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AGOA Forum

The African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) was signed into law by United States President Clinton in May 2000.  The objectives of the legislation include the expansion and deepening of the trade and investment relationship with Sub-Saharan Africa, to encourage economic growth and development as well as regional integration, and to help facilitate the integration of Sub-Saharan Africa into the global economy. Read more...

15th AGOA Forum September 22-26, 2016 in Washington D.C.

AGOA Forum 2016: The 2016 US – sub-Saharan Africa Trade and Economic Cooperation Forum (known as the AGOA Forum) takes place September 22-26, 2016 in Washington D.C., United States. 


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Please find draft agenda details for the Civil Society Forum further down.  



“Maximizing U.S.-Africa Trade and Investment: AGOA and Beyond”


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A pdf version of the draft programme is available at the above link. 


*** DRAFT AGENDA - as of 29-7-2016 ***




4:00pm – 7:00pm       AWEP Panel Discussion on Post AGOA Sustainability & Networking Reception

                                    Meridian International Center, Washington, DC

                                   AWEP members, others by invitation only


1:30pm -5:15 pm        Trade & Labor Ministerial Roundtable

                                    (U.S. Department of Labor, Washington, DC—Invite Only)

                                   WELCOME REMARKS OPEN TO PRESS (14:00-14:45)


U.S. Secretary of Labor Tom Perez

U.S. Trade Representative Ambassador Michael Froman

African Co-Chair TBD


This Ministerial Roundtable will bring together select African Ministers of Labor and Trade, executives from U.S. industry sourcing from or interested in sourcing from sub-Saharan Africa, and experts from USTR, DOL, and the International Labor Organization. The Ministerial will foster discussion about the importance of coordinating trade and investment efforts with policies that promote worker rights and inclusive economic growth.

Participants will discuss how to improve internationally recognized labor standards to ensure the economic gains made under AGOA are inclusive and sustainable and to better prepare countries for post-AGOA trade initiatives. Participants will also discuss the role coordinated trade and labor policies play in building an enabling environment for foreign direct investment. The event will highlight coordinated actions on trade and labor that the participating country panelists intend to take over the next several years to improve internationally-recognized worker rights as a means to increase the benefits of AGOA utilization, and to prepare for future US-Africa trade initiatives beyond AGOA. The value of this panel is to share and discuss possible coordinated policy to benefit working people with AGOA beneficiary governments and stakeholders.



FRIDAY SEPT 23, 2016


09:00am – 5:00 pm    Trade & Labor Ministerial Roundtable (Continued)

                                    (U.S. Department of Labor—Invite Only)

                                   CLOSED TO PRESS  


08:30 am – 5:00 pm   Civil Society Forum

(Location TBD, Washington DC)

Will be livestreamed at       

                            OPEN TO PRESS      


Time TBD                    AGOA Health Session: Focus on Medical Devices & Technology

(Location TBD, Washington DC)        


Deputy Assistant Administrator Oren Whyche-Shaw, USAID

African Co-Chair TBD


The AGOA Health Session will focus on how trade and investment can be used to combat the growing epidemic of non-communicable diseases (NCDs) in Africa.

Africa is expected to have the largest relative increase in NCD deaths in the next decade, and this will have a major effect on macroeconomic productivity. Medical devices and pharmaceuticals are crucial for the treatment and prevention of NCDs.

The primary objective of this health session is to discuss the importance of medical devices and pharmaceuticals in the fight against NCDs and how they can be regulated to best promote health, as well as the importance of health system investments and a strong regulatory system.


2:00 pm – 3:30 pm     Power Africa: Galvanizing the Power Sector to Support Industry & Trade

Hunton & Williams, LLP (2200 Pennsylvania Ave NW, Washington, DC)



                                    Andy Herscowitz, Power Africa Coordinator

African Co-Chair TBD


Stephen Gardner, Chief Counsel, Commercial Law Development Program


This session will address collaborative efforts between U.S. and African governments to improve the legal and regulatory environment necessary to spur private investment to meet the demand for project capital in African infrastructure. The panel will focus on Power Africa’s consensus-based process to build the capacity of the local government and legal communities to understand, adapt, negotiate, and implement key power project contracts and agreements, as well as to regulate the power sector. Presenters will offer lessons learned, reflect on the impact on industry and trade, and consider opportunities for future efforts that can take a like-minded approach with local governments and attorneys in order to improve the environment for business and trade in Africa.



