US moves to boost AGOA in West Africa
The U.S. Agency for InternationalDevelopment (USAID)’s West Africa Trade and Investment Hub, on Friday said that it recently trained coordinators in West Africa to boost business and trade with the U.S.
The U.S. Diplomatic Mission in Nigeria said in a statement that the coordinators were drawn from the Republics of Benin, Nigeria, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Cote d’Ivoire, Ghana and Senegal. According to it, the Coordinators are to assist businesses with the processes and documentations required for exporting to the U.S. under the African Growth and Opportunities Act (AGOA).
The statement said that the coordinators of AGOA Trade Resource Centres (ATRCs) were trained on how to deliver services in trade intelligence, export development, business promotion and trade facilitation to exporters. It said that the coordinators were also exposed to best practices across the West African region, as well as shared experiences aimed at supporting exporters.
The statement said that ATRCs had so far assisted over 2,700 businesses seeking to export to the U.S. under AGOA, with waivers for duties and quotas on Sub-Saharan Africa goods.
“Since 2005, USAID has provided grants to build the sustainability of the ATRC network and the host institutions that provide trade-related services to private sector companies. “The grants cover training and the costs of building a database of exporters, further enabling ATRCs to develop exporters’ capacity, market linkages, and sector-specific strategies to boost trade.
“USAID supports greater use of AGOA’s tariff advantages across West Africa. Each ATRC is to undertake activities that enhance the export potential of companies seeking to take advantage of AGOA.
“This support builds a sustainable network of local institutions that can tailor services to the private sector, to enhance their capacity to trade regionally and export to international markets.,’’ it added.