Uganda parliamentary speaker rallies public to attend local AGOA expo

Uganda parliamentary speaker rallies public to attend local AGOA expo
Published
Saturday, 11 May 2019 ~ NIXON SEGAWA

The Speaker of Parliament, Rebecca Kadaga has highlighted that more needs to be done in creating awareness about the opportunities provided by the African Growth Opportunity Act (AGOA).

AGOA is a United States Trade Act, enacted on 18 May 2000 as Public Law that significantly enhances market access to the U.S for qualifying Sub-Saharan African (SSA) countries.

Kadaga sounded the call on Friday while addressing the media ahead of a sensitization workshop and exhibition at Parliament organized by the AGOA Exporters Association of Uganda.

The event will take place on May 14 and 15 at the Parliamentary grounds.

Kadaga said there is need to popularize AGOA since not enough Ugandans know how to access the bene!ts it offers.

The AGOA exhibition and workshop are timely in ensuring that the public is made aware of the opportunities that are available and the kind of products they can export to America, she said.

“The exhibition and the workshop are welcome. Not enough Ugandans know about AGOA and not enough Ugandans know how to access it. Even when we are budgeting, sometimes it is di#cult to support the funding,” Kadaga said.

She added, “I thought we should assist the country by showcasing what AGOA offers, this also reminds me that some years ago, I and other legislators were invited to go the U.S Congress to lobby for extension of AGOA”.

“A lot of good products have been produced in Uganda and all we need is to streamline the channels of communication, the channels of transmission and quality control. If we do that, I know the sky can only be the limit and Ugandans can take advantage of the 800 products that can be exported to the U.S market,” she added.

The chairperson of the AGOA Exporters Association of Uganda, Meg Jaquay Hilbert assured the public that accessing AGOA is not di#cult and is open to everyone.

“Once a product meets the market needs, it can easily enter into United States. We also want to end the notion that AGOA is dead, we are very alive in Uganda and that is what we want everyone to take away from this exhibition,”Jaquay said.

Jaquay said nearly 70 export-ready and current USA exporters under the AGOA program will be exhibiting their products at the Parliament grounds.

“The exhibitors will be exclusively showcasing Made in Uganda products from across the 7 sectors of the AGOA Uganda National Strategy including crafts, fashion, home décor, specialty foods and coffee,” Jaquay said.

On the same note, the Senior Presidential Advisor on AGOA, Susan Muhwezi appealed to the Private Sector, government and Parliament to take AGOA seriously due to the enormous opportunities it offers.

Muhwezi gave an example of countries like Nigeria, Kenya and South Africa that have reaped big out of AGOA exports.

If you compare countries that export Oil and Oil Products like Nigeria, you find that AGOA is making billions, I am looking forward to when our oil is out and we begin exporting it under AGOA because it is an exportable product, Muhwezi said.

Muhwezi added: “I call upon the private sector to

take AGOA seriously, I also call upon government and Parliament to priotize AGOA because where you invest is where you make money”.

Muhwezi noted however that through the private sector, the country was able to earn USD 82m from AGOA in 2017 but this reduced to USD 53m in 2018.

During the two-day event, executives and staff from the East African Trade and Investment Hub in Nairobi will host various workshops on how to reach the USA market, how to address standards and will showcase current success stories from various Ugandan exporters who have been in the U.S market for nearly 10 years.

 

View related news articles

Uganda's Museveni to investors: Exploit Africa’s untapped investment potential

Uganda's President Yoweri Museveni has told a group of African-American investors who are in the country to explore investment opportunities that investing in Uganda is a ‘sure deal’ to the success of their projects because of the prevailing excellent investment environment in the country. The 16 member team was led by Senegalese-American celebrity and businessman Aliaune Damala Badara Akon Thiam alias Akon who met the President earlier...

