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Zambia Battles to Benefit from AGOA

Published date:
Monday, 31 January 2005

Zambia has remained one of the countries that has benefited the least from the Africa Growth Opportunity Act (AGOA) with exports that have remained meagre and mostly indirect.

The direct trade was largely in the form of yarn exported to countries that make clothing for the United States of America (USA) market.

According to statistics, total trade between sub-Saharan Africa and the USA in 2002 amounted to US$ 24 billion of which $18 billion were USA imports from Africa.

However, only a small portion of this huge amount came to Zambia as money earned from AGOA exports.

Export Board of Zambia (EBZ) executive director Glyne Michelo, said this in an interview after making a presentation at an AGOA sensitisation workshop held at the Savoy Hotel in Ndola at the weekend.

Mr Michelo said even small countries like Lesotho, Swaziland and Mauritius had exported huge quantities of products to America and earned more money compared to Zambia.

"For instance between 2001 and 2003 Malawi, Swaziland and Lesotho doubled their exports under AGOA," he said.

He, was however, optimistic of increased floricultural and horticultural exports to the America once the Pest Risk Assessments (PRAS) were completed on a number of floricultural and horticultural products before the end of this year.

"A positive outcome of the PRAS will stimulate increased production and contribute positively towards poverty reduction," he said.

Currently only peas are eligible for export to the US under AGOA.

He said the US government had expressed its wish to assist the Zambian Government and business community identify products that fall in the categories of handicrafts and textiles and the requirements for exports.

He urged entrepreneurs to meet the challenge and that Government had done its part as a facilitator adding that AGOA was an opportunity for growth especially for companies and countries that produce and export products qualifying under the legislation.

“AGOA Latest AGOA Trade Data currently available on

Click here to view a sector profile of Zambia’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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