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Eleven Set for AGOA Exhibition

About 11 companies have so far registered to participate in the African Growth Opportunity Act (AGOA) trade exhibition that is scheduled for January 13-17 in Mauritius."The response is so far good, more are still coming, it is still early to know how many will participate but the number will increase," Uganda Investment Authority executive director Dr. Maggie Kigozi has said.She said that the Uganda Export Promotion Board (UEPB) will exhibit on behalf of government."This is therefore to inform all exhibitors that there will be one booth, so...

20 November 2002

U.S. Government Agency Creates Africa Investment Council

The Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC) announced the membership of its Africa Investment Advisory Council on November 13. The ten-member committee was established pursuant to the Africa Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) and for the purpose of supporting OPIC efforts to generate an increase in U.S. private investment in sub-Sahara Africa."We are convinced that Africa has the potential to become one of the world's most dynamic emerging markets in the next few years, and as such, an important destination for U.S. investment," said...

18 November 2002

Comesa Offers Free Space At AGOA Trade Exhibition

The Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA) announced today that it will provide AGOA-eligible member states free exhibit space in the "COMESA Village" of the AGOA Trade Exhibition, scheduled for January 13-17, 2003, in Port Louis, Mauritius. The unprecedented Exhibition is part of the Private Sector Session of the U.S.-Africa AGOA Forum, an annual ministerial meeting that will attract hundreds of government and business leaders from the United States and sub-Saharan Africa. President George W. Bush is expected to lead the...

15 November 2002

Nigeria works to gain from AGOA

THE Nigerian government has approved the establishment of the Nigerian Apparel and Footwear Project, an initiative aimed at taking advantage of the US-sponsored Africa Growth and Opportunity Act (Agoa). Nigerian Commerce Minister Mustapha Bello said the project, established under the US-Nigeria Development Institute, was part of the government's mediumterm commitment towards realising $500m in nonoil exports to the US by the end of next year. He said the project's overall objective was to improve the manufacturing facilities, workforce and...

14 November 2002

If Exploited Well, AGOA Can Make a Great Impact

The African Growth and Opportunity Act (Agoa) came into force in the year 2001. The law allows the United States of America to trade with accredited countries duty and quota free.Already great inroads have been made in the area of textiles through this Act. It is reported that Kenya exported to the US, textile and apparel, worth US $56 million (Sh4.4 billion) by September 2001.The Export Processing Zones Authority (EPZs) have attracted 20 garment factories exporting textile and apparel provisions to US under the Act.It is projected that for...

11 November 2002

Multinational BMW to benefit from AGOA scheme

BMW SA said yesterday that it was due to export cars worth R3,8bn (about $ 380 million) to the US this year under Washington's duty-free provisions of the African Growth and Opportunity Act (Agoa). Although US legislators intended ordinary Africans to benefit from Agoa, the German firm is by far the biggest local beneficiary to date. Agoa offers exporters from many African countries tariff-free access to the US market for thousands of products. BMW SA CE Ian Robertson said he expected BMW's exports to the US to reach 22000 units, up from...

08 November 2002

Remarks at AGOA Business Roundtable by Secretary Colin Powell

Remarks at African Growth and Opportunity Act Business Roundtable by Secretary Colin L. PowellThank you very much, Tony, and thank you all. It's a great pleasure to be with you this morning and -- I've been up in my office all morning working on a number of issues, the most pressing of which is the resolution before the United Nations. And we're making progress, but it has been very, very intense negotiations and I started out on the telephone at roughly 6:30 this morning and it hasn't stopped -- but always in the background I've had our...

07 November 2002

Agoa's Tricky Side

The gathering expectations surrounding AGOA, are leading Ugandan exporters into the unfortunate position of placing too many eggs in one basket.The United States government's offer of quota free/duty free access to its domestic market under the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA)is very welcome. Thanks in part to former President Bill Clinton's efforts and that of the Black caucus in the US Congress.But the pitfalls before Uganda can fully exploit this initiative are being underestimated. Especially for fresh food produce.Although...

