With regard to pork, on the importation of shoulder cuts, South Africa has agreed to permit the unrestricted importation of the shoulder cuts after the USA agreed to apply mitigation measures including the removal of risk material before exportation to South Africa.
On beef, South Africa had already agreed to import beef from the USA, however, the USA requested to be permitted to import livestock from third countries for direct slaughter and the meat thereof to be exported to South Africa. The USA has given guarantees that livestock imported from third countries for further export of the products thereof to ensure compliance with the USA domestic requirements. South Africa has agreed to the assurances given by the USA.
In relation to poultry, two issues were under consideration, namely Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza (HPAI) and Salmonella. Firstly on HPAI, after robust discussions between the authorities, an agreed Avian Influenza protocol for safe trade of poultry and poultry products was concluded in November 2015. The protocol will ensure that appropriate scientific measures are taken by the USA to ensure that the risk of transmission of HPAI to South African poultry is managed.
Secondly on Salmonella, the USA requested South Africa to reconsider its application of the Procedure Manual on Microbial Monitoring of Imported Meat. According to the Manual, all imported poultry products are tested for microbiological contamination which includes Salmonella and other conditions at the port of entry before they are released into the market. South Africa imports from over 3000 establishments across the world, and the testing requirements apply to all these establishments.
After intense negotiations, and the review of the USA food laws, South Africa has agreed to, for the first three months, risk profile all consignments imported from USA export establishments. Thereafter, a revised statistically risk-based sampling plan will be implemented. South Africa will sample and test all consignments for compliance. The Department of Health will monitor these products after release from ports on entry.
Enquiries: Sidwell Medupe Departmental Spokesperson
Tel: (012) 394 1650 Mobile: 079 492 1774 E-mail: MSMedupe@thedti.gov.za Issued by: The Department of Trade and Industry
Follow us on Twitter: @the_dti
Download Media Release
Froman hails deal with South Africa
By Victoria Guida
01/07/2016 03:17 PM EDT
U.S. Trade Representative Michael Froman confirmed this afternoon that all technical issues in the meat dispute between the United States and South Africa have been resolved, but that didn't remove the threat of suspending the country's trade benefits under the African Growth and Opportunity Act just yet.
"While we celebrate the progress we have made in resolving the outstanding technical issues, the true test of our success will be based on the ability of South African consumers to buy American product in local stores," which will be "the final benchmark," Froman said in a statement.
Jim Sumner, president of the USA Poultry and Egg Export Council, and National Chicken Council President Mike Brown echoed Froman's remarks.
"Although success will ultimately be realized when U.S. chicken is imported into South Africa, today's announcement is a positive step to bringing increased economic benefits to U.S. chicken farmers and companies across the country," they said in a joint statement. "But the real winners are South African consumers, who will now be afforded even more options when it comes to wholesome protein sources."
Sens. Chris Coons and Johnny Isakson, co-chairs of the Senate Chicken Caucus, also applauded the announcement that South Africa has removed the longstanding trade barriers to U.S. poultry.
"South Africa is a critical market for the U.S. poultry industry, and will lead to tens of millions of dollars more in annual export sales," the senators said in a joint statement. "It is also a good deal for South Africa, as our poultry is healthy, affordable, and of the highest quality, and we are thrilled that it will finally reach the dinner tables of South Africans."
To view online:
2015 AGOA Forum
August 24-27, 2015
Andgondje Friendship Stadium
The Civil Society Organization (CSO) session of the 14th African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) Forum took place on August 24-25, 2015, at the Andgondje Friendship Stadium, Libreville, Gabon. The theme of this year’s event was “AGOA at 15: Civil Society Organizations Working
to Chart a Course for Sustainable U.S.-Africa Trade and Investment Partnership.” The session brought together more than 150 delegates from
the United States and AGOA eligible countries to address the following issues:
- AGOA Annual Country Review for Eligibility Compliance, Sec. 105. Monitoring and review of eligibility
- Trade Facilitation, and Transportation Linkages: Vehicles for Enhancing Competitiveness
- AGOA Extension and Enhancement Act of 2015: Opportunities & Challenges
- Textiles and Apparel: Optimizing Third Country Fabric Provision
- Mentoring and Leadership Development for Women and for Young Entrepreneur
- Strengthening Micro Small Medium Enterprise Value Chain
Fact Sheet on AGOA
CSO Session: 2015 AGOA Fourm Program Book
CSO Session: Commuique (English)
CSO Session: Communique (French)
CSO Session: Doing Business under AGOA Workshops
AGOA: Annual Country Review for Eligibility Compliance
Professor Abdellatif Mahamat Taha, Ph.D.
