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Botswana: AGOA dream dims for local textile sector

Botswana: AGOA dream dims for local textile sector

Local textile and apparel producers appear to be giving up hope of exporting to the United States under the duty-free AGOA provisions, preferring instead to focus on the local and regional markets, BusinessWeek has established. AGOA is a trade arrangement between the US and sub-Saharan Africa running till 2025 and providing relaxed access to the American market. Textiles are Botswana’s primary export under AGOA. From a peak of P1.8 billion in textile AGOA exports by local firms in 2008, the figure last year was estimated at about...

30 August 2019 | MBONGENI MGUNI
'Beyond AGOA – Prosper Africa'

'Beyond AGOA – Prosper Africa'

The 18th AGOA Forum that took place earlier in August was once again a reminder to business not only to make the most of AGOA, but also to start thinking beyond it. South Africa, along with the majority of countries in sub-Saharan Africa, is able to export more than 6,000 types of products to the United States without paying US import tariffs. This is thanks to a preferential trade dispensation offered by the United States under the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) and the US Generalised System of Preferences (GSP). First...

21 August 2019 | Karen Bosman
Kenya: Riddle of jobs boom in export zones amid gloom in economy

Kenya: Riddle of jobs boom in export zones amid gloom in economy

If your perception of Kenya’s labour market is that of a glass half empty, you could blame it on recent media headlines. But if you want to see it as a glass half full, then you might want to walk up to the offices of Export Processing Zones Authority (EPZA) and have a little chat with one of the officials. Even as the country’s major industries continue to shed jobs, the EPZs seem to be creating more employment opportunities. True, some EPZ firms, like many others in a slow economy, might also be slashing workers from their payrolls,...

20 August 2019 | Dominic Omondi
Nigeria can harvest $2bn from yearly spices export

Nigeria can harvest $2bn from yearly spices export

Professor Haruna Dikko Ibrahim is the Director-General Raw Material Research and Development Council (RMRDC) Abuja. In this interview, he explains the huge potentials Nigeria can generate from the export of spices.  Excerpts: Can you give us an idea into the global trade of spices? The global seasonings and spices market is on an upward trend.  The spice market was valued at about USD 15.11 billion in 2017 and is expected to reach approximately USD 20.99 billion by 2024, a growth rate of about 5.0% per annum between 2018 and...

18 August 2019 | Hussein Yahaya
A look back on the East Africa USAID Hub as the project comes to an end

A look back on the East Africa USAID Hub as the project comes to an end

After five years, the East Africa Trade and Investment Hub (the Hub), a USAID project, is coming to a close. This is an expected end as USAID projects typically run for five years. Since the USAID Hub began in 2014, we have been fortunate to work with dedicated entrepreneurs, private sector organizations, governments and development partners. Together, we have supported eastern Africa’s private sector to access and leverage economic opportunities in this dynamic region. These efforts have provided businesses with the enabling environment...

14 August 2019
US-African trade lagging despite free access

US-African trade lagging despite free access

Trade between the US and sub-Saharan Africa is in the doldrums despite a 2000 US law designed to boost access to the US market, a conference in Ivory Coast has been told. The African Growth and Opportunity Act (Agoa), which in 2015 was extended to 2025, provides tariff-free access on 6,500 products to 39 countries, ranging from oil and agricultural goods to textiles, farm and handicrafts. Trade quadrupled in value from 2002 to 2008, a year when it reached $100bn , but fell back in 2017 to $39bn, according to figures compiled by the US...

08 August 2019
Joint statement between the US and the African Union concerning the development of the AfCFTA

Joint statement between the US and the African Union concerning the development of the AfCFTA

Deputy United States Trade Representative C.J. Mahoney and African Union Commission Commissioner for Trade and Industry Albert Muchanga today signed a joint statement concerning trade between the United States and the African Union at the opening ceremony of the 2019 African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) Forum.  The text of the Joint Statement is below: The United States and the African Union share a common goal of enhancing the African Union’s efforts to increase continental trade and investment under the African Continental...

08 August 2019 | USTR
AGOA closing remarks by the US Assistant Secretary for African Affairs Nagy

AGOA closing remarks by the US Assistant Secretary for African Affairs Nagy

Bonjour tout le monde. C’est un grand honneur de conclure officiellement le Forum AGOA 2019 à Abidjan.  Tout d’abord, je voudrais remercier le gouvernement ivoirien d’avoir accueilli le forum de l’AGOA. I’m especially honored to be here alongside the Prime Minister of Cote d’Ivoire, the Honorable Amadou Gon Coulibaly. I’m always happy to come back to the continent, as I have a long and happy history living and working in Africa. With seven diplomatic postings, I’ve committed my entire career to Africa and its...

07 August 2019
South Africa: AGOA's positive impact felt in the Cape

South Africa: AGOA's positive impact felt in the Cape

Two hundred and twenty years ago, the second US President John Adams sent an American, John Elmsie Jr, to Cape Town to serve as the first US government diplomatic representative to the Cape of Good Hope.  Elmsie’s presence was largely focused on commerce; he studied the local economy, reviewed regulations and worked to encourage US trade.   Since Elmsie’s launch of our diplomatic relations two centuries ago, the Western Cape and the US’s trade and commercial ties have grown significantly.  Today, the US is the...

07 August 2019 | Virginia Blaser
Africa wants one trade deal with the US, the US wants many

Africa wants one trade deal with the US, the US wants many

The US and Africa have different views on their future trade relationship when a preferential access deal expires in 2025. US Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs Tibor Nagy said in an interview Sunday his country favours bilateral trade agreements with African nations. A day later, African Union Trade and Industry Commissioner Albert Muchanga said the African Union (AU) favours a free-trade agreement with the US to replace the African Growth and Opportunity Act (Agoa). “To replace Agoa, we would like to...

06 August 2019 | Katarina Hoije