07 November 2002

US Act on Africa a window of opportunity

THE US's African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) is a blessing in disguise if SA companies take it seriously before the full liberalisation of trade kicks in from 2005 as stipulated by the World Trade Organisation (WTO). The first meeting on Agoa held jointly by some African and US representatives last week reflected on how Agoa was working after one year of its enactment, but had little to do with the bigger picture. While the WTO is forging ahead with its commitments to liberalise sectors such as textile and clothing by 2005, Agoa is...

06 November 2002

Kenya to Earn Sh11b From Textile Sales to US

NAIROBIKenya is expected to earn Sh11 billion this year from the export of locally manufactured clothing and textile products to the United States, an American diplomat says. Mr Thomas G. Hart, the counsellor for public affairs at the Nairobi Embassy, told reporters that exports of Kenyan textile products to the US had increased tremendously following the enactment of the African Growth and Opportunity Act (Agoa). The law allows duty-free exports of selected goods and products from African countries into the American market. Mr Hart was...

31 October 2002

Comesa launches AGOA linkage pilot programme

The Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (Comesa) has started a new programme to assist companies in its member states to export their products to the US market under the Africa Growth and Opportunity Act (Agoa). The pilot phase of the programme targets five countries out of the 13 Agoa-eligible countries in the 20-member trade bloc. The five countries which have been selected for the pilot phase of the project, dubbed the Agoa Linkages in Comesa (ALINC), include Malawi, Ethiopia, Rwanda, Uganda and Zambia. ALINC programme...

18 October 2002

Swaziland: Fighting to save AGOA

MBABANE - As electrical workers scramble atop new 30 metre-tall pylons to connect power cables that will electrify an expanded Matsapha Industrial Estate in central Swaziland, industry and government leaders are working to safeguard vital trade privileges with the United States."The Americans are giving us a chance to jump-start our economy through foreign trade, and no one wants to blow this opportunity," Marc Svenningsen told IRIN. Svenningsen, the director of Express Cargo in Matsapha, which transports goods made in Swaziland to South...

07 October 2002

Direct African investment is spurred by AGOA

The Africa Growth and Opportunity Act (Agoa), promulgated by former US president Bill Clinton in 2000 to give certain imports from qualifying sub-Saharan African countries duty- and quota-free entry, has resulted in investments worth hundreds of millions of dollars across the region, the latest edition of the World Investment Report states.The report, released in mid-September by the Geneva-based United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (Unctad), notes that a US company has paid an undisclosed sum to acquire a fish-processing...

04 October 2002

Worsted Mill’s Currency Concern

While the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) was very beneficial for the local industry, it had had mixed benefits for South African Fine Worsteds, of Cape Town, chief executive officer Mr. Dieter Mielke told the Wool Record.The company's sales in the United States, in dollars, have increased over the past year by 60% but it has not been possible to gain the full benefit of the decline in the rand against the US dollar since December 2001.Mr. Mielke explained that while South African garment-makers were selling into the American...

01 October 2002

Gambia to Qualify for AGOA

The Gambia will this year qualify for the US African Growth and Opportunity Act for recording progress towards respect for democratic freedoms, rule of law and human dignity.This was disclosed by the US Ambassador, Mr Jackson McDonald, at the US-Gambia forum organised by Corporate Council on Africa (CCA) and Sahel Investment Management at the Kairaba Beach Hotel last Tuesday September 24."Since the lifting of the sanctions, the democratically elected Government of The Gambia continues to record progress towards respect for the democratic...

27 September 2002

AGOA: Gov't calls for free market

Kenya wants her Coffee and Tea to be granted duty and quota free access to the United States market under the African Growth and Opportunity Act (Agoa) agreement.An official from the Ministry of Trade and Industry, Muturi Mirie, said a new list of products to be covered under the second Agoa agreement was being compiled.He said the Government was encouraging addition of value to tea and coffee for them to be considered under the Act.Mirie was speaking during a Kenya Technical Working Group (KTWG) trade facilitation workshop in Eldoret on...

