July 15, 2024

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Ambassador Katherine Tai to Host the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) Annual Forum in Washington, D.C.

WASHINGTON – United States Trade Representative Katherine Tai today announced that she will host the 21st U.S.–sub-Saharan Africa Trade and Economic Cooperation Forum (AGOA Forum) in Washington, D.C., from July 24 to 26, 2024.

“AGOA has been the cornerstone of our economic partnership with sub-Saharan Africa for over twenty years,” said Ambassador Tai.  “This Forum is an opportunity to discuss how we can make the program more effective, to address today’s challenges and deliver real benefits to more people across the continent.  I look forward to welcoming my fellow ministers and guests to Washington.”

The theme for this year’s AGOA Forum is “Beyond 2025: Reimagining AGOA for an Inclusive, Sustainable and Prosperous Tomorrow.”  Over the course of the event, participants will engage in discussions on how the United States and sub-Saharan African partners can work together to make AGOA more transformative and ensure that the program can be an effective tool to drive inclusive, sustainable economic growth for more people and advance regional integration efforts.  

The AGOA Forum will bring together the governments of the United States and AGOA-eligible countries, as well as representatives from key regional economic organizations, civil society, labor, and the private sector.  The July 25 to 26 Ministerial program will feature plenary sessions on the present and future of AGOA and U.S.–Africa trade and investment cooperation, as well as breakout sessions on various topics.  It will be preceded on July 24 by a Civil Society and Organized Labor Forum and a Private Sector Forum.

BACKGROUND

Since its enactment in 2000, the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) has been at the core of United States economic policy and commercial engagement with Africa.  AGOA provides eligible sub-Saharan African countries with duty-free access to the U.S. market for over 1,800 products, in addition to the more than 5,000 products that are eligible for duty-free access under the Generalized System of Preferences program.

To meet AGOA’s rigorous eligibility requirements, countries must establish or make continual progress toward establishing, among other things: a market-based economy; the rule of law, political pluralism, and the right to due process; the elimination of barriers to U.S. trade and investment; economic policies to reduce poverty; a system to combat corruption and bribery; and protection of internationally recognized worker rights.  To be eligible, countries also must not engage in gross violations of internationally recognized human rights.

By providing new market opportunities, AGOA has helped bolster economic growth, promoted economic and political reform, and improved U.S. economic relations in the region. 

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