ABOUT the AGOA.info website
This online information portal on the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) was originally launched at the beginning of 2002, conceptualised by Eckart Naumann and Trudi Hartzenberg of the Trade Law Center (tralac). It is aimed primarily at the Sub-Saharan African community, but also at US private and public sector stakeholders, and specifically at industry and the business community (producers as well as actual and potential exporters), journalists and the press, policy-makers, the research and academic community, and others. The core drivers for the development of this portal include the following:
- The absence at the time of AGOA-related information, and the wide dispersion of data and value-added information relating to US-Africa trade;
- The unprecedented non-reciprocal market access and opportunities provided by the AGOA legislation to qualifying Sub-Saharan African countries, offered by the legislation since late in 2000 and currently available through 2015;
- The perceived shortcomings in awareness among traders and producers in Africa and the United States regarding the scale and scope of opportunities that AGOA provides, especially with regard to product coverage and local processing requirements (Rules of Origin);
- The need for accessible trade flow data, continuously updated, on African exports to the United States on both an aggregate and individual country basis;
- The need for a central repository for AGOA-related research, and other publications on US trade and investment with Africa
This site forms part of tralac’s (www.tralac.org) initiatives to disseminate trade law and related information to the region and is supplemented by projects that will enhance the value of this offering. This approach ensures that through the ongoing publication and analysis of AGOA-related developments, and the provision of the latest available trade data for all AGOA-beneficiary countries and the United States, the potential benefits and opportunities of AGOA are enhanced. This portal thus serves as a vehicle for the efficient and effective dissemination of AGOA-related information among stakeholders in both Sub-Saharan Africa and the US.
At the beginning of 2013, the original website (live since 2002) was revamped and redesigned, and the content offerings further expanded, with the financial support of a grant by the Southern African Trade Hub. Two additional content areas were identified, namely reciprocal trade and investment arrangements between the US and African countries (“US-Africa Bilaterals”), and the addition of more exporter-focused resources (“Exporter Toolkit”). The Bilaterals section will house US-Africa trade and investment related agreements and track developments with regard to FTA developments.
tralac is also proud to partner with the USAID Trade Hubs (SA Trade Hub, EA Trade and Investment Hub, WA Trade Hub) on the provision of the “Exporter Toolkit”, a section of the site that will provide a home for a very diverse range of (exporter) toolkit related information, research, documentation and guidelines. The toolkit components on this site have been created or facilitated primarily by the USAID Trade Hubs based in Africa (Accra, Gaborone and Nairobi) and will evolve and expand further over time, both in terms of sector coverage as well as general exporter resources.