26 September 2002

Europeans, Asians eye local clothing opportunities

Several European and Asian companies are actively seeking investment opportunities in South Africa's textile and clothing industry, which now enjoys preferential access to the European and US markets.Under the US's unilateral Africa Growth and Opportunity Act (Agoa), signed into law in 2000 by former President Bill Clinton, certain imports – including textiles and clothing – from qualifying sub-Saharan African countries are exempt from import duties and quotas until at least 2008.Under the European Union/South Africa (EU/SA) free-trade...

20 September 2002

US expert pushes for Internet trade

The Internet can tremendously boost Africa's trade with the United States, a trade specialist has said.Dr Susan Hester, an international trade economist, said a good number of business people in the US were looking for information on African products on the web but this was hampered by lack of websites on African products.She said online marketing was important if Africa hoped to meaningfully exploit the US market.The economist was addressing business people at a seminar on Niche Marketing of African Textiles and Handicrafts, organised under...

13 September 2002

Africans Gain Access to U.S. Market Through AGOA

Washington - Businesspeople and government officials from Benin recently benefited from a seminar held in their country, which provided information about how African businesses can take advantage of the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA), a law that allows countries in sub-Saharan Africa generous access to the U.S. market."There is a need for clarity about what the real opportunities in the U.S. are" for African countries, said Gregory Simpkins, an Africa policy specialist and vice president of The Foundation for Democracy in Africa...

12 September 2002

AGOA's eased access to US may spark export bonanza

LISTED companies in a variety of industries are talking about taking advantage of the export opportunities offered by the Africa Growth and Opportunity Act (Agoa), but this does not necessarily mean that their share prices will react in the short term to the possibilities. The performance of those companies' shares will depend on how efficiently they cope with the detail of the Agoa preferences as well as factors like their liquidity and general market sentiment towards small capitalisation companies. Deloitte & Touche associate director in...

30 August 2002

Companies take advantage of better access to US markets

Five years ago, CMT Clothing (Bophuthatswana) was a small player in the SA clothing manufacturing industry, having been rescued from liquidation a few years earlier. Today, CMT's prospects look much brighter. It employs 38% more workers and their jobs have never been more secure. That is largely thanks to the Africa Growth & Opportunity Act (Agoa), the US government's trade and investment policy for Africa. And though Agoa has faced stern criticism from some economists, for CMT and many other SA companies it is a boon as the domestic market...

23 August 2002

AGOA gets big local response

TOURISM, trade and industry ministry officials have been overwhelmed by the high interest shown by the business community to export to the United States market under the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) quota and tariff free policy.Davies Bamuleseyo, the ministry's desk officer in- charge of AGOA said on average, five people every day visit the ministry offices at Farmers House on Parliament Avenue in Kampala, seeking information on how to export under AGOA, while 250 others have already registered with the ministry."A lot of...

22 August 2002

Bush okays AGOA II

US President George Bush has signed into law the changes or "enhancements" to the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) paving way for more trading opportunities for Africa and the US. The US Assistant Trade Representative (USTR) for Africa, Rosa Whitaker described the new development, part of the omnibus Trade Act of 2002 signed into law last week as a "win-win situation for sub-Saharan Africa and us", the US embassy in Kampala revealed. According to Whitaker, "The enactment of the AGOA enhancement will add momentum" to the growing...

17 August 2002

AGOA generates R10bn extra for South Africa

The Africa Growth and Opportunity Act (Agoa) generated an additional R10bn for SA last year, accounting for 20% of the country's R50bn exports to the US. This amount was expected to increase to R14bn this year, US ambassador to SA, Cameron Hume, said. The figures were part of a new report on the macroeconomic effect of Agoa on SA. The act provides for duty-free access to certain products under strict rules of origin from some African countries to the US. The report, which was funded by the US Agency for International Development, examined...

16 August 2002

AGOA-Changes 'Good News' For Nambia and Botswana

A US trade representative in southern Africa says changes to the African Growth and Opportunity Act (Agoa) - a part of the omnibus Trade Act signed into law by President George W Bush on August 6 - are a "win-win [situation] for sub-Saharan Africa and the US." Assistant US Trade Representative for Africa Rosa Whitaker was quoted in The Washington File, a publication of the Department of State. The changes, for which Namibia has lobbied heavily, include allowing Namibia and Botswana the right to use non-African fabric in clothes produced for...

