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Swaziland: Textile Industry Under Threat Over AGOA Rule

Swaziland: Textile Industry Under Threat Over AGOA Rule

Agriculture exports from SA to the US rose 35% last year despite the negative effects of the strong rand, contradicting claims that the US's African Growth and Opportunity Act (Agoa) did not benefit South African farmers.Critics have said that duty-free access under Agoa has "done nothing" to boost sales of African farm produce. African farmers, they say, are still struggling against import quotas and agricultural subsidies in the US.Subsidies to US farmers about 180bn over 10 years along with nontariff barriers such as food safety...

31 March 2004
Despite AGOA, Mozambique Battles to Penetrate US Market

Despite AGOA, Mozambique Battles to Penetrate US Market

Strong bipartisan support for the Africa Growth and Opportunity Act (Agoa) is likely to be transposed on to the planned free-trade agreement (FTA) between the US and the five-country Southern African Customs Union (Sacu), a senior embassy official asserted yesterday.The official was responding to questions on whether rising anti-FTA sentiments in the US, which are being expressed by Democratic Presidential candidate Senator John Kerry in particular, could affect the passage of the trade deal, anticipated for conclusion by December.His views...

31 March 2004
AGOA: Africa Must Produce Its Own Cotton Fabric Industry

AGOA: Africa Must Produce Its Own Cotton Fabric Industry

Namibia’s clothing sector has been the country’s main beneficiary of preferential access to the US market brought about by AGOA. This is according to data from the United States International Trade Commission (USITC). Since 2000, the year prior to trade benefits materialising under AGOA, Namibia’s total exports to the U.S. have grown three-fold from US$ 42mn to just over US$ 123mn in 2003. Whereas the country exported virtually no clothing (or textiles) to the US initially, exports of knitwear (HS61) now form that country’s single...

30 March 2004
Zambia's AGOA Exports to Rise - US Envoy

Zambia's AGOA Exports to Rise - US Envoy

Passage of an expanded African Growth and Opportunity Act is extremely timely and should be concluded by Congress before September 30, says Senator Dick Lugar (Republican of Indiana), chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.Failure to pass the bill, known as AGOA III, could jeopardize economic gains made by Africans under the legislation first passed in May 2000, the senator said.Lugar voiced concern over legislative stalling on his bill, S. 1900, "The United States-Africa Partnership Act of 2003," during a March 25 hearing of the...

26 March 2004
Ugandan President: I Sacked 'Agoa Girls'

Ugandan President: I Sacked 'Agoa Girls'

According to local newspaper "The Herald", Zimbabwe's chances of participating in the Africa Growth and Opportunity Act (Agoa) look promising as the country has met some preconditions required for its qualification into the American trade initiative.Local trade lobby groups and the Ministry of Industry and International Trade have since embarked on seminars with business and the United States embassy in readiness for the possible inclusion.During a seminar held in the city yesterday, US Embassy Economic and Commercial Chief, Mr William...

25 March 2004
Zimbabwe: Ready for AGOA?

Zimbabwe: Ready for AGOA?

United States ambassador to Zambia Martin Brennan says Zambia's export earnings under the African Growth Opportunity Act (AGOA) would rise significantly once the process of horticultural pest risk assessments is completed.Mr Brennan said the rapid growth of the AGOA exports in the recent past indicated the scale of the opportunities the legislation had created for Zambia.The ambassador was speaking in Lusaka yesterday at the opening of the Zambia handicrafts market sixth seminar organised under the auspices of the Southern Africa Global...

25 March 2004
SA

SA "has not used AGOA to best advantage"

Kenya exported textiles worth more than Sh11.6 billion to the United States last year as a result of the African Growth Opportunity Act (Agoa).Trade minister Mukhisa Kituyi said the Act, enacted by the US in 2000, had seen Kenyan textile and apparel exports increase to more than $150 million last year.In a speech read by internal trade director Seth Otieno during the opening of the Indian textile buyer/seller meeting at the Hilton hotel, Dr Kituyi said Agoa will offer certain Kenyan goods duty and quota free access to the US market until...

23 March 2004
AGOA Adviser Whitaker Defends Business Deal With Uganda

AGOA Adviser Whitaker Defends Business Deal With Uganda

President Yoweri has announced he ordered the sacking of about 200 girls working at Tri-Star Apparels factory in Bugolobi.Museveni said he feared their strike would send the wrong signals to potential investors."I sacked those girls because of indiscipline and their action would have scared off investors who had plans of setting up businesses here. They would have thought that the labour force in Uganda is undisciplined," he said on Sunday at the inauguration of the district women and youth councils.Tri-Star Apparels exports garments to the...