Eric R. Biel, Associate Deputy Undersecretary, Bureau of International Labor Affairs, U.S. Department of Labor
Trade Facilitation, and Transportation Linkages
Dichaba Molobe, Director of Policy Botswana Confederation of Commerce, Industry, and Manpower, (BOCCIM), Botswana
Fauster Rogombe, Commissioner General for Regional Integration, Gabon
Textiles and Apparel
Parfait Alexis Ndjombouet Ratanga, Procurement Manager, MGV
Zo Randriamaro, Coordinator, RSCDA- Indian Ocean, Madagascar
Caroline Sack Kendem, Presidet AWEP, Cameroon Chapter
Strengthening Micro, Small, Medium Enterprise Value Chain
S'khulumi Ntsoaole, Former Minister of Trade and Industry, Lesotho
William Massawe, Executive Director, Centre for Sustainable Development Initiatives (CSDI), Tanzania
Doing Business under AGOA
Andre Brice Boumbendje, Director General of Pension Plan & Investment of Defense Foreces, Gabon -Trade Assistance and Technical Capacity Building
Cosmas Mamhunze, Trade & Investment Specialist, USAID Southern Africa Trade Hub, Botswana - Marketing and Competitiveness
Abou Fall, AGOA & Value Chain Coordinator, USAID West Africa Trade Hub - Financing and Payment Terms
Anthony Carroll, Pragma, USAID - Branding, Packaging, and Labeling
Charles A. Harwood, Director, Norwest Regional Office, and Deon Woods Bell, Counsel, U.S. Federal Trade Commission - Consumer Protection and Competition
2015 AGOA Forum
Official International Airline Carrier
CSO Session of the 2015 AGOA Forum
Ethiopian Airlines - Route Map
To Ignore the AGOA Eligibility Requirements is Playing with Fire
by Eustace Davie 30 April 2015
Georgia Republican Senator Johnny Isakson is demanding that South Africa (SA) must meet with AGOA’s eligibility requirements under the US African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) to remain an eligible sub-Saharan African country. According to a report in Business Day (24 April) he wants a review of South Africa’s eligibility, the purpose of which is, “to have people held accountable for their trade policies and practices … Read More
April 16-17, 2015
Washington, DC, USA
AGOA CSO Secretariat Chairman's Advisory Board Members
Luncheon Agenda (click here!)
Panel Discussion: The Role of the Diaspora in the Implementation
of AGOA at the World Bank (click here!)
Ambassador Cynthia Akuetteh, U.S. Ambassador to Gabon
Ambassador Michael Moussa-Adamo, Ambassador to the U.S. from the Republic of Gabon
Download Presentation from "Gabon: AGOA and Beyond" Direct Lline Webinar
OP-ED by Fred Oladeinde
Re-Authorize the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA)
The African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) was signed into law in May 2000 as Title 1 of The Trade and Development Act. In the 15 years since enactment, AGOA has become one of the defining characteristics of the United States’ trade and commercial relationship with Africa. If Congress does not act, it will expire September 30, 2015.
AGOA’s strict eligibility requirements, which oblige African countries to open their economies, create strong incentives to build free markets and pursue economic growth through trade, not aid. And it works. Forty African countries can export nearly 6,800 products into the U.S. marketplace under the Act’s unilateral trade preference agreement. African trade with the U.S. has expanded by four folds; over 300,000 formal sector jobs have been created, and $52 billion of investment in productive enterprises is directly attributable to the trade relationship that AGOA has created between eligible countries and the U.S. Deepening commercial relationships also benefit U.S. exporters. U.S. exports to Africa have grown by 300 percent during the same period. Read full OP ED
Letter Writing Campaign to Re-Authorize AGOA
Members of the AGOA CSO Network were on Capitol Hill this week delivering letters to members of the Committee on Ways, and Means, and the Committee on Foreign Affairs on the House side, and the Foreign Relations and Finance Committee on the Senate side. The letters were delivered to 127 members of Congress. Click here to view the letter.
Thanks again to all of you that supported us in this effort by adding your voice to this important issue. To follow up with a committee member, click on the Committee, and follow the link to the committee members' website.
Mancham Joins Campaign Urging Senate to Re-Authorize
the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA)
It is announced from Glacis-sur-Mer that founding President James R. Mancham has agreed to join the AGOA (African Growth and Opportunity Act), a civil society organization Network Letter Campaign for the timely reauthorization of AGOA with the US government.
