TRALAC - Trade Law Centre

AGOA Forum ends today

Wednesday, 16 July 2008

Source: The Swazi Observer

THE seventh United States sub-Saharan Africa Trade and Economic Cooperation Forum - the African Growth and- Opportunity Act (AGOA) Forum - which began on Monday ends today in Washignton DC.

The forum, with the theme 'Mobilising Private Investment for Trade and Growth' focused on the linkages between private investment and economic growth in Africa as well as highlighted ways in which African countries could best take advantage of trade opportunities under AGOA.

A statement released by the American embassy said this event brought together senior US administration officials and African government ministers as well as US and African members of the private sector and civil society. The ministerial sessions were held yesterday at the Department of State while representatives of civil society and the private sector were hosted during events that took place on Monday as well as today.

"Senior officials from more than 10 US government agencies were expected to attend," read the statement. AGOA represents a progressive US trade and investment policy toward the continent that is meant to reduce barriers to trade, increasing diversified exports, creating jobs and expanding opportunities for Africans.

Specifically, AGOA provides trade preferences to designated countries that are making progress in economic and political reforms. With the recent Togo and Union of the Comoros, there are currently 41 sub-Saharan African countries that can take advantage of the trade benefits offered by AGOA.