22 March 2004
US Senate Leader Pleads for Passage of Third Africa Trade Bill

US Senate Leader Pleads for Passage of Third Africa Trade Bill

US Assistant Trade Representative in charge of Africa, FLORIZELLE LISER, was recently in Mombasa to attend trade talks aimed at breaking the deadlock at the WTO since the failed Ministerial Conference in Cancun last year. VITALIS OMONDI spoke to her on the Africa Growth and Opportunity Act (Agoa) Why is the sourcing of raw materials an issue in Agoa if the trade initiative is all about opening the vast US market to producers from sub-Saharan Africa? Agoa is a unilateral one-way deal that allows goods from sub-Saharan Africa entry into the US...

22 March 2004
Southern Africa: AGOA Exports Threatened By Dropping of Quotas

Southern Africa: AGOA Exports Threatened By Dropping of Quotas

Former US assistant trade representative for Africa, Rosa Whitaker, has denied that her business dealings with Uganda were in breach of US government ethical rules.She also denied discussing her private consulting business with Ugandan officials while she held the US government job.An American newspaper, Los Angeles Times, last Wednesday said "the case of Rosa Whitaker stands out as an example of why Washington officials are increasingly debating what constitutes a conflict of interest in such comings and goings."Whitaker left the US...

17 March 2004
Keep Faith with Africa's Reformers

Keep Faith with Africa's Reformers

The United States government has just released a report which acknowledges that changing import rules to remove product quotas in textiles and apparel will in all likelihood cause African imports to the US to decline. African countries currently benefit from the quota system which provides them with guaranteed access to developed countries' markets for these products. The quota system is set to end on January 1, 2005 when the United States is forced to scrap the quotas for all countries in line with the Uruguay Round's Agreement on Textiles...

16 March 2004
Scrapping of WTO Quota System will cause AGOA Exports to drop

Scrapping of WTO Quota System will cause AGOA Exports to drop

A new report by the US government on the impact of changing import rules for the garment industries of Southern African countries under the African Growth and Opportunities Act (AGOA) suggests that exports to the United States are likely to decline."Industry sources indicated that the region's overall share of US apparel imports will fall, notwithstanding AGOA preferences," said the report by the Office of the United States Trade Representative.Although AGOA provides duty-free access to the US market, a key advantage has been African...

16 March 2004
USTR: Africa Needs AGOA Action Plan

USTR: Africa Needs AGOA Action Plan

By Rosa Whitaker: Four years ago, Washington witnessed a rare moment of consensus. In the heat of an election year, minds met on the importance of drawing sub-Saharan Africa into the mainstream of the global economy.The result was the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) in which we said to African nations: if you create conditions conducive to broad-based growth, we will give you special access to our markets to see that your reforms pay off.Since its enactment in May 2000, AGOA has helped change the lives of millions for the better....

15 March 2004
Investments between Angolan and US Businesses can Improve

Investments between Angolan and US Businesses can Improve

The African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) is "definitely working" to enhance and expand trade between the United States and Africa, but to fully benefit from that historic trade legislation, each AGOA-eligible country must develop its own AGOA Action Plan. Assistant United States Trade Representative for Africa Florizelle Liser made that point March 9 while addressing a forum organized by the Women in International Trade (WIIT) group in Washington. To illustrate her point on AGOA's success, Liser told her audience that 2003 trade...

12 March 2004
South African Oranges a Top Performer under AGOA

South African Oranges a Top Performer under AGOA

Business opportunities between Angolan and US businesses, as well as others can rise significantly within two years, should the norms of cooperations be publicised more widely.This was said today in Luanda by the director of the commercial liaison agency for East and West Africa Common Market (Comesa), Moses Simemba, during a seminar on business opportunities between Angolan and US business people. Speaking to Angop, Moses Simemba said as well that one of the hindrances to business between the business classes from both countries is the poor...

10 March 2004
Tanzania Continues to be Marginalised under AGOA

Tanzania Continues to be Marginalised under AGOA

Although publicity is given mostly to the industrial goods-categories that qualify for duty-free access to the US market under AGOA, South African-produced oranges have been one of the star performers during 2003. This is according to data recently published by the United States International Trade Commission (USITC). “Fresh oranges” are one of the products not previously eligible under the US’ General System of Preferences (GSP) but which qualify for preferential market access when shipped from an AGOA-beneficiary country. Being...

