- African Growth and Opportunity Act
TRALAC - Trade Law Centre
You are here: Home/News/Article/Tanzanians 'benefit little from AGOA'

Tanzanians 'benefit little from AGOA'

Tanzanians 'benefit little from AGOA'
Published date:
Wednesday, 09 September 2015

Tanzanians have little to celebrate about the renewal of the 15-year old African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) for the other ten years due to organisational and financial constraints.

The US Congress has renewed Agoa for another 10 years to allow African made goods to sail through into the lucrative American markets. The renewal however remains subject to signing by US President Barack Obama.

Tanzania Chamber of Commerce, Industry and Agriculture’s (TCCIA) Director of Industrial Development Adam Zuku said in Dar es Salaam yesterday that although Agoa was good, accessing the American markets remains highly challenging.

“The American markets do not take small and erratic orders... to sell in America one has to supply in bulks and steadily,” Mr Zuku said, noting that majority Tanzanians are too disorganised and financially crippled to sustain supply to US markets. He cited handcrafts, which Tanzania has great potential of supplying, but due to disorganisation and lack of capital, Tanzanian handcrafts are exported to America through Kenya.

“Tanzania is still capable of manufacturing handcrafts but we have Kenyans who come here and buy the products before repacking them and exporting to the US as Kenyan products.” Mr Zuku described the public institutions’ support to the small traders as inevitable if the country has to benefit from the duty and quota free markets.

“Our local government authorities have not yet played their role in promoting the economy... they could easily organise and financially support handcraft manufacturers for instance to produce in bulk for the Agoa market.”

An official with the Ministry of Industry and Trade decried the private sector’s failure to make use of the business opportunity which the government has created. “The government’s task is to create conducive business environment for the private sector... it’s however disheartening when markets are created and instead of supplying, the private sector keeps on complaining over inexcusable limitations,” said the official.

The US, under Bill Clinton, enacted Agoa in 2000 to boost trade between America and Africa but Tanzania has in the past 15 years benefited little from the offer due to poor quality of her products and inability to sell in bulks.

As the backbone of the US-African commercial relationship, Agoa offers duty-free access to the US market for 6,400 products from 40 countries. Besides Agoa, Tanzania also enjoys preferential access to Canada, India, Europe, South Korea and Chinese markets.

Read related news articles

CTI and CCA coming together to develop a US-Tanzania trade and investment strategy

The Confederation of Tanzania Industries (CTI) has partnered with the Corporate Council on Africa (CCA) to develop a strategic approach to increase US-Tanzania trade and investments. The call was made by Ambassador Elsie Kanza, the Tanzanian Ambassador to the US. Among many other things, Ambassador Kanza tasked CTI to bring more visibility and awareness to the opportunities to expand Trade and investment between Tanzania and the USA under the...

13 November 2023

Africa seeks bigger US trade slice for AGOA to make sense

African countries may need more trade privileges with the US even as Washington reviews the African Growth and Opportunity Act (Agoa) meant to expand what the continent will export. At the end of the US-Africa summit in December, Washington pledged to renew Agoa, bringing clarity to uncertainties that had befell exporters from countries such as Kenya. But now experts say the narrow view of Agoa should be expanded to allow them to export more...

11 January 2023

Kenyan textile company eyes export market through new Zanzibar facility

A Kenyan company is setting up a $51.3 million (about Sh115 billion) factory in Zanzibar as it targets to get a pie of the world’s $920 billion textile market. The global textile industry was estimated at around $920 billion in 2018, and it was projected to reach approximately $1,230 billion by 2024, available global data show. With its $51.3 million factory at Chunguni area in Zanzibar, Basra Textiles Limited is specifically targeting...

12 January 2022

Tanzania strategises to up trade through AGOA

Tanzania has expressed its commitment to pulling up its socks in undertaking a number of measures in an effort to boost export to the US under the African Growth and Opportunity Act (Agoa). As envisioned in the National Agoa Strategy 2016, the measures according to the Industry and Trade Ministry, include: cutting operational costs to spar production, building a Tanzania-US traders network and improving business environment through the...

27 July 2021

Tanzania: Key US Congress members raise concerns about elections and treatment of US investors

The ranking Democratic and Republican members of the U.S. House Subcommittee on Africa are packing a resolution urging the government of Tanzania to respect human and economic rights and to conduct free and fair elections on October 28. House Resolution 1120 – sponsored by California Democrat Karen Bass, who chairs the subcommittee, and the ranking Republican, Chris Smith from New Jersey – reflects growing concern over political and...

01 October 2020

Tanzanian home textiles firms gain insights on US market

Tanzanian textile companies received a boost to their efforts to export products to the U.S. after attending a half-day workshop hosted by the USAID Hub. Fifteen Tanzanian design enterprises learned about U.S. market opportunities on January 15 in Dar es Salaam from Margaret Bishop, an expert in textile and apparel production and quality management. Ms. Bishop provided the companies with technical insights on U.S. home textile market trends,...

24 January 2019

Hello, America! USAID, direct flights to increase AGOA exports to US

The US Agency for International Development (USAID) Hub will from November 2018 to March 2019 provide direct support in the audit and Worldwide Responsible Accredited Production (WRAP) certification process. Already, USAID is helping companies in the East African region become more export competitive. WRAP is a minimum standard for social compliance where US textile and apparel buyers procure products from ethical and socially compliant...

19 October 2018

Opinion: Banning second-hand imports doesn't solve East Africa's clothes problem

Banning the import of second-hand clothes is not the answer to reviving East Africa's textile industry. But the deal to phase out the imports also hands another political score to the US, writes DW's Isaac Mugabi. The move to not ban the sale of second-hand clothing was a relief to petty traders. In 2015, Kenya, Rwanda, Uganda, and Tanzania agreed on a three-year plan to gradually phase out the importation of second-hand clothes and...

05 March 2018

'US threats force EAC to back down on secondhand clothes ban' - Article

East African countries have backed down on their initial stand on banning the importation secondhand clothing. Instead they will use of tax measures and incentives to spur local manufacturing. During the EAC Heads of State retreat on infrastructure and health financing in Kampala, the EAC presidents resolved to prioritise the development of a competitive domestic textile and leather sector to provide affordable clothes and leather products...

24 February 2018

EAC heads of state to meet over health, infrastructure and AGOA

East African Community Heads of State are expected to convene in Uganda’s capital Kampala next week to discuss a number of regional matters, including infrastructure and health sector growth. Olivier Nduhungirehe, the State Minister in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Cooperation and East African Community, confirmed to The New Times on the agenda includes a two-day Joint EAC Heads of State Retreat on Infrastructure and Health...

19 February 2018

Three African nations may face AGOA sanctions if Mitumba banned

Rwanda, Tanzania and Uganda will face US trade penalties, including losing eligibility for duty-free clothing exports to the US market under the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA), if they decide to stop import of used clothes from the United States, according to the US State Department. The three countries have time till next week to take the call.  Washington sees stopping of used clothing imports, known as...

19 February 2018

You are here: Home/News/Article/Tanzanians 'benefit little from AGOA'