Ghana’s President John Agyekum Kufuor has asked US companies engaged in extractive business to increase their investments in Africa beyond agriculture, processing, manufacturing and tourism to assist in technology transfer and build the continent’s economic capacity.
He said such an initiative should also look at the re-location of industries and outsourcing information, communication and technology (ICT) contracts to the region.
Kufuor was speaking here Wednesday July 18th at the Sixth African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) Forum in Accra.
The Forum is providing a platform for Trade Ministers from the 39 AGOA qualified countries in sub-Saharan Africa, representatives of the private sector, Civil Society groups and US officials to discuss ways of increasing US-Africa trade.
It has been organized under the theme “As Trade Grows, Africa Prospers: Optimising the Benefits Under AGOA.”
The AGOA programme ends in 2015 and Kufuor said this must be extended by five years to give Africa space to take full advantage of the opportunity.
“Given the time constraint and the very serious capacity challenges, we must admit, Africa can hardly exploit the benefits of this huge initiative anywhere to the full,” he said.
“I will therefore appeal, first to the US Government to extend the time of AGOA to 20 years, then to the countries in Africa as well as our development partners in the US to design and implement a specific and efficacious vehicle targeted at empowering African nations in terms of capacity building.”
President Kufuor said AGOA benefits must not be seen only from the perspective of the African.