09 March 2004
Uganda: Parliament Summons Apparel Firm

Uganda: Parliament Summons Apparel Firm

Tanzania is unable to fully access the vast US market under the African Growth Opportunity Act (AGOA), a meeting of Tanzanian business people was told in Dar es Salaam early this week.Exporters from Tanzania to the US complained of high freight charges on bulky and heavy items like honey and sisal products.Lack of loans to facilitate efficient movement of goods is not readily available from financial institutions which demand collateral, the meeting was told.The US requires strict observation of sanitary regulations on goods exported into...

05 March 2004
AGOA Trade Bills May Now Be Harmonised

AGOA Trade Bills May Now Be Harmonised

The parliamentary committee on industrial relations has summoned all Apparels Tri-Star Uganda senior officials to answer questions relating to the welfare of workers and the performance of the company.This follows yesterday's throwing out of the company's human resource manager, Teddy Mbabazi, for time wasting.The members also wished to know Tri-Star's compliance with national and international labour laws and the Africa Growth and Opportunity Act regulations.Mbabazi, who was appearing before the committee to answer queries on the company's...

04 March 2004
Proposed AGOA III legislation - Senate version S.1900

Proposed AGOA III legislation - Senate version S.1900

Below is an earlier analysis of S. 1900, the AGOA III legislation which was initially proposed in November 2003 On November 20 and 21, 2003, a new trade Bill relating to US-African trade relations was introduced in the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America. It is proposed that this bill, commonly referred to as “AGOA III”, be enacted under the formal title of “United States-Africa Partnership Act of 2003”. [The African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) was enacted by the United States to grant eligible...

03 March 2004 | Eckart Naumann
SA: Agoa Expiry Will Hang Local Textiles Out To Dry

SA: Agoa Expiry Will Hang Local Textiles Out To Dry

The future of a US law on which Kenya has hitched a lift to spawn a $164 million industry and create 30,000-plus jobs might lie in California.Sources have told BusinessWeek that when the two draft Agoa (African Growth and Opportunity Act) Bills, which have been tabled before Congress are eventually harmonised into one, a Republican from the western seaboard state, Bill Thomas, who chairs the House's powerful Ways and Means Committee, is expected to play a central role in any emerging dispensation.In fact, keen watchers of the progress of the...

02 March 2004
Cameroon: AGOA Concerned With Environmental Problems

Cameroon: AGOA Concerned With Environmental Problems

Last year South African exports to the US rose to a record level of about $4,9-billion, the South African Chamber of Business (Sacob) reports.Precious metals and stones and automobiles, parts and accessories together accounting for 56% of this total.The top ten export product groups reportedly continued to account for 84% of total exports to the US up from 78% in 1994.Sacob also said that exports have grown 145% since 1994 with the most dramatic step up coming in 2000 and 2001 with the advent of the Agoa, which has been a significant...

28 February 2004
Automotive Exports Rise 34% Under AGOA

Automotive Exports Rise 34% Under AGOA

The American-supported Africa Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) has identified environmentally related problems such as water purification as one of its priorities. The Director of the AGOA Training Centre based in Cotonou, Republic of Benin, Mrs Soppo B. Ngalle says, the distribution of drinking water purification machines is among the various opportunities so far identified by the AGOA management. Others centre around trade in textile and craft, fruit processing and low-cost housing.Mrs Soppo Ngalle is preparing a series of sensitisation...

26 February 2004
USTR Zoellick Sees Progress On Advancing Doha Trade Agenda

USTR Zoellick Sees Progress On Advancing Doha Trade Agenda

Data published a few days ago by the United States International Trade Commission for the year 2003 reveals that US imports of transportation equipment under AGOA rose 34% in $-terms between 2002 and 2003. African exports in this category rose from US$ 545 million in 2002 to US$ 732 million last year. A closer analysis shows that South Africa is the only AGOA-beneficiary country exporting transportation equipment under AGOA. ‘Transportation equipment’ includes motor vehicles (cars, trucks and buses), engines and certain motor vehicle...

24 February 2004
SA's Exports Grow To $4,9bn In 2003

SA's Exports Grow To $4,9bn In 2003

The local clothing industry would lose its advantage in terms of the African Growth and Opportunity Act (Agoa) when the agreement on textiles and clothing was terminated at the end of the year, Brian Brink, the executive director of the Textile Federation, said at the weekend. The agreement has protected the US domestic industry by imposing quotas on imports, but these have not applied to sub-Saharan Africa countries that are eligible for duty- and quota-free imports under Agoa. Terminating the agreement would flood the US market with cheap...