15 August 2002

Kenya beginning to cash in on Agoa

Nairobi - Kenya's cotton industry, on its knees after decades of political neglect, is set for revival thanks to the African Growth and Opportunity Act (Agoa). The law was passed by the US Congress more than two years ago to help sub-Saharan African countries by allowing duty-free exports to the world's greatest economy. The opportunities have goaded the local business community and industrialists into stepping up their production. "The statistics of trade growth from Kenya to America are mind boggling," said Peter Kariuki, the chief...

25 July 2002

South African Clothing Makers Could Miss AGOA Benefits

Speakers at an intra-African trade promotion program organized by the International Trade Centre (ITC) have warned African clothing manufacturers that they could soon lose out on a special Africa Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) ruling which allows them to source fabrics from outside the continent or the U.S. However, this subsidy ceases on 30 September 2004, and unless companies have taken steps to invest or forge relationships with textile manufacturers in sub-Saharan Africa the industry could lose one of its biggest advantages, not to...

22 July 2002

Ripple effect for ice-cream

Port Elizabeth master ice cream maker Dave Vardy is cooling American palates by R20m/year. Vardy and his partner Manie Maritz make exquisite, fruity ice creams, packed in fruit or coconut shells. With the advent of the Africa Growth & Opportunity Act (Agoa) his exports to the US are duty-free. Their company, Dynamic Commodities, has teamed up with an ex-South African in the US to launch the product in restaurants, theme parks and supermarkets there. Agoa extends preferential trade benefits to a specified range of products, including ice...

05 July 2002

Agoa drives 115% rise in clothing exports

Cape Town - The exemption on import duties provided for by the Africa Growth and Opportunity Act (Agoa) had helped clothing exports to the US jump 151 percent in the past two years, Jack Kipling, the chairman of the Export Council for the Clothing Industry, said yesterday. He said clothing exports last year were worth almost R2 billion, with exports to the US growing at a faster rate than to Europe, where import duties were being phased out gradually. The US and Europe had, historically, both absorbed about 40 percent of South African...

04 July 2002

Trade war brews between Uganda and Nestle

Durban- Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni has declared a trade war on one of the world's leading coffee producers, Nestle. He told delegates at the World Economic Forum (WEF) Africa summit in Durban his country was tired of not benefiting from its status as the fourth largest coffee-bean producer in the world. "We are the fourth largest in the world... but we get very little money from that production." Companies such as Nestle had decided to build their factories in Europe, and were not prepared to relocate to the central African state....

07 June 2002

Lesotho's textile industry reaps the job creation benefits of AGOA

Maseru - The inside of the giant warehouse on the outskirts of Maseru sounds like a giant beehive.Hundreds of women are sitting in rows between chattering sewing machines, turning out jeans and sportswear. "A million of our jeans go for export every year, mostly to the US," said Adrian Chang. The manager of the CGM textile group is one of a band of entrepreneurs who have contributed to an investment boom in recent years in the mountain kingdom of Lesotho. The "sky kingdom" of Africa was on the front line during the apartheid era of racial...

03 June 2002

Ivory Coast set to forge partnerships with local firms

Johannesburg - The Ivory Coast was poised to forge business partnerships with South African firms after being granted Africa Growth and Opportunity Act (Agoa) eligibility last week, Guy M'Bengue, the chief executive of Apexi-CI, the country's export association, said yesterday. In South Africa for the Cote d'Ivoire Week from May 29 to June 2, M'Bengue said Agoa was a "new frontier for the economy" and Ivory Coast's objective was to boost its exports of value-added products by attracting foreign investment and forming mutually beneficial...

30 May 2002

Export Growth Could Be Eroded, Says BMW Boss

THE high prices charged for steel, aluminium and other dollar-linked materials that are essential inputs to the SA automotive industry could stifle its phenomenal export growth, BMW SA boss Ian Robertson warned last night.The auto industry is SA's biggest export success, thanks largely to the Motor Industry Development Programme, which rewards export success of vehicles and components with tariff reductions on imports.Almost half of BMW's local production is exported to the US, making the manufacturer the largest beneficiary of America's...

