- African Growth and Opportunity Act
TRALAC - Trade Law Centre
You are here: Home/News/Article/Botswana: Women in business urged to utilise AGOA

Botswana: Women in business urged to utilise AGOA

Botswana: Women in business urged to utilise AGOA
Published date:
Monday, 14 November 2016

Women in business have been encouraged to take advantage and participate in the lucrative US preferential trade scheme known as the Africa Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) for better profits.

African Women’s Entrepreneurship Programme (AWEP) chairperson, Chigedze Chinyepi said this when addressing women in business during AWEP’s capacity building workshop that was held at Tati River Lodge recently.

Chinyepi said Botswana is one of the eligible countries, but businesses are failing to utilise AGOA.

“This is worrisome; currently Botswana has only one company under AGOA, which is also owned by a Chinese man with locally-owned companies failing to export their products to the international markets.

AGOA is a window of opportunities which every company should strive to take advantage of for better profits,” said Chinyepi.

She said through AGOA, the country has derived preferential access to the US market for a range of products that local women entrepreneurs should consider producing and exporting to the US market. She said there are many sectors that women in business could take advantage of like natural indigenous products, arts and crafts, textile to mention but a few.

“Women entrepreneurs in Lesotho who deal with textile have grouped themselves and are utilising AGOA, something that I encourage you to consider investing on such sectors and help improve the country’s economy,” said Chinyepi.

She said through AGOA, women entrepreneurs could group themselves, open factories, employ thousands of Batswana and be able to produce in large quantities and sell their products to the US

Chinyepi warned women entrepreneurs to refrain from operating in isolation, but to unite and work together in order to reach the US market.

“The US market buys products in bulk and if you isolate yourself you might end up not meeting the order as well as failing to produce the required quantity of the products.”

She added: “Government has funded many people who manufacture similar products. Such people can group themselves and manufacture products in bulk”.

She said it is of concern that currently there are only a few women owned companies that supply their products to the neighbouring countries’ markets.

Officiating at the event, the city mayor Silvia Muzila shared Chinyepi’s sentiments, encouraging women in business to work together to supply the US market through AGOA.

Muzila also encouraged them to partner with organisations like AWEP to equip themselves with business management and financial management techniques that can surely help them improve the way they operate their businesses.

She said this could help them to be competitive and even better than their male counterparts.

Muzila congratulated AWEP to have included Francistown to be one of the places they will take their program me to, stating that it will equip and capacitate their women entrepreneurs with requisite skills to operate and expand their businesses regionally and internationally.

Read related news articles

Botswana: Government acts as AGOA exports hit zero

Government is hoping its newly revitalised strategy for the African Growth and Opportunities Act (AGOA) reaps dividends after revelations that exports by local companies under the trade deal have been at zero since 2019 end. AGOA is a trade arrangement between the US and sub-Saharan African countries, including Botswana, which runs till 2025 and provides relaxed access to the American market. From a peak of P1.8 billion in AGOA exports by...

04 June 2021

US and Botswana MITI launch revised AGOA Utilization Strategy to improve economic growth in Botswana

On April 29, the Embassy of the United States of America joined the Ministry of Investment, Trade, and Industry (MITI) and other stakeholders to launch the revised strategy (see link to download) at the Hilton Garden Inn in Gaborone.   U.S. Ambassador to the Republic of Botswana, Craig L. Cloud, joined Minister Mmusi Kgafela to formally launch the strategy.   Also present were the USAID Representative to Botswana, Ms....

03 May 2021

Botswana: AGOA dream dims for local textile sector

Local textile and apparel producers appear to be giving up hope of exporting to the United States under the duty-free AGOA provisions, preferring instead to focus on the local and regional markets, BusinessWeek has established. AGOA is a trade arrangement between the US and sub-Saharan Africa running till 2025 and providing relaxed access to the American market. Textiles are Botswana’s primary export under AGOA. From a peak of P1.8...

30 August 2019

Botswana: Textile sector upbeat, despite AGOA export collapse

The country’s textile and apparel exports to the United States under AGOA, fell to just $3,000 (P32,100) in 2018, the first numbers showing the impact of the relocation to Lesotho of the last exporting firm. Under the African Growth and Opportunity Act’s duty and quota free provision, Botswana textile firms were shipping off P1.8 billion in stock to the US at the peak in 2008. Becky Geiger, an international trade specialist in the US...

22 March 2019

Botswana: 'Businesses fail to fully utilise AGOA' - BITC

Local businesses are failing to exploit the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA), says the director for export development at Botswana Investment and Trade Centre (BITC), Mr Obert Yuyi. Mr Yuyi said this during a national AGOA response strategy workshop in Francistown on April 24. He said with the recent closure of mines around Francistown, unemployment was on the rise and that it required the business community to take over and employ...

25 April 2018

AGOA strategy awareness in motion for Botswana

The Ministry of Investment Trade and Industry (MITI) in collaboration with Botswana Investment and Trade Centre (BITC), U.S. Embassy in Botswana, USAID Southern Africa Trade and Investment Hub, African Women’s Entrepreneurship Program (AWEP), the Local Enterprise Authority (LEA), the Citizen Entrepreneurship Development Agency (CEDA) and the Botswana Export Credit Insurance (BECI) are conducting nation-wide workshops to sensitize the...

01 March 2018

Botswana: Fresh attempt to revive AGOA exports

Despite duty free access to the United States (US) market, exports from Botswana have virtually dried up due to inadequate awareness of the African Growth Opportunities Act (AGOA) programme and the high cost of compliance with technical regulations, standards and quality certification. From the peak of exports worth around $17 million in 2011, which were dominated by textiles, exports under the AGOA pact to the US in 2016 were at a paltry $4...

25 August 2017

Botswana: Government launches strategy to benefit more from AGOA

The African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) National Response Strategy, which was developed through the assistance of the USAID Southern Africa Trade and Investment Hub, will be launched at the beginning of next month. The strategy would help local businesses grow by taking advantage of AGOA provision of duty-free exports to the United States of America (USA) with the hub’s experts working directly with the private sector to improve...

25 August 2017

Botswana advised to establish AGOA office

Speaking this week during the validation workshop of the draft AGOA strategy in Gaborone, George Makore said the AGOA office should be headed by a coordinator to be assisted by experts in export development, investment promotion, and information dissemination. “The process of setting up the institutional structure should be initiated within 60 days of approval of the strategy,” he stated. While the ministry of investment, trade and...

11 November 2016

Botswana to get garment training centre

The Botswana government has given the go-ahead for the Textile and Clothing Institute of Botswana (TCIB), the first of its kind in the country, to overcome a chronic shortage of skilled workers that has negatively impacted the textiles sector for many years. Its founder, Shahid Ghafoor, president of the Botswana Textile and Clothing Association, said TCIB was offering one-year certificate courses in clothing manufacturing in a wide variety of...

14 May 2016

You are here: Home/News/Article/Botswana: Women in business urged to utilise AGOA