The African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) Forum – the decades-old U.S. Congress initiative to build trade ties between the U.S. and African countries, ended in Johannesburg, South Africa on November 4, 2023.
U.S. Trade Representative Katherine Tai said that the U.S.’s partnership with Africa is inherently valuable. “Our historical ties, our people-to-people ties, the fact that the United States grew out of our own colonial past. There are so many points of shared cultural historial narrative that is the cornerstone of our partnership”.
AGOA is welcomed and rejected by some African goverments and has been set to end in 2025. However, it may likely be renewed as U.S. President Joe Biden’s support for the “landmark law” is clear, especially after his latest communication with Congress.
However, this renewal will not benefit Uganda, Central African Republic, Gabon and Niger – they’ve been kicked out – a move that will certainly cost their economies dearly. Host South Africa missed a similar fate after a diplomatic spat about Russia, weapons and Ukraine.
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The Daily Maverick reports that the U.S, has mobilised 17 relevant government departments and agencies under the umbrella of Prosper Africa coordinator British Robinson to try to clinch deals between US and African businesses that will increase use of Agoa.