The Ministerial Session of the 2013 annual African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) Forum is due to hold in Addis Ababa, the Ethiopian capital, 12-13 Aug.
The meeting will be the high-point of the 12th edition of the Forum, which started Friday with the three-day private sector, civil society, and African Women Entrepreneurs Programme (AWEP) session, which is being held concurrently with a trade fair organised by the Corporate Council on Africa.
The 12th AGOA Forum, which has the theme “Sustainable Transformation through Trade and Technology,” is being attended by senior U.S. administration officials, African government ministers as well as U.S. and African business and civil society stakeholders.
AGOA enables the 39 eligible sub-Saharan African countries to export most products duty-free to the United States.
According to the US State Department, the total African exports under AGOA have more than quadrupled since the programme’s inception.
In 2012, AGOA-eligible countries exported nearly US$35 billion in products to the United States duty free under AGOA and its related Generalised System of Preferences (GSP) provisions.
AGOA provides incentives for African countries to improve their investment climates, reduce corruption, respect human and labor rights and the rule of law, improve infrastructure and harmonise trade standards to help them become more competitive in the global marketplace.
The 2013 AGOA Forum will highlight the progress achieved since the Act’s inception in 2000 and launch a dialogue on the future of United States-sub-Saharan Africa trade and economic cooperation.
These discussions will pave the way for the Obama Administration to work with Congress and other stakeholders on AGOA’s extension after 30 Sept. 2015, when the current Act is due to expire.