05 March 2002

Museveni Gets 1,000 AGOA Jobs for Girls

PRESIDENT Yoweri Museveni has directed the recruitment of 1,000 girls from all districts in Uganda for employment in a textile factory being set up to feed the US market.The President issued the directive while meeting resident district commissioners (RDCs) yesterday.Museveni said the move was intended to utilise the African Growth and Opportunities Act (AGOA) which was recently ratified.AGOA is intended to open the United States market to Africa.The girls must have attained 18 years, with a minimum academic qualification of O-Level. They...

03 March 2002

US pledges $8.7m to boost trade in SADC

Pretoria - US trade representative Robert Zoellick has announced grants totalling $8.7 million to help boost southern Africa's capacity for international trade, the US embassy in Pretoria said over the weekend. Zoellick met with ministers and diplomats of the 14-nation Southern African Development Community (SADC). President George W Bush's envoy informed SADC ministers of three US initiatives under the African Growth and Opportunity Act (Agoa), signed into law by his predecessor Bill Clinton in May 2000. These included a $3 million...

19 February 2002

AGOA Creating New Jobs and Investment in South Africa

Washington -- When U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) Robert Zoellick visits South Africa in the middle of February he will find a flurry of new jobs and investment, created in part by the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA), a landmark U.S.-African economic partnership forged with 34 sub-Saharan nations.Meant to spur the flagging economies of reforming African nations through export-led growth, AGOA was passed by Congress with wide bipartisan support. Its favorable trade provisions, which generally allow duty-free access to U.S. markets...

12 February 2002

Swarp Still Awaiting AGOA Export Certificates

The export drive by Swarp Spinning Mills under the Africa Growth and Opportunity Act (Agoa) has been put on hold due to delays by Government to print export certificates.Administrative manager Chris Mtonga said in an interview in Ndola that the company would only commence exports of cotton yarn after the Government prints the certificates.Although Government had already issued the company with a visa stamp to confirm the origin of the products, export certificates had not been made available to Swarp Spinning."We cannot start exporting the...

07 February 2002

Africa a focus for US investment

Africa Growth and Opportunities Act, an American legislation accessing trading opportunities between African states and the US is likely to be improved for more investment in the continent, it has merged here.During a one-day visit by the US Congressmen led by US-based Africa Sub-Committee Chairman, Edward Royce, hope flared that AGOA is likely to be improved to allow more access for African countries to increase more access to the US markets in a more flexible manner.Royce said last week his delegation's visit is to get input from Africa...

23 January 2002

Textile sector makes risky stretch to fill AGOA orders

Cape Town - The Western Cape textile industry is bursting at the seams in its efforts to take advantage of US export opportunities provided by the Africa Growth and Opportunity Act (Agoa) but that growth spurt needs to be carefully managed. The rapid growth in exports to the US had jerked the local textiles industry from the doldrums of dwindling local demand, with about half of production sent offshore, said Wendy Wilson, textiles and footwear senior manager for credit insurer Credit Guarantee "But now we have to manage this boost," she...

05 December 2001

Trade Ministry Holds Three-Day Seminar On AGOA

But for the sake of social, economic and commercial development in post-war Sierra Leone, frantic efforts and strategies coupled with solid mechanisms are beginning to indicate the demise of the era of abject poverty and commercial backwardness.Owing to the fact that this trend of things are the very fabric for our present predicament, vital state institutions together with United Nations agencies among others have taken practical steps to turn the negative situation round.In a crystal and innovative determination to champion the cause of...

02 December 2001

Africa: Trade alks Should Harvest Africa Gains Soon

The "Doha Development Round" of world trade negotiations needs to produce an "early harvesting" of the gains for Africa promised in talks so far, argue an eminent panel of international leaders set up to monitor the delivery of promises to Africa by economically developed countries. An excerpt from "Africa's Development: Promises and Prospects - Report of the Africa Progress Panel 2008."There is a critical need for a rethinking of trade policy in the context of the urgent need to boost agricultural production around the world. Biofuel...