24 February 2004
Tapping the US Market Through AGOA

Tapping the US Market Through AGOA

African trade ministers failed to secure an extension of the US-led African Growth and Opportunity Act (Agoa) at the Mombasa consultative meeting.Africa had appealed to Washington to act urgently on a long-standing request to extend the pact that boosts African exports to the United States.Assistant US Trade Representative for Africa, Florizelle Liser, though not giving a definite date for the extension, however, noted that the US legislators were planning to introduce a new Bill by mid-year that would set dates for the extension of the Agoa...

20 February 2004
Decision on AGOA Extension Deferred

Decision on AGOA Extension Deferred

"Little by little we make progress" in advancing the World Trade Organization's (WTO's) Doha agenda -- a cause to which President Bush remains fully committed -- United States Trade Representative Robert B. Zoellick told reporters February 18.Following talks in Mombasa, Kenya, with African trade ministers, European Union Trade Commissioner Pascal Lamy, and World Trade Organization Director-general Supachai Panitchpakdi, Zoellick told waiting reporters, "We have hard work ahead, but I leave this session with a feeling of...

20 February 2004
Nigerians Urged to Maximise AGOA's Benefits

Nigerians Urged to Maximise AGOA's Benefits

Analysis: Trade statistics released a few days ago by the US Department of Commerce, Office of Textiles and Apparel, confirms Lesotho as the dominant beneficiary of duty-free access to the vast US market for apparel under AGOA. Lesotho’s share of apparel exports under AGOA amounted to 31% (or $ 372 million) in 2003. AGOA removes import duties on a vast range of goods produced in Africa, although to date the clothing manufacturing sector has been one of the largest single beneficiaries.Lesotho qualifies for a temporary waiver from AGOA’s...

17 February 2004
Latest Apparel Export Data for 2003 Confirms Lesotho’s Top Spot

Latest Apparel Export Data for 2003 Confirms Lesotho’s Top Spot

Nigerian exporters have been implored to concentrate on processed products in order to gain easier access to the American market under the African Growth Opportunity Act (AGOA).President Olusegun Obasanjo made the appeal during an audience with an American delegation led by Congressman William Jefferson at the State House. He urged the United States Congress to make AGOA work for Nigeria.Congressman William Jefferson had earlier commended President Obasanjo's efforts in Liberia, Sierra Leone and on the New Partnership for Africa's...

17 February 2004
Nigeria's President Obasanjo Advises Country's Exporters

Nigeria's President Obasanjo Advises Country's Exporters

East Africa may be forced to look beyond the garment sector and develop new product lines to survive Asian competition for the US market once the African Growth and Opportunity Act (Agoa) quota restrictions on textile and apparel imports are lifted next year.It is expected that the low-cost and high-volume textile and apparel producers of Asia, notably China, India and Pakistan, will crowd out the fledgling textile producers from East Africa and other developing countries from US markets, making it difficult for them to continue reaping the...

16 February 2004
East Africa Faces Asian Tigers as AGOA Quotas Go

East Africa Faces Asian Tigers as AGOA Quotas Go

Kenya's flower industry is widely seen as the fastest growing area in a stagnant economy. Bringing in Ksh20 billion ($256.4 million) annually in foreign exchange, the industry is a leading employer, with an estimated 500,000 people deriving their livelihood from it.With an annual production of 35,000 tonnes and control of 60 per cent of the $165 million African flower trade, Kenya is the world's leading producer of flowers, supplying about 25 per cent of the European Union's total requirements, followed by Columbia and Israel.Kenya's success...

16 February 2004
Lesotho: Despite AGOA, Challenges Ahead

Lesotho: Despite AGOA, Challenges Ahead

Nigerian firms and Nigeria as a whole have a lot to benefit from active participation in the African Growth and Opportunities Act (AGOA), the Special Adviser to the President on AGOA, Mrs. Modupe Sasore, has said.She said this, yesterday, while speaking on the topic "The Role of Information Communication in Trade Globalisation and the AGOA Programme" at the formal inauguration of Nigeria AGOA Resource Centre by the Nigeria-American Chamber of Commerce and West African Trade Hub (WATH) in Victoria Island, Lagos state.Sasore however, said that...

