- African Growth and Opportunity Act
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Zambia hasn’t taken full advantage of AGOA, says ZDA expert

Published date:
Tuesday, 01 March 2011

Zambia has not fully taken advantage of the Africa Growth Opportunity Act due to supply side constraints, says Zambia Development Agency export and market development expert Moses Simemba.

Zambia’s export figures to the USA under act, including the General System of Preferences (GSP) provisions of the USA law, rose steadily from US$361,000 in 2006 to US$10.9 million in 2008 and decline thereafter, with an export figure of just US $121,000 in 2009.

Addressing the media on Zambia’s AGOA experience, Simemba said Zambia had previously failed to take full advantage of the act due to internal industrial weaknesses, but was now poised to export horticultural products such as honey, specialty foods, paprika and spices. Other products included gemstones and hardwood products such as doors, parques and flooring materials.

“Zambia’s competitive advantage lies in the export of gemstones, floricultural and horticultural products such as cut flowers and high-value vegetables like mange tout, baby corn, asparagus and carrots,” he said. “Currently Zambia has three vegetables eligible to be exported to the USA under AGOA.

However, we are unable to export garments and textile products to the USA because the sector has virtually collapsed because of competition from second-hand clothes and a lack of new investment in the sector.”

Simemba said that eight years ago, Zambia worked on a national AGOA strategy, which came up with seven key strategic issues that needed to be addressed for the country to improve its performance under the act.

The identified areas included market access information and intelligence, infrastructure development, institutional co-ordination, investment promotion, access to finance and food safety policy framework.

He said his team had discussed the need for USA companies to invest in sectors such as energy, health including the production of syringes or ARVS for sale locally and export into regional markets like COMESA and SADC.

Zambia will be hosting an AGOA forum later this year.

“ 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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