TRALAC - Trade Law Centre

AU tasks members on AGOA extension

Sunday, 04 May 2014

Source: The Guardian (Nigeria)

The Commission of the African Union (AU) has urged member countries to push for the extension of Africa Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) for the next 15 years to enable them maximise benefits through trade relations with the world.

The AU Commissioner for Trade and Industry, Mrs Fatima Haram, gave the task last week at the extra ordinary conference of AU Ministers of Trade in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia

Haram called for effort to strengthen and maintain momentum toward the establishment of Continental Free Trade Agreement (CFTA) as soon as possible due to the uncertainties in the various bilateral and multilateral trade negotiations with the developed economies.

"It has become even more critical for Africa to create and maintain momentum towards the establishment of CFTA that is ambitious as possible in as short a time as possible,’’ she said.

She stressed the need to prioritise the continent’s economic integration agenda over other bilateral and multilateral agreements because ``it is this agenda that is key to Africa’s economic transformation and development’’.

The commissioner said the conference was convened in response to the directive from the AU Summit of January as recommended by the High Level Africa Trade Committee (HATC).

HATC had urged member countries and regional economic communities to ensure that the negotiations of bilateral and multilateral trade agreements by the RECs and individual countries did not compromise Africa’s integration or undermine the scope of the Abuja treaty.