18 May 2021

Uganda to work on increasing exports in wake of Covid-19 challenges

In the wake of COVID-19 and its devastating effects, Uganda is producing solution-based products onto market. Unlike in the past, Ugandan products have been warmly received by local consumers because of their improved quality, says NRM National Treasurer Namayanja Rose Nsereko. According to her, Ugandan scientists are in final stages of testing COVID-19 vaccines with 90% probable curing capacity. “All these innovations coupled with...

13 December 2020

Ugandan exporters sensitized on export requirements to benefit from AGOA

The USAID East Africa Trade and Investment Hub (the Hub) partnered with the Uganda Parliament Speaker’s Office, the AGOA Country Response Office and AGOA Exporters Association, to conduct the Uganda Parliamentary AGOA Sensitization Workshops and Exhibition on May 14 -15  at the Uganda Parliament in Kampala. The Ugandan companies learned about the AGOA export requirements to enable them to fully utilize this duty free...

16 May 2019

Uganda crafts strategy to maximise potential of its apparel sector

Uganda is crafting a new strategy to revamp its cotton, textiles and apparel sector as part of efforts to tap into the booming global textiles and apparels market. The plans dovetail with similar efforts to refocus the under-exploited opportunity presented by the US-sponsored African Growth Opportunity Act (Agoa) where Uganda's earnings have been modest. Although Agoa represents a huge opportunity for Uganda, its prospects in the past have...

29 April 2019

Uganda: Government working on new AGOA strategy

Uganda will, before the end of April, reportedly launch a national strategy that will identify key products that Uganda can leverage on to improve its exports to US.  The strategy, whose formulation started in 2016, seeks to among others, identify five key products that can influence Uganda’s penetration into the US market.  Ms Suzan Muhwezi, the head of Agoa Secretariat, said the strategy has already been tabled before...

15 April 2019

Uganda's plan for more trade under AGOA

Uganda is working on a plan to increase its exports to the US through the Africa Growth and Opportunity Act (Agoa) in the next five years. Under Agoa, a US trade legislation enacted in May 2000, sub-Saharan African countries export more than 6,000 different products duty free. The Act originally covered an eight-year period from October 2000 to September 2008, but legislative amendments signed into law by former US president George Bush in...

28 November 2018

Uganda must not rely on a single partner, says US envoy

[Source: interview with US Ambassador to Uganda, Deborah Malac] What is the role of the private sector?  We firmly believe that private sector growth is the key to sustainable economic growth. Governments should not be the sole driver of economic activity because no government will ever have enough money to do everything.  The private sector plays a crucial role in economic growth and it is important that it takes the lead in...

21 May 2018

Uganda yet to exploit AGOA opportunity – Ambassador Malac

The US Ambassador to Uganda, Deborah Malac, has said Uganda has not taken full advantage of the Africa Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA). Uganda is one of 38 African countries eligible for tariff-free and quota-free access to the US market. AGOA allows over 6,000 products to be exported to America. The AGOA arrangement has been in place for close to eighteen years but there are concerns that Uganda has not fully exploited this preferential...

14 April 2018

US Ambassador cautions Uganda on transparency in investment procedures

The US Ambassador to Uganda Deborah Malac has cautioned Uganda on the bureaucracies and red tape in investment procedures saying they discourage many potential investors. Malac said this during a meeting with the Minister of Trade, Industry and Cooperatives Amelia Kyambadde to discuss trade relations between USA and Uganda on Tuesday 6th March 2018 at the Ministry of trade offices. Malac revealed that many American investors have...

08 March 2018

Opinion: Banning second-hand imports doesn't solve East Africa's clothes problem

Banning the import of second-hand clothes is not the answer to reviving East Africa's textile industry. But the deal to phase out the imports also hands another political score to the US, writes DW's Isaac Mugabi. The move to not ban the sale of second-hand clothing was a relief to petty traders. In 2015, Kenya, Rwanda, Uganda, and Tanzania agreed on a three-year plan to gradually phase out the importation of second-hand clothes and...

05 March 2018