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AGOA Action Committee Plans 2008

Published date:
Tuesday, 11 December 2007

Representatives from a broad spectrum of African governments, NGOs, domestic and international trade associations and private sector companies gathered Wednesday under the umbrella of the AGOA Action Committee, to plan a revitalised push for new African trade legislation in 2008.

Participants included Ambassadors from AGOA beneficiary countries, the African Union, and advocacy groups including Constituency for Africa, Oxfam, World Vision, GoodWorks International and Reach the Children.

The Committee, co-chaired by former Congressman Jack Kemp and Rosa Whitaker, President of The Whitaker Group, has worked over the years to advance AGOA in the US Congress, the private sector and investment community.

Whitaker convened the meeting to review the congressional agenda for Africa in 2008 and discuss opportunities to strengthen AGOA and advance enhanced legislation. The group discussed in-depth a range of ideas for a new Africa trade bill that would improve the existing African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA).

“We have had considerable success under AGOA, with non-oil AGOA imports reaching $3.2 billion (E22.4 billion) last year. But we cannot take this progress for granted. AGOA needs continued advocacy to remain effective for Africa,” said Ms. Whitaker.

“There is continued support and momentum in Congress for a bill focused on Africa, and this Committee needs to mobilise its various constituencies to contribute innovative ideas on how to improve AGOA and go beyond it, to address other barriers to development in Africa.”

Addressing the Committee were Ambassador Molelekeng E. Rapolaki, of Lesotho, AGOA's largest apparel exporter. Also speaking were Martin Trust, owner and CEO of Samtex (USA) Inc., one of AGOAís strongest private sector advocates, and Sarah Rogge, Senior Trade Policy Advisor for DATA (Debt, AIDS, Trade Africa).

The mission of the AGOA Action Committee is to coordinate a coalition of corporate leaders, NGOs, academics and other friends of Africa to address the challenges facing Africa by identifying obstacles to development, providing innovative solutions, and advocating to keep AGOA strong and relevant to Africaís long-term economic development.

“ Latest AGOA Trade Data currently available on

Click here to view a sector profile of Swaziland’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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