AGOA: Hot air of hot stuff?
The US Africa Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA), which was promulgated in October 2000, claims to 'move Africans from poverty to prosperity by increasing their economic opportunities'. The Act extends Generalised System of Preferences (GSP) status for qualifying African countries to September 2008 and expands the existing list of 4 650 GSP products by 1 837. Thirty-four sub- saharan African countries, including South Africa, qualify for AGOA. Much has been said about the large number of new export opportunities and jobs that will be created out of AGOA. However, a closer examination of the expanded product list suggests that some scepticism is warranted.
Report on competitive supply side analysis of CTA sectors in Kenya, Sudan, Tanzania and Uganda 2011 (ACTIF-2011)
AGOA Countries: Challenges and considerations in exporting horticultural products to the United States
Congress, the Administration, and other stakeholders continue to be involved in serious efforts to improve upon the African Growth Opportunity Act (AGOA), which was first signed into law a decade ago, on May 18, 2000. To meet its objective of enhancing U.S. market access for subSaharan African countries that are pursuing market reforms measures, the AGOA preferential trade legislation was designed to encourage and support countries in this region ―that are taking often difficult but critical steps necessary to create more open, market and growth-oriented economies.‖1 AGOA eligibility currently extends to 38 African countries, with some benefitting from exports of natural resources such as oil and minerals, while others have been able to develop textile and apparel industries in which goods are more easily manufactured and exported without barriers to market in the United States. Nigeria and Angola are leading oil producers and suppliers to the U.S.; these two countries alone accounted for 80 percent of all AGOA imports in 2008. In contrast, the value of agricultural exports to the United States from 14 other AGOA-eligible countries was less than $1 million in 2009. In fact, three of these countries – Namibia, Seychelles, and Chad had less than $100,000 in agricultural exports under AGOA in 2009 (see Annex A).