This year the