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Zambia: AGOA Ministers push for better deal with US

Published date:
Thursday, 12 May 2011

African countries yesterday called for a better deal with the US over the 10-year-old Africa Ministers conference on the African Growth Opportunity Act (AGOA).

They felt the trade preference pact should benefit Sub-Saharan countries better.

Speaking at the opening of the AGOA commerce ministers' mid-term review meeting in Lusaka yesterday, the African Union (AU), Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA) and the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA) and host Zambia said the preference trade deal needed adjustments.

Zambia's Ministry of Commerce acting Permanent Secretary Lubasi Sakwiba said statistics on AGOA showed a huge imbalance of trade.

Mr Sakwiba said while there was sufficient data showing how beneficial AGOA was to the African continent, the results were were not as good as expected.

He called for participating countries to speak out on matters affecting them so that a common revised strategy could be championed.

"Out of 6500 product tariff lines offered by AGOA initiative, African countries are barely utilising 0.25 per cent of the total product lines offered and Zambia for example has only exported less than 10 product categories leaving a balance of 6490 products unutilised," he said.

Mr Sakwiba said it was unfair that energy products could continue to dominate trade to more than 90 per cent and nothing is seen to be done to improve other export products or build capacity to produce more production capacity.

He said most of the investment that Africa has attracted from the US was in the energy sector.

UNECA director Regional Integration, infrastructure and Trade Division Joseph Atta-Menash urged African countries to state how best they wanted AGOA to benefit the continent.

African Union Ambassador Plenipotentiary to the US Amina Ali said there was need to properly address the market access challenge that Africa countries were facing despite there being some trade incentives.

She said while AGOA is hailed for creating employment in Africa, it has failed to address serious challenges faced in market access.

She said it was time for Africa to set a common agenda ahead of the AGOA Summit proper next month.

“ 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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