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Cameroon: AGOA - new committee, new challenges

Published date:
Friday, 02 November 2007

The technical committee on the American business law is expected to increase the zeal of Cameroonian businesses to trade with the U.S.

The African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) voted into law by the American congress in 2000 to boost trade between the African continent and the United States of American is once more in the news following the signing last 29 October, of a Prime Ministerial decree on the creation, organisation and functioning of a National Technical Committee to follow up its implementation in Cameroon.

Initially programmed to cover an eight-year period, the American business preferential law was later on prolonged to 2015, widening the opportunities for Cameroonian businesses to carryout import and export activities with President Bush's country. The decree abrogates all contrary dispositions that featured in the decree of 01 October, 2001 creating a similar committee. Placed under the Ministry in charge of external trade, the committee so created has as task to make known together with the administration, the private sector and organisations the American law, draw up a national strategy on AGOA and trace an implementation plan, establish contacts and networks with the United States to accompany AGOA implementation process, identify barriers to importation at the level of America and collaborate with American authorities to eliminate them, and finally, formulate appropriate recommendations on accelerating the implementation of AGOA in Cameroon.

The pile of tasks assigned to the committee testifies to What Jean Bolden, the president of the American chapter of said in October, last year; that "AGOA is opportunities and challenges with opportunities outweighing challenges". One year ago, Richard Nelson, Chargé d'Affairs at the Embassy of the United States in Yaounde, described the Cameroon situation as successful, citing the case of the African Women's Art Organization, which has been sending containers of art and handicrafts to the U.S. on a regular basis.

That was last year. How far Cameroonian businesses have gone with the AGOA process is the question many are asking today. So far, what is well known is that there are few Cameroonian firms in the textile sector that have been manufacturing and exporting workers' overalls for the American market. What is also known is that Cameroon's exports to the United States presently include: crude oil, cocoa beans, Arabica coffee, rubber, spices, wood products, tobacco, leather articles and art and handicraft.

“ Latest AGOA Trade Data currently available on

Click here to view a sector profile of Cameroon’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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