The 12th annual African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) Forum will be held in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, with the theme “Sustainable Transformation through Trade and Technology,” bringing together senior U.S. administration officials, African government ministers as well as U.S. and African business and civil society stakeholders. The private sector, civil society, and African Women Entrepreneurs Program (AWEP) participants will launch the event from August 9-11 concurrent with a trade fair organized by the Corporate Council on Africa followed by the Ministerial Forum August 12-13.
AGOA enables the 39 eligible sub-Saharan African countries to export most products duty-free to the United States. The total African exports under AGOA have more than quadrupled since the program’s inception. In 2012, AGOA-eligible countries exported nearly $35 billion in products to the United States duty free under AGOA and its related Generalized 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 harmonize 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 September 30, 2015, when the current Act is due to expire.