Leaders at the U.S.-Africa Business Summit in Botswana Exhorted Rebirth of the long-standing Africa Growth Opportunities Act (AGOA)
By Abdul Rahman Bangura-
NEW AFRICA BUSINESS NEWS (NABN) Freetown, Sierra Leone– The business contract bestows some African nations priorities or rightful tax free access for their exports to the U.S. market. The agreement is due to end in 2025, and African delegates at the summit want the deal resuscitated.
Mokgweetsi Masisi – President of Botswana talking to delegates assembled in Gaborone for the summit, steered the requests to Washington to revive the agreement.
Heretofore, it was set into place in 2000, AGOA has been assigned with establishing more than 46,000 jobs in Africa and strengthening exports to the U.S.
“It is also our earnest hope that in consonance with the letter and spirit of the U.S.-Africa Leaders Summit, the Biden Administration will renew the African Growth and Opportunity Act initiative, which expires in 2025,” he let out. “The AGOA renewal now, with expanded mandates, will give a strong signal and confidence to the markets and serve as a catalyst for Africa’s industrialization and inclusion into the global value chains.”
Florie Liser – Chief Executive and President of the Corporate Council on Africa, which organizes the U.S.-Africa Business Summit, told there is a necessity to assess AGOA in the glint of a consensus known as the African Continental Free Trade Area.
“A lot has changed” in Africa and beyond since AGOA came into being, she said. “The advent of the African Continental Free Trade Area is fostering much closer economic and commercial integration on the continent, which will spur the creation of regional and continental value chains and increase value added across key sectors. In many ways, the question is how best we can support this development.”
The Atlantic Council Africa Center generated a report titled The Future of U.S.- Africa Trade and Investment, that evaluates the future of the AGOA. The report was published on July 12th at the U.S.-Africa Business Summit.
Frannie Leautier, a Senior fellow at the Atlantic Council and the report’s lead author, said, “On extending or renewing AGOA, the intention is to know the potential of AGOA for long-term growth through tremendous validity, planning and skilled up support for capacity advancement and enterprise succession. The first [recommendation] is straightforward: just extend it. The second one is to provide longer-term certainty about AGOA eligibility, because investors are enduring for that. Nobody is going to invest now if they think AGOA is not going to be extended.”
Not all African nations was privilege from AGOA. Some, like Ethiopia, Mali and Guinea, were clogged because of insurrections and human rights violations. South Africa’s eligibility is being studied over the plausible sale of arms to Russia.
Me, meanwhile, Scott Nathan – Chief Executive of the U.S. International, Development Finance Corporation, who is overseeing the U.S. government delegation at the summit, vowed ceaseless assistance for Africa.
“The United States is focused on what we will do with African nations and people, and not for African nations and people,” he said. “We work to deepen and understand our partnership, amplify African voices and support the empowerment of Africans.”
The conference has brought out more than 1,300 delegates, comprising, leaders from Eswatini, Lesotho, Mozambique, Niger and Zimbabwe.
For New Africa Business News (NABN) Abdul Rahman Bangura Reports, Africa Correspondent