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Tanzania: Govt adopts programme to boost trade through AGOA

Published date:
Wednesday, 29 June 2011

Tanzania has adopted a special integration programme geared to boost trade and increase the volume of goods sold to the United States through the African Growth Opportunity Act (Agoa).

Industry, Trade and Marketing deputy minister Lazaro Nyalandu made the revelation in Parliament yesterday when responding to a question by special seats Member of Parliament Riziki Omar Juma (CUF).

The legislator had demanded latest fugures of the volume of trade under the Agoa initiative over the last year.

In his response, Nyalandu said that the programme focused on prioritised crops and products, namely cashew nuts, coffee, minerals, and clothes and those produced traditionally by hands (handicrafts).

He said the programme was implemented through the established Export Processing Zones (EPZ) and Special Economic Zones (SEZ). Nyalandu said the two production centres generated products for both local and international markets.

“The government has also been conducting training for entrepreneurs in the country and provide them with market information to let them benefit from trade opportunities through Agoa,” said the minister.

However, he said African countries exporting and benefiting much from Agoa initiative were those selling petroleum products like Nigeria, informing that 96 per cent of commodities sold through the Agoa last year were those made from petroleum. Due to that fact, Nyalandu, said Tanzania was rated among countries which had exported fewer products last year.

He said more efforts should be directed in producing quality products and packaging them according to internationally accepted standards to make them competitive in the market and to US customers.

He gave an example of Zanzibar spices, which he said were famous worldwide, but had failed to penetrate into international markets due to various reasons, poor packaging being one of them.

According to him, Tanzania started exporting to the US through Agoa in February 2002 after meeting required conditions and between the year and 2007 it had already sold commodities worth USD 13,400,000 million.

He said that in 2008 and 2009, the country exported commodities worth USD 527,000 million and USD 1,006,000 million respectively. And last year, he said commodities worth USD 1,867,000 million, equivalent to an increase of 85 per cent compared to previous years, were sold.

Through the Agoa initiative, sub-Saharan African countries exports to the US are charged zero import duty under the generalised system of preferences covering approximately 4,600 items, he told the House.

“ Latest AGOA Trade Data currently available on

Click here to view a sector profile of Tanzania'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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