It is to be noted that AGOA has been in operation since 2000 with a view to improve US-Africa trade and economic cooperation and that the Act is about to expire shortly.
The letter to which Sir James has agreed to be a co-signatory will be sent to the Chairs and ranking members of the Ways and Means committee of the US Senate Finance and Foreign Relations committee and is self-explanatory and reads as follows:
"Chairman Ryan and Ranking Member Sander Levin,
We, the members of the AGOA Civil Society Network, are writing to urge you to support a seamless and expeditious renewal of the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA), slated to expire on September 30, 2015. Passed by Congress and signed into law by President Clinton in 2000, with successive amendments by President George W. Bush in 2002 and 2004, AGOA now provides duty-free access to 40 countries in Sub-Saharan Africa for 6,800 products. This first-ever trade measure has historically benefited from bipartisan support in addition to strengthening U.S. relations with African nations and fostering vital economic growth both here and on the continent. We specifically request the following actions:
Read full release!
AGOA CSO Session of the 13th AGOA Forum (click here!)
AGOA CSO Session
Position Paper on Enhancing EAC-U.S.Trade and Investment Relationship under a
New Post-2015 AGOA Program (click here!)
AFL-CIO • SOLIDARITY CENTER Paper
Building a Strategy for Workers’ Rights and Inclusive Growth—
A New Vision for the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA)
Civil Society Session of the 13th AGOA Forum
August 1 - 2 , 2014
FHI 360 Conference Center
1825 Connecticut Avenue, NW, 8th Floor
The theme of the 2014 CSO Session of the US-Africa Trade and Economic Cooperation is:
AGOA: "Re-Authorization beyond 2015"
Please note: that this last opportunity to discuss, and come up with written recommendations for presentation to the Ministerial Session 05 August 2014, before the pending expiration of AGOA in 2015. During the August 1-2, 2014 CSO Session, we will dis cuss the following:
- The futue of US-Africa trade and investment under AGOA;
- The extension of AGOA beyond 2015; and
- The role of civil society organizations on both sides of the Atlantic Ocean regading legislative policy reform in supporting regional integration in Africa and trade expansion between the US and Africa
Friday, August 1, 2014
7:30 am - 8:00 am Continental Breakfast and Networking
8:00 am – 9:15 am Opening Ceremony Speakers:
Ambassador Linda Thomas-Greenfield Assistant Secretary, Bureau for African Affairs, U.S. Department of State
Florie Liser, Assistant U. S. Trade Representative for Africa, Office of the U.S. Trade Representative
H.E. Dr. Tebelelo Mazile Seretse, Ambassador of Botswana to the U.S.
Shari Berenbach, President and CEO, U.S. African Development Foundation (ADF)
Patrick Fine, Chief Executive Officer, FHI 360
Textiles and Apparel
Regional Integration and Trade Facilitation
SME-- Capacity Building
Infrastructure and Transportation Linkages
Eligibility Criteria and Reforms
12:30 pm -1:45 pm Luncheon
Hon. Dr. Arvin Boolell Minister of Foreign Affairs, Regional Integration and International Trade, Mauritius
Rev. David Beckman, President, Bread for the World
Eric R. Biel, Associate Deputy Undersecretary, Bureau of International Labor Affairs, U.S. Department of Labor
Saturday, August 2, 2014
8:00 am - 9:00 am Continental Breakfast and Networking
9:00 am – 10:15 am Civil Society Organization Roundtable on AGOA
10:30 am – 11:30 am Rapporteurs Provide Update from Day One of the CSO Session
11:30 am – 12:30 pm Recommendations/Communiqué and Press Conference
7:00 - 10:00 pm Saturday, August 2, 2014 - The Washington Plaza Hotel
Tom Malinowski, Assistant Secretary, Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor, U.S. Department, of State
Press Accreditation Form
SPONSORSHIP OPPORTUNITIES (click here!)
ADVERTISING RATES and SPECS
2013 AGOA Forum
US-Africa Trade and Economic Cooperation Forum
“Sustainable Transformation through Trade and Technology"
August 10 - 13, 2013 ♦ African Union Center ♦ Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
AGOA Civil Society Forum
Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
Presented to 12th AGOA Ministerial Session
12th August 2013
African Union Commission Conference Center
Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
Registration ends July 31, 2013!!!
Ambassador Michael Froman
Michael Froman was sworn in as the 11th United States Trade Representative (USTR) on June 21, 2013. As USTR, he is President Obama’s principal advisor, negotiator and spokesperson on international trade and investment issues (Read more).