13 February 2004
Kenya: Textiles Extension Urgently Needed

Kenya: Textiles Extension Urgently Needed

Despite severe weather conditions and regional food shortages, Lesotho's economy performed well in the 2002/03 fiscal year, concluded a recent International Monetary Fund (IMF) review.The economy grew by almost four percent, from less than three-and-a-half percent in the previous year. Much of the improvement was attributed to strong textile exports to the United States under the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA).Lesotho received preferential access to US markets under AGOA in 2000, including an exception from AGOA rules of origin...

12 February 2004
Botswana Optimistic About AGOA Extension

Botswana Optimistic About AGOA Extension

Comesa members are lobbying for a two-year extension of the first phase of the African Growth Opportunity Act. Heads of State from the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa will meet in Kampala in May to strengthen their campaign for the extension, Trade and Industry minister Mukhisa Kituyi said yesterday.He said Kenya supported the initiative proposed by the US Congress.The three-year-old Agoa agreement gives African countries until September to stop using materials from third party countries and start utilising locally produced...

10 February 2004
Comesa Seeks Extra Time Before New AGOA

Comesa Seeks Extra Time Before New AGOA

The African Growth and Opportunity Act (Agoa) fabric window is likely to get a two-year extension, according to Trade and Industry minister Mukhisa Kituyi. The preferential Agoa term is due to end in September 2004. The lapse of the facility would mean Kenya starts using locally produced cotton for the manufacture of textiles and garments destined for the American market. However, Kenya's weak cotton sub-sector cannot satisfactorily meet the domestic demand for cotton, thus her decision to lobby for an extra four-year extension. Speaking...

10 February 2004
Closure of Clothes Firm is Okay, Says Kenyan Chamber

Closure of Clothes Firm is Okay, Says Kenyan Chamber

Workers at an EPZ firm in Mombasa went on strike yesterday to push for better pay and improved working conditions.About 3,000 employees of Emke EPZ Garments Ltd in Changamwe vowed not to resume work until their grievances were addressed.The workers, majority of them women, camped at the factory's compound from the morning as the management refused to address them.The future of the factory hangs on the balance with the strike coming just a week after Trade and Industry Minister Mukhisa Kituyi closed the Lihua Garment Factory on the same EPZ...

06 February 2004
Kenyan EPZ in Trouble

Kenyan EPZ in Trouble

Botswana's Minister for Trade and Industry, Jacob Nkate, sounded optimistic that the ongoing negotiations between the US government and congress over the extension of Africa Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) would be successful. "We are hopeful that AGOA will be extended to 2015," Nkate told Business Week yesterday.He was commenting after his tour of Tswana Steel and White Dove, firms that have created massive job opportunities for the people of Ramotswa Village and who also export to the US market under AGOA."I am confident of the...

05 February 2004
Kenyan Minister Cancels AGOA Firm's Licence Correspondent

Kenyan Minister Cancels AGOA Firm's Licence Correspondent

The Mombasa branch of the Kenya National Chamber of Commerce and Industry yesterday backed the weekend closure of a Chinese company linked to clothing imports for re-export to the US under the African Growth and Opportunities Act (Agoa).Branch secretary Alex Mwangeka said the Government had lost millions of shillings through such imports.On Saturday, Trade and Industry minister Mukhisa Kituyi ordered Lihua Garments - operating from Mombasa's Export Processing Zone - closed and its directors arrested.Mr Mwangeka said Kenya risked losing the...

03 February 2004
How Zambia Can Fully Exploit AGOA Provisions

How Zambia Can Fully Exploit AGOA Provisions

The Minister for Trade and Industry, Dr Mukhisa Kituyi, yesterday cancelled the trading license of a Chinese firm and ordered the arrest of its officials.Dr Kituyi took the action against Lihua Garments Kenya EPZ Co Ltd over a Sh960-million scam at Mombasa port. The company, which manufactures garments for export to America under the African Growth and Opportunity Act (Agoa), was found to be importing ready-made garments."It is an extremely grave matter for this country if products being exported to America duty-free under the Agoa...

01 February 2004
US Releases 4th Annual Trade and Investment Report with Africa

US Releases 4th Annual Trade and Investment Report with Africa

Susan Muhwezi, the presidential assistant on AGOA, told Parliament on Tuesday that Tri-Star had signed a new agreement with Sunquest Apparel, a US firm to supply garments worth nearly $10m.She said Sunquest had made a commitment to build a weaving and spinning plant in Uganda to utilise local cotton. "I don't know exactly when the plant will start operating. But they have just finished carrying out the pilot study," Muhwezi said.She lauded Tri-Star and its chief Velupillai Kananathan "for the tremendous growth in the manufacture and export...

