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US and Botswana MITI launch revised AGOA Utilization Strategy to improve economic growth in Botswana

On April 29, the Embassy of the United States of America joined the Ministry of Investment, Trade, and Industry (MITI) and other stakeholders to launch the revised strategy (see link to download) at the Hilton Garden Inn in Gaborone.   U.S. Ambassador to the Republic of Botswana, Craig L. Cloud, joined Minister Mmusi Kgafela to formally launch the strategy.   Also present were the USAID Representative to Botswana, Ms. Alyson McFarland; MITI Permanent Secretary, Ms. Keganele Malikongwa; MITI Acting Deputy Permanent...

03 May 2021 | US Embassy Botswana

Report: A look at the potential benefits and challenges of a US – Kenya trade agreement

The American Chamber of Commerce (AmCham) Kenya has partnered with the U.S. Africa Business Centre (USAfBC) and Covington to publish a business trade report. The report, titled US-Kenya Trade Negotiations: Implications for the Future of the U.S.-Africa Trade Relationship, examines the challenges and benefits of a potential free trade agreement (FTA) between the U.S. and Kenya. Speaking during the report launch, AmCham Kenya CEO, Maxwell Okello, highlighted the purpose of the report as, “To contribute to the dialogue on...

30 April 2021 | AmCham | Covington

Kenya: 'Uhuru–Blinken talks a breath of life to US trade deal'

Trade talks between Kenya and the US could resume soon following Tuesday's virtual meeting between President Uhuru Kenyatta and US Secretary of State Antony Blinken. This is after a five-month break occasioned by change of g-uard in the US as President Joe Biden took over from Donald Trump after last November’s elections. The settling down of the Biden administration put foreign trade negotiations and policies on hold, which included negotiations for a Free Trade Agreement (FTA) with Kenya, which commenced on July 8, last year. Uhuru...

29 April 2021 | Martin Mwita

Sierra Leone mining dispute threatens US firms

The decision by Sierra Leone to shut down the operations of U.S.-owned SL Mining has called into question that government’s commitment to the rule of law with regard to foreign investors. Since the mid-1990s, the U.S. Government has initiated various programs to boost U.S.-Africa trade and investment – from the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) to the Prosper Africa initiative that was launched in 2018. The success of these initiatives depends in part on American companies receiving fair treatment in their dealings in Africa....

17 April 2021 | Gregory Simpkins

'The renewal: US-Africa relationship'

In his first allocution to African leaders at the virtual African Union Summit in February, recently elected United States President, Joe Biden, reiterated his administration’s commitment to rebuilding partnerships with Africa and re-engaging with international institutions such as the African Union. Biden set out his foreign policy priorities, pointing towards multilateralism and a healthier US-Africa relationship. Within days of his inauguration, the US re-joined both the World Health Organisation and the Paris Agreement, whilst...

13 April 2021 | Hasnaine Yavarhoussen

'Changing jeans sourcing scene has these countries coming up roses'

The sourcing landscape for denim jeans is slowly but certainly shifting, while overall U.S. blue denim apparel imports continue to decline. Imports of jeans fell 7.43 percent in the first two months of the year compared to the same period in 2020 to a value of $460.25 million, expanding on a 5.36 percent year-over-year falloff in January, according to the Commerce Department’s Office of Textiles & Apparel (OTEXA). Coming off a difficult year and fourth quarter, brands and retailers were still working off some inventory amid...

09 April 2021 | Arthur Friedman

'Hope for Kenya-US trade deal as talks resume'

Kenya and the United States have resumed talks on the Free Trade Agreement (FTA) ongoing since last year. Kenya's Trade Cabinet Secretary Betty Maina and US Trade representative Katherine Tai held talks that focussed on the importance of the trade relations between Kenya and Africa as important partners to the US. The bilateral trade talks paused in the wake of American presidential elections last November. A change of guard at the White House had raised uncertainty over the FTA deal, with the new US president Joe Biden reversing numerous...

08 April 2021 | SUSAN NYAWIRA

'Biden Administration dampens Kenya's hopes for bilateral trade deal'

The Biden administration's plans to review foreign trade policy and refocus it on America's economic recovery have thrown long-running free trade negotiations with Kenya into disarray. In a development that casts doubts on the future of a bilateral free trade agreement (FTA) with Kenya, United States Trade Representative Katherine Tai has informed Kenyan Minister of Industrialization, Trade and Enterprise Development Betty Maina of the U.S. government's plans to review trade negotiations started by the Trump administration in...

05 April 2021 | NJIRAINI MUCHIRA

From canned catfish to high-end fashion: West African products that are in high demand in the United States

The African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) provides eligible sub-Saharan African countries with duty-free access to the U.S. market for a wide range of products. To find out more about the potential for West African companies to export products to the U.S. under AGOA, Betsy Henderson spoke to Michael Clements, Chief of Party of the West Africa Trade & Investment Hub, a USAID-funded initiative that aims to catalyse economic growth in the region. Clements also highlighted untapped opportunities in West...

03 March 2021 | BETSY G HENDERSON