- African Growth and Opportunity Act
TRALAC - Trade Law Centre
You are here: Home/News/Article/US Ambassador to Togo to visit Alaffia factory ahead of AGOA summit

US Ambassador to Togo to visit Alaffia factory ahead of AGOA summit

US Ambassador to Togo to visit Alaffia factory ahead of AGOA summit
Published date:
Wednesday, 12 April 2017

US Ambassador David Gilmour, who represents the United States in the nation of Togo, will travel to Tumwater April 11-13 to tour the headquarters of natural body care products company Alaffia. The company has been selected to present their success story at the 38-nation AGOA (African Growth and Opportunity Act) summit being held in Togo in August.

Ambassador Gilmour will participate in a number of events while he is in the Olympia area to discuss why Washington state and the nation of Togo could mutually benefit from a stronger trade relationship. Alaffia’s founders, and the Alaffia Empowerment Council, made up of four women leaders from the nation of Togo, will join him.

Alaffia is a fair trade organization. Raw materials for its body care products are derived from the shea nut that is collected and refined into shea butter in Togo, then sent to Alaffia’s Tumwater manufacturing facility where it is turned into popular shampoos, lotions, soaps and other natural body care products.

Alaffia was founded by Olowo-n’djo Tchala and his wife Prairie Rose Hyde to create a private enterprise that could sustain villages in Togo where Tchala was raised. The products became such a hit with socially conscious consumers, the business quickly grew from their garage in Olympia to a 100,000-square-foot facility in Tumwater.

More than 120 people are employed in Tumwater. And 11,000 villagers in Togo work directly or indirectly as shea nut, grass and baobab collectors, basket weavers and other cooperative members.

Since its launch in 2004, Alaffia’s empowerment initiatives have resulted in 57,575 trees planted, 32,842 school supply recipients, 7,482 bikes distributed, 24,927 eyeglasses donated and more than 4,463 babies safely delivered in Togo.

Alaffia’s fair trade practices, which include paying four times the current wage in Togo, are seen as a model for advancing gender equality. This has led to an invitation to Alaffia to showcase their uniquely successful cooperative at the AGOA Summit.


The Public are invited to attend the following event:

Community & Student Symposium at Saint Martin’s University

Wednesday, April 12, 7:00-8:30 p.m.

Norman Worthington Center

5300 Pacific Ave SE, Lacey, WA

Event Details: Washing Away Poverty with Socially Responsible Soap is a free community symposium. Panelists will include Ambassador David Gilmour, Olowo-n’djo Tchala, Prairie Rose Hyde and the Alaffia Empowerment Council made up of four women leaders from the nation of Togo.

To learn more about Alaffia, visit

Read related news articles

Togo's textile focused SEZ aims to create value-added textile supply chain

Togo’s ‘PIA’, a textile focussed SEZ, aims to create an eco-system for textile value chains and offer multiple incentives to foreign investors investing in the Textile Park.  A West African nation ‘Togo’ recently established the Adétikopé Industrial Platform (PIA), a Special Economic Zone (SEZ) conceptualised by ARISE IIP, to unlock the growth potential and promote the industrialisation of Togo. Located along the strategic...

05 October 2021

How African countries can maximise the benefits that AGOA provides

Since the year 2000, the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) has given eligible African countries duty and quota free access to the United States’ markets. This has created an opportunity for African businesses, big or small to meet, trade with new markets and improve the quality of their products. Over the years, it has been described as a catalyst for democracy and a criterion for African countries that want to partake in the AGOA...

31 October 2017

Togo qualifies for AGOA textile and apparel benefits

As the U.S. continues its wholesale review of all trade agreements and preference programs—including the African Growth and Opportunity Act—it seems to still be building up on the AGOA program that’s so far still set to run through 2025. Last month, the United States Trade Representative said Togo is now eligible to enjoy trade benefits under AGOA for textile and apparel products. A statement in the Federal Register (see document link...

25 August 2017

Togo's trade minister laments suboptimal use of AGOA provisions

Togo's trade minister said here Tuesday that the United States' African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) is "not used optimally" by African economies. Bernadette Legzim-Balouki, Togolese minister of trade and private sector promotion, said this during the session on the private sector and civil society at the 16th Forum of the AGOA in Lome, capital of Togo. The Togolese minister cited the lack of optimal use of AGOA regarding the challenges...

09 August 2017

Reps Brady & Reichert express strong support for AGOA as US co-hosts forum in Togo

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Kevin Brady (R-TX) and Trade Subcommittee Chairman Dave Reichert (R-WA) issued the following statements as the United States and Togo co-host the 2017 African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) Forum this week to further strengthen important economic ties between the United States and Africa. Reinforcing his support for AGOA, Chairman Brady said: “The bipartisan 10-year...

08 August 2017

Press Release: US delegation at 2017 AGOA Forum in Togo

Office of the Spokesperson, Washington, DC, August 7, 2017 Senior Bureau Official for African Affairs Peter Barlerin will travel to Togo from August 7 – August 10 as part of the delegation led by U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer to attend the 2017 African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) Forum, held August 8-10 in Lomé, Togo. Established by AGOA law, the annual forum provides a platform for promoting stronger...

07 August 2017

The Trump administration’s first AGOA Forum

Next week, some 40 African finance and trade ministers, along with a large contingent of senior U.S. government officials will descend upon the coastal city of Lomé, Togo for the annual African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) Forum. There will be more eyes on this year’s Forum. Aside from Secretary Ross’ brief address at the Corporate Council on Africa’s Annual Summit earlier in the summer, this will be the first...

04 August 2017

AGOA Forum 2017 in Togo: Details

>> AGOA Forum 2018 details will follow shortly << See's AGOA Forum section HERE.   Other links:   Official AGOA Forum Togo 2017 Website   Official Website of the AGOA CSO Network   Official Website of the AGOA Private Sector event  

28 July 2017

The US and Togo to co-host the 2017 AGOA Forum in Lomé, Togo

The United States and Togo will co-host the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) Forum in Lomé, Togo August 8-10. The Forum will bring together senior government officials from the United States and 38 Sub-Saharan African AGOA-eligible countries to discuss ways to boost economic cooperation and trade between the United States and Africa. The African Union and regional economic communities will also participate. The theme of this...

14 July 2017

You are here: Home/News/Article/US Ambassador to Togo to visit Alaffia factory ahead of AGOA summit