Rethinking the AGOA model: How to create a pro-structural transformation of the US-AFRICA trade partnership
Seventeen years into the life of the African Growth and Opportunities Act (AGOA), two key issues stand out: first, that the preference utilization rate—as indicated by the meagre increases in African exports to the United States—remains marginal; and second, that the AGOA initiative has not helped build diversified African econo- mies. This reality in turn raises two critical issues: that Africa’s structural challenges need to be addressed; and that extensions of the AGOA in and of themselves may not be the solution for the continent’s economic development.
Therefore, looking toward 2025 is an opportunity to have a fresh discussion with the United States, one focused on placing the African economic development challenge at the heart of the dialogue. This requires designing a new model grounded in Africa’s aspirations for structural transformation of its economies from primary product to industrial product exporters.