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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