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Ghana wants more US starch experts

Published date:
Friday, 01 June 2007

Ghana has put in a request to the United States Government for additional expertise in the production and branding of quality starch to meet the US market under the Africa Growth and Opportunity Act.

This is in addition to the few experts already in town assisting the Ghana Government and other starch producers under the President's Special Initiatives to produce quality starch to meet the US market.

Trade, Industry, Private Sector Development and President"s Special Initiative Minister Alan Kyerematen on the sidelines of the launch of the 6th AGOA forum in Accra, Thursday told The Statesman that, striving to overcome the challenges of starch production for the United States market under AGOA is a continuous one, which the arrival of the experts is set to address.

The arrival of the experts comes at a time Ghana is battling to meet key challenges in the production of garment and starch under AGOA.

Among the challenges Ghana faces accessing the US market for its starch under AGOA is the Sanitary Phyto Sanitary, which is the quality and superiority of the starch.

The other hold back is the supply side constrain, where the country is unable to deliver enough starch to meet its quota for the US market.

In the case of apparel however, Ghana has been performing relatively well since it achieved AGOA eligibility in 2002, by raking in an estimated $192.1m in its 2006 export to the United States.

Minister Kyerematen said Ghanaian firms under the President’s Special Initiatives are meeting the requirements of the US market by exporting high quality apparel under AGOA.

The Africa Growth and Opportunity Act is part of the Trade and Development Act of 2000 of the US, which is aimed at promoting economic development and quicken the integration of African economies into the world trading system.

AGOA offers countries African countries, the opportunities to export over 6,400 products to the US market, which is the largest consumer market in the world.

The expiry date for AGOA has already been extended from the original end date of 2008 to 2015 while the provision in the act on export of apparel from third country fabric has also been shifted to 2012.

Sub Saharan African countries are eligible to participate in the programme if the they introduced reforms in the areas of market based economies, rule of law and political pluralism, elimination of barriers to US trade and investment, protection of intellectual property and combating corruption and poverty, protection of human rights and increasing availability of healthcare and educational opportunities.

So far, 38 African countries have to date fulfilled all the conditions and have been classified as AGOA eligible countries.

Minister Kyerematen announced that the 6th US-Sub Saharan Africa Trade and Economic Cooperation, known as the 6th AGOA forum is scheduled to take place from the 16th to 19th July 2007 in Accra.

The AGOA forum, which is an annual event, offers an opportunity for representatives from governments, the private sector and the civil society of the United States and AGOA eligible Sub Saharan African countries, to discuss ways and means of increasing trade and investment between the two geographical regions as well as to take stock of progress of implementation of the AGOA act, analyse challenges, explore opportunities and develop strategies to improve future performance.

The Accra forum will be preceded by an experts meeting on July 16, 2007 and a meeting of the African Ministerial Consultative Group on July 17, 2007. The forum will be held on July 18-19, 2007 and is expected to be officially launched by President Kufuor of Ghana with a delegation from the United States.

“ Latest AGOA Trade Data currently available on

Click here to view a sector profile of Ghana’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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