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Botswana: New AGOA Advisor Joins Trade Hub

Published date:
Friday, 10 December 2004

Amanda Hilligas has joined the Southern Africa Global Competitiveness Trade Hub, based here in Gaborone, as the new African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) Advisor.

Hilligas has 10 years of experience working on economic development and trade issues in Sub-Saharan Africa. She has travelled extensively in the region and has a thorough understanding of trade-related and business development issues in Africa. Before coming to Botswana, she served as the Southern Africa Desk Officer at the US Department of Commerce, where she also served as a policy expert on AGOA.

In 2003 Botswana exports under AGOA were valued at US$6.3 million, representing 46 percent of total exports. In the first nine months of this year, AGOA exports were valued at $15.5 million (about P67.9 million), representing an increase of 257 percent over the same nine month period in 2003. Total exports to the US over this period grew by over 460 percent, and were valued at $54.2 million (about P237 million), while US exports to Botswana grew by nearly 115 percent to $36.1 million. At least six firms in Botswana exported apparel to the US in 2003. "The key will be for Botswana to diversify, and identify areas for value-added products in areas where AGOA provides an immediate tariff benefit not available to most other US trading partners," said Hilligas. "In the future Botswana could also consider how they might utilize production sharing or joint production with other countries in the region. For example, there might be scope in light manufacturing and services related to productive sectors of South Africa."

US Ambassador Joseph Huggins welcomed Hilligas appointment and encouraged businesses in Botswana to take advantage of her expertise. "AGOA III extends the window of opportunity for Botswana. We recognize that business is the engine for Botswana's growth and is the key to diversifying the country's economy. The US and Botswana are already doing business - and we need to do whatever we can to build on these successes," he said.

The US Agency for International Development's Regional Centre for Southern Africa (RCSA) established the Trade Hub here in June 2002, to respond to President Bush's announcement of his new trade initiative for Africa. The Trade Hub enables Southern African countries to benefit from expansion of trade opportunities with the US through AGOA as well as other trade initiatives.

“AGOA Latest AGOA Trade Data currently available on

Click here to view a sector profile of Botswana’s bilateral trade with the United States, disaggregated by total exports and imports, AGOA exports and GSP exports.

Other regularly updated trade statistics on include: (click each link to view)

  • AGOA-beneficiary Countries’ AGOA and GSP Trade Aggregates

  • AGOA Trade by Industry Sector

  • Apparel Trade under AGOA’s Wearing Apparel Provisions

  • Latest Apparel Quotas under AGOA

  • Bilateral Trade Data for all AGOA-eligible countries individually.

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