Despite significant gains in economic growth and improved governance, sub-Saharan Africa continues to face significant challenges to development. In both Africa and the United States, a growing consensus suggests that open trade and international investment will enable Africa to further boost economic growth, spur development, and reduce poverty.
Enacted in May 2000, The African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) expands U.S.-sub-Saharan African trade and investment, stimulates economic growth, promotes a high-level dialogue on trade and investment-related issues, encourages economic integration, and facilitates sub-Saharan Africa’s integration into the global economy. The legislation provides reforming African countries with the most liberal access to the U.S. market available to any country or region with which the United States does not have a free trade agreement. Under AGOA, eligible countries can export thousands of products to the United States duty-free.
Since its inception, eligible sub-Saharan African countries have exported over $430 billion worth of goods to the United States under AGOA and the related GSP program. In 2012, total AGOA exports were valued at nearly $35 billion, with products including metals, leather products, and footwear experiencing notable growth over the previous year.
To be eligible for AGOA trade preferences, a country must demonstrate progress towards developing a market-based economy, protection of human and labor rights, and efforts to combat corruption and enhance rule of law, among others. The following list of countries is eligible to receive benefits from AGOA in 2013:
|Angola||Gambia||Sao Tome and Principe|
|Burkina Faso||Kenya||Sierra Leone|
|Republic of Congo||Mozambique||Uganda|
Here are some select releases written about AGOA by senior government officials or agencies.