Rethinking the AGOA model: How to create a pro-structural transformation of the US-AFRICA trade partnership

Author
Joy Kategekwa
Organisation
United Nations Conference on Trade and Development
Publication Date
01 December 2017

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.

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