02 December 2001

US seeks stronger economic ties with Nigeria

The United States (U.S) has initiated moves for stronger economic ties with Nigeria as the giant of Africa. President/ Chief Executive Officer, Nigeria-USA Export & Investment Group (NUEIG), Chief Funsho Abiri, who disclosed this, said that President Barrack Obama is encouraging partnership of Nigerian-U.S companies to take advantage of credit facilities needed to finance new projects in Nigeria. He disclosed that the meeting of Petroleum Minister Mrs. Diezani Allison-Madueke with investors in petrochemicals in the U.S was one of the...

02 December 2001

Namibia: Geingob to lead AGOA Forum delegation

The Minister of Trade and Industry, Hon Dr Hage Geingob will lead the Namibian delegation to the 10th Africa Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) forum to be held in Washington, D.C from the 2nd to 6th August.The forum is an important platform for dialogue between the USA and sub-Sahara African (SSA) countries for the implementation of AGOA. AGOA will expire in 2014.According to a statement issued by the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Trade and Industry, Dr Malan Lindeque, the AGOA forum was signed into law in May 2000 with the aim to...

02 December 2001

Hillary Clinton: 'Chinese interests in Africa incompatible with our own'

While in a trip to Africa, the Secretary of State Hillary Clinton says that “The United States does not see these Chinese interests as inherently incompatible with our own”, Reuters reports.Hillary Clinton began a five-day trip in Africa by setting foot in Zambia first. The trip will also include Tanzania and Ethiopia and its purpose is to promote the political views and projects of the Obama administration for helping African countries improve their economic and health status.Referring to China’s latest investments in Africa – which...

02 December 2001

U.S. Department of State Announces Follow-on Training for the African Women Entrepreneurs Program

The U.S. Department of State and the Vital Voices Global Partnership will conduct follow-on training in Nairobi, Kenya for the 2012 African Women’s Entrepreneurship Program (AWEP) International Visitor Leadership Program (IVLP) alumnae, October 15-19, 2012.The workshop will focus on business strategic planning, the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA), export processes and documentation, and how to build a competitive business. The training is funded by the ExxonMobil Foundation, as part of its ongoing commitment to support the...

02 December 2001

Trade between US and Africa growing

The senior United States government official with responsibility for African affairs has painted an optimistic picture of the continent's economic prospects, predicting a dramatic increase in overseas trade. Speaking at the US Africa Business Summit in Philadelphia, the Assistant-Secretary of State, Walter Kansteiner, said there was the potential for an explosion of exports to the United States. He said trade between the United States and sub-Saharan Africa had increased by 20% in the past nine months. He attributed the rise largely to the...

02 November 2001

Frame invests R80m to take advantage of Agoa

Durban - Frame Textiles, the country's largest textile manufacturer, had invested R80 million in the past year to take advantage of the Africa Growth and Opportunities Act (Agoa), Walter Simeoni, the managing director, said yesterday. The group planned to invest a further R200 million over the next two years to improve productivity, cost effectiveness and capacity. "Although the textile industry cannot benefit directly from duty- and quota-free exports to the US, increased demand for made-up apparel from clothing manufacturers is expected to...

03 August 2001

AGOA presents an opportunity to be seized with both hands

The cynicism that greeted the passing of the African Growth and Opportunity Act (Agoa), which offers duty-free access to the US market for an additional 1 837 products from Africa, should now be laid to rest. Instead, the continent's exporters and producers of goods must take the opportunity with both hands, while trade unions should be advised that trade advantages and opportunities are enormous. We just have have to be mature about it. The signing of a R1 billion textile and garment deal between the Malaysian Ramatex Group and the Buffalo...

30 April 2001

AGOA advice for clothing exporters

Durban - South African companies had to become internationally competitive to capitalise on the eligibility granted for local apparel to enter the US under the Africa Growth and Opportunity Act (Agoa), Jack Kipling, the chairman of the Clothing Export Council, said this week.Duty- and quota-free entry gave South African companies an average 17 percent price advantage over Far Eastern suppliers. Exposure to global markets would speed up the drive to become more internationally competitive, he said.The order giving the stamp of approval for...

15 March 2001