Ambassador Cynthia Akuetteh - Remarks for the Announcement of dates for the 2015 AGOA Forum

Ambassador Cynthia Akuetteh - Remarks for the Announcement of dates for the 2015 AGOA Forum
Published
Thursday, 16 April 2015 ~ Official speech

Mr. Minister, Distinguished Guests.

I am grateful for the opportunity to be here today, and I want to thank Minister Tchango for the invitation. And thank you to all of you for coming out today.  Your attendance – and your hard work – is a testament to the commitment between the United States and Gabon to deepen our economic partnership and grow our commercial relationship to bring shared prosperity to both of our countries.  I am thrilled that the United States and Gabon will co-host the 2015 African Growth and Opportunity Act Forum here in Libreville. 

For 14 years, AGOA has been one of the United States’ primary tools to develop active partnerships and push forward greater trade and investment in Africa.  And AGOA has been a clear success. Partly thanks to AGOA, Africa is diversifying its economies, creating new opportunities for private businesses and private investment, creating jobs, and bringing new prosperity to its citizens.  Exports to the United States under AGOA were over USD 25.5 billion in 2014, and non-oil exports have grown by a factor of four since AGOA began in 2001.  And AGOA-related investment has resulted in the creation of over 300,000 jobs in sub-Saharan Africa. 

At the AGOA Forum in Washington last August, Secretary of State John Kerry celebrated the program’s many successes.  From cocoa and cashew-producers in Ghana to textile manufacturers and workers in Mauritius, AGOA has empowered workers and businesspeople across the continent.

AGOA creates new partnerships.  As just one example, Ford Motor Company now produces and exports engines duty-free from South Africa thanks to an investment of more than 300 million dollars, creating jobs both in South Africa and in the United States.  We want AGOA to create active partnerships of this kind here in Gabon. 

The 2015 AGOA Forum in Libreville will be a great opportunity to highlight and deepen the economic partnership between the United States and Gabon.  It is also a great opportunity for you to show off everything Gabon has to offer to investors – a government that aims to create a friendly and open business and investment environment, a highly educated population, an emerging entrepreneurial class, a strategic location in a dynamic region, and a wealth of natural resources.   

As a commercial partner, a source of investment, a market for Gabonese goods, and as a good friend, the United States is elated to co-host the 2015 AGOA Forum with you.  We look forward to continuing to work with you to ensure the Forum is a resounding success. 

Thank you for your time.  And let me wish all Gabonese women, particularly our partners in the community of women entrepreneurs, a happy Gabonese Women’s Day tomorrow.

 

View related news articles

Mixed consensus emerges at AGOA Forum

The 14th African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) Forum took place from 25-27 August in the Gabonese capital, Libreville. Considered the central pillar of economic relations between the US and sub-Saharan Africa, AGOA provides duty-free quota-free access to the US market for over 6000 products. Its renewal in June until 2025 had been enthusiastically welcomed by many. The Forum was attended by over 1,000 delegates from 39 AGOA-eligible...

03 September 2015

Officials 'happy after AGOA meeting'

South Africa and the United States are a bit closer to reaching consensus on chicken and pork imports from the US, the trade and industry ministry said on Thursday. Trade and Industry Minister Rob Davies and the US Trade Representative Ambassador Michael Froman met in Libreville, Gabon on the sidelines of the African Growth and Opportunity Act (Agoa) on Wednesday. The two discussed how far South Africa had progressed in meeting demands from...

28 August 2015

Remarks by Ambassador Michael Froman at the opening ceremony of the 2015 AGOA Forum

“Good morning. “Your Excellency, President Bongo Ondimba, Honorable Minister Tchango, esteemed members of the Gabonese Government, Ministers and Heads of Delegations from the 39 AGOA partner countries, my U.S. Government colleagues, and private sector and civil society leaders: “If I may borrow a phrase I learned here in Africa: All protocol observed. “It’s a pleasure to be among so many friends of AGOA. “And of course, some of...

26 August 2015

African countries urged to intensify education on AGOA to reap benefits

Mr Arun Kumar, Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Global Markets of the United States of America, has called for more education and awareness creation on the benefits of the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) to African businesses. Speaking to journalists in Ghana during a stop-over on his way to the 2015 AGOA Summit in Libreville-Gabon, Mr. Arun said Africa was not taking enough advantage of the AGOA, which was meant to give the...

26 August 2015

African nations hope to benefit from renewed US legislation

The United States and African nations hold the first conference this week in Gabon on the African Growth and Opportunities Act since Congress recently renewed a zero tariff deal for another 10 years. African nations hope to better exploit preferential access in the future - most analysts say AGOA has been under-utilized. Exhibitors at the AGOA forum in the Gabonese capital, Libreville, are ready to take full advantage of exporting their...

26 August 2015

AGOA 2015: Moving to sustainable US-Africa trade and investment partnership

The American consumer has long been accustomed to reading labels marked “Made in China.” However, across the United States, more shoppers are seeing “Made in Ghana,” “Made in Tanzania,” and other labels. African products ranging from luxury bags to specialty hot sauces are reaching largely American audiences thanks to the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA).   Created in 2000, AGOA permits duty-free entry for nearly 98...

26 August 2015

Gabon to host AGOA Forum, a first for Central Africa

Gabon will be the first Central African country to host the AGOA Forum, which meets August 24-27 in Libreville, according to a statement from the U.S. State Department. The 2015 African Growth and Opportunity Act Forum will provide an opportunity to celebrate the recent reauthorization of AGOA, take stock of AGOA’s successes over the last 15 years and launch a dialogue on the future of U.S.-Africa trade, the State Department said. Senior...

23 August 2015

Unlocking Africa’s trade potential

Africa’s rise challenges the imagination. During the last decade, Sub-Saharan Africa was home to six of the world’s ten fastest-growing economies. During the next five years, the region’s GDP is expected to grow 30% faster than that of the rest of the world. And, during the next 35 years, the continent will account for more than half of the world’s population growth, according to the United Nations. These trends will give African...

23 August 2015

AGOA Forum 2015 to assess gains, losses of pact

An Africa-US forum in Gabon this week will celebrate the recent extension of the preferential trade programme -- the Africa Growth and Opportunity Act -- and initiate what an Obama administration official describes as "a strategic conversation" about US-Africa trade relations. President Barack Obama last month signed into law a 10-year extension of Agoa. A long-term renewal had been the top Agoa priority of African countries that have...

22 August 2015

Five things you should know about the 2015 AGOA Forum

On August 24-27, 2015, Gabon and the United States will co-host the U.S.-sub-Saharan Africa Trade and Economic Cooperation Forum, commonly known as the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) Forum. AGOA is the centerpiece of the United States government's trade policy with sub-Saharan Africa. The 2015 Forum marks the 14th year that government officials, business leaders, and civil society from African countries and the United States will...

21 August 2015

US State Department Media Note: AGOA Forum in Gabon

On August 24-27, the United States and Gabon will co-host the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) Forum in Libreville, Gabon.  Recently reauthorized by the U.S. Congress for an additional ten years, AGOA has been the cornerstone of the U.S. government’s trade policy with sub-Saharan Africa since 2000. The theme of this year’s Forum is “AGOA at 15:  Charting a Course for a Sustainable U.S.-Africa Trade and Investment...

21 August 2015