MONDAY SEPT 26, 2016


8:45 – 09:45 am        Ministerial Opening Ceremony

                                  OPEN TO PRESS & Livestreamed at

                                  (U.S. Department of State, Loy Henderson Auditorium – delegates only)


8h45-0850:  Seating of officials

850 - 9h00:  U.S. National anthem

9h00-9h10:  Introductory remarks by A/S Linda Thomas-Greenfield

9h10-9h25:  Remarks by Secretary Kerry (invited)

9h25-9h40:  Welcome remarks by Gabon (2015 AGOA Forum host)


09:40 - 09:45 am       Readout from African Trade Ministers’ Consultative Meeting 

09:45 - 09:50am        Readout from Labor Ministerial

09:50 – 09:55am       Readout from Commerce A/S Kumar on USABF Outcomes

09:55 – 10:00 am      Readout from Civil Society (incorporating AWEP, Private Sector)

10:00 – 13:30            Closed Ministerial Policy Dialogues


13:30 - 15:00             WORKSHOP – Solutions for SME Trade Financing

                                   (Loy Henderson Conference Room – delegates only)

                                   Livestreamed at



SBA Deputy Administrator

African Co-Chair TBD



USAID Development Credit Authority

African Development Bank



The availability of trade finance is essential for a healthy trading system as up to 80 per cent of trade is financed by credit or credit insurance. But trade finance is often difficult for African producers to access, and poses a significant barrier to trade. The estimated value of unmet demand for trade finance in Africa is US$ 120 billion (one-third of the continent’s trade finance market).  SMEs have particular challenges in accessing affordable financing.

Globally, over half of trade finance requests by SMEs are rejected, against just 7 per cent for multinational companies. Bridging these gaps would unlock the trading potential of many thousands of individuals and small businesses. This session will describe how to create a supportive financial regulatory framework; including financial institutions, non-bank lenders, and other technical assistance providers; to deliver services to SMEs in need of funding as well as technical assistance on how to manage funds. Getting government to work with private sector and provide lenders with tools to assist with SME export development can lead to stable companies, more stable communities, and economic growth.


1500 – 1815               Closed Ministerial Policy Dialogues

18:15 – 18:35             Closing Ceremony

(Loy Henderson Auditorium – delegates only)

                                   OPEN TO PRESS & Livestreamed at


                                   Remarks by:             

                                   H.E. Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, African Union Commission Chairperson –invited

                                   Amb. Linda Thomas-Greenfield, Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs


Closing statements of summary and thanks, as well as the presentation of the 2017 AGOA Forum host.



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AGOA Civil Society Forum -  AGENDA



Theme: "The Role of Civil Society in Maximizing AGOA Now while Preparing for the Future Beyond AGOA"


DRAFT AGENDA*  [Status 18 August 2016]

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THURSDAY, September 22, 2016

1:00 pm - 5:00 pm               Registration

2:00 pm - 4:00 pm               Workshop on AGOA Country Utilization Strategy


FRIDAY, September 23, 2016

8:15 am - 5:00 pm               Registration

8:45 am - 10:00 am             Opening Ceremony

10:05 am - 11:00 am           Panel I: Congressional Perspectives on The Future of AGOA

11:05 am -12:30 pm            Panel II: Capacity Building and Technical Assistance to Support Trade Facilitation in SSA

12:35 pm - 1:35 pm             Lunch Presentation: The Future of U.S. - Africa Economic Cooperation

1:40 pm - 2:40 pm               Panel III: Enhancing Africa's Regional Integration to US-Africa Trade and Investment


Concurrent Panels

2:45 pm - 3:45 pm               Panel IV: YALI's Role in Strengthening US-Africa Trade and Investment Expansion

2:45 pm - 3:45 pm               Panel V: AWEP Roundtable on The Future of US-Africa Trade and Investment


3:50 pm - 5:00 pm               Panel VI: Presentation/Discussion of Recommendations for Communique


5:30 pm - 7:30 pm               Reception


Registration is required for the CSO/AWEP Session and the registration website

will be available by the end of this week.

Questions regarding participation contact: Annette Smith at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.