30 January 2004
Uganda's Tri-Star Scoops Fresh $10m US Garment Contract

Uganda's Tri-Star Scoops Fresh $10m US Garment Contract

A further weakening of the dollar against major currencies this year may have a negative effect on exports from sub-Saharan Africa, warns Henry Flint of Standard Bank's economics division.This includes exports under the African Growth and Opportunity Act (Agoa).The impact might be twofold, he says. Lower demand from the US brought about by the weaker dollar may result in a slowdown in imports into the US from countries which benefit from Agoa."A weaker dollar may also see further appreciation in the currencies of some of the main Agoa...

30 January 2004
AGOA III looks set for Passage this Year

AGOA III looks set for Passage this Year

South Africa is still one of America's largest African trading partners, even as trade between the US and Africa fell during 2002, a US report showed. The decline in trade between the US and Africa has been ascribed to a decline in US exports of transportation goods and a decrease in energy exports from Africa. But trade is likely to pick up in coming years because of a deal between Washington and several African nations and a new US energy policy, said the study from the US International Trade Commission (ITC). In 2002, US-sub-Saharan...

29 January 2004
SA Firm as US-Africa Trade Dips

SA Firm as US-Africa Trade Dips

The U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC) today released U.S.-Trade and Investment with Sub-Saharan Africa, the fourth in a series of reports intended to assist the President in developing a comprehensive trade and development policy for the countries of sub-Saharan Africa. The ITC, an independent, nonpartisan, factfinding federal agency, conducted the investigation for the United States Trade Representative (USTR). As requested by USTR, the ITC's study is limited to the 48 countries of sub-Saharan Africa (SSA).The current report...

29 January 2004
Asst. USTR Touts AGOA, Diversification of Production

Asst. USTR Touts AGOA, Diversification of Production

America's effort to promote economic development in Africa will be eroded significantly if the Bush administration and the U.S. Congress do not work together to quickly extend a key provision of African Growth and Opportunity Act (Agoa).In the view of Uganda's president, Yoweri Museveni, Agoa is the best thing to happen to Africa since the onset of independence. Many in Africa and the United States agree.When signed into law in 2000 by President Clinton, Agoa was unique in concept. The goal was to stimulate job creation and help integrate...

26 January 2004
Uganda: AGOA Officials to Brief Parliament

Uganda: AGOA Officials to Brief Parliament

Women Entrepreneurs Development Association of Zambia (WEDAZ) has appealed to Government for support in order for them to penetrate the AGOA market.WEDAZ chairperson Irene Imasiku said in Lusaka yesterday that there was need for Government to ensure that it supports organisations aimed at reducing poverty levels in Zambia.Ms Imasiku said her association was supposed to attend the AGOA conference in the United States but could not do so due to lack of funding.She said Government through the ministry of Commerce Trade and Industry (MCTI) took...

23 January 2004
AGOA Officials to Brief Ugandan Parliament

AGOA Officials to Brief Ugandan Parliament

Combining education with a willingness to work hard, the new Assistant U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) for Africa has made the American dream of upward mobility come true for herself. Now Florizelle Liser is pouring her energies into helping Africans achieve individual and national prosperity through increased exports to the U.S. market, touting self-reliance, discipline and sheer hard work.Speaking in her office next to the White House, Liser told the Washington File January 12 that her family immigrated to New York City from Panama. "I...

23 January 2004
Keeping AGOA Alive

Keeping AGOA Alive

The third version of the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) seems set to be passed this year in spite of the American presidential elections. This is the view of Ways and Means democrat Rep. Jim McDermott (Wash) who has left his current portfolio to champion the AGOA III Bill as a matter of urgency. While the current African Growth and Opportunity Act will only expire in 2008, African beneficiary countries are urging Congress to act now so that potential investors will feel secure about doing business in the region. If the AGOA III...

23 January 2004
Kenya: Flowers a Growing Sector Amid Recession

Kenya: Flowers a Growing Sector Amid Recession

At this particular period of time when most African countries are faced with economic difficulties the need to tap the lucrative American market by taking advantage of the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA), which allows non-quota, duty-free entry of a range of African products such as textiles and leather goods into the US market from countries adhering to open market reforms, is becoming more and more evident. It will be recalled that sometime ago the Corporate Council on Africa (CCA) hosted the fourth biennial US-Africa business...

23 January 2004