U.S.-Sub-Saharan Africa Trade and Economic Cooperation
2012 AGOA Forum
June 14 – June 15, 2012
On June 14-15, 2012, the United States hosted the 11th annual U.S.-Sub-Saharan Africa Trade and Economic Cooperation Forum. The event is mandated by the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) and is the U.S. Government's premier high-level, bilateral event with sub-Saharan Africa. This year’s theme is “Enhancing Africa’s Infrastructure for Trade.” The ministerial portion of the Forum focused on infrastructure development in Africa that supports and promotes trade around four key objectives:
(1) Developing transport, energy, telecommunications, and other “hard” infrastructure to improve African competitiveness and promote regional and U.S.-sub-Saharan Africa trade.
(2) Improving the business climate and effective regulation of key infrastructure sectors that will promote investment in, reduce the costs, and increase productivity in transport, energy, telecommunications and other “soft” infrastructure services that have the greatest impact on U.S.-sub-Saharan Africa trade and investment.
(3) Advancing African regional economic integration efforts by promoting regulatory harmonization, trade facilitation, and strategic development of regional transportation corridors, regional power generation capacity, telecommunications and other infrastructure services that promote integrated/larger markets, cross-border production and regional value chains.
(4) Highlighting trade opportunities for U.S. businesses and benefits of U.S. exports of infrastructure-related products and support for U.S. investment and joint ventures (including public-private partnerships) in sub-Saharan African transport, energy, telecommunications, and other key infrastructure sectors.
The AGOA Forum brings together over 600 participants, including senior U.S. and African officials, as well as U.S. and African members of the private sector and civil society. AGOA represents a progressive U.S. trade and investment policy toward the continent working to reduce barriers to trade, increase diversified exports, create jobs, and expand opportunities for Africans. AGOA provides trade preferences to 40 sub-Saharan African countries that are making progress in economic and political reforms.
For more information on the AGOA Forum, please email AGOA2012@state.gov.