U.S. Congress Approves Extension of AGOA Third Country Fabric Provision
August 2, 2012, Washington, DC - The United States Congress voted, today, to renew the third country fabric provision (TCF) of the Africa Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) beyond September 30, 2012 to September 30, 2015. The legislation will now head to President Barack Obama’s desk, where he is expected to promptly sign it into law.
This action is expected to impede the sharp decline in factory orders for exports of African apparel under AGOA, as well as, the loss of thousands of jobs in the United States and AGOA eligible countries. (click here to read more)
2012 AGOA Forum
U.S.-sub-Saharan African Trade and Economic Investment
“Enhancing Africa’s Infrastructure for Trade”
June 14-15, 2012
Agenda for Ministerial Session (click here)
Ambassador Johnnie Carson, Assistant Secretary, Bureau
of African Affairs, U.S. Dept. of State
Fred Oladeinde, Chair, AGOA Civil Society Working Group, and
during a Reception at the Department of State on the occasion of the 2012 AGO Forum
11th Civil Society Organization Session
2012 AGOA Forum
June 12 - 15, 2012
CSO Communique (click here!)
Speeches and Presentations from the CSO Session of the 2012 AGOA Forum
Tuesday, June 12, 2012
Washington Plaza Hotel
Tomicah Tillemann, Senior Advisor to the Secretary for Civil Society and Emerging Democracies, U.S. Dept of State
Dennis Matanda, The Africa Maven Group
Gregory R. Gajewski, Vice President, Economic Development, The Louis Berger Group, Inc.
Wednesday, June 13, 2012
The Woodrow Wilson Center
Johnnie Carson, Assistant Secretary, Bureau of African Affairs, U.S. Dept. of State
David Beckman, President, Bread for the World
Rahama Wright, Chief Executive Officer, SheaYeleen International, Inc.
Thomas Debass, Director for Global Partnerships, U. S. Department of State
Elizabeth A. Vazquez, President and CEO, WEConnect International Washington, DC, USA
Eniola Mafe, Program Manager, Vital Voices Partnership
AGO Civil Society Planning Committee Meetings
March 16, 2012 Meeting Notes
February 17, 2012 Meeting Notes
AGOA Civil Society Working Group
2012 AGOA CSO Session
African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) Forum:
"A Decade of Progress in Bridging the US -African Trade Gap"
July 29 -30, 2011
The Secretariat for the AGOA Civil Society Network, (AGOA CSO Network) actively participated in AGO committee planning meetings in Washington, DC with key US and Zambian government officials, and civil society and private sector leaders to discuss arrangements for the civil society, private sector and ministerial elements of the 2011 Forum. Additionally, the Secretariat was also been engaged in planning meetings with members of the Zambian civil society via conference calls and direct video conferences.
The civil society and private sector sessions of the AGOA Forum took place June 8, 2011, the ministerial session took place June 9-10, 2011, and the African Women's Entrepreneurship Program, (AWEP) introduced last year also took place on June 8, 2011.
10th Annual AGOA Forum
Mulungushi International Conference Centre
Civil Society Session
June 8, 2011
Click here to read the Civil Society Communique
The AGOA Civil Society Communiqué was presented to the 2011 AGO Ministerial Forum by Fred Oladeinde, President of The Foundation for Democracy in Africa, and Chairman of the AGOA Civil Society Network; and Vladimir Chilinya, Coordinator, Center for Global Dialogue
Private Sector Session
June 8, 2011
Click here to read the Private Sector Communique
Speeches from the 8th AGOA Forum in Nairobi, Kenya
His Excellency Honorable Mwai Kibaki, President, Republic of Kenya
US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton
Rt. Honorable Raila Odinga, Prime Minister, Republic of Kenya
2011 CIVIL SOCIETY PROCEEDINGS (click here!)
2011 SUCCESS STORIES COMPENDIUM
2010 CIVIL SOCIETY PROCEEDINGS (click here!)
2010 SUCCESS STORIES COMPENDIUM
Africa's Trade Profile
Guide to US GovernmentTrade and Resources (1)
Guide to US Government Trade and Investment Resources (2)
AGOA Panel Management Guidelines
Rapporteur Guidelines for State
Zambia served as the host for the 10thAnnual AGO Forum. The forum took place in Lusaka, June 8 - 10, 2011. The theme of this year's forum was "Enhanced Trade through Increased Competiveness, Value Addition, and Deeper Regional Integration," and the event brought together civil society, and public and private sector leaders to examine ways to enhance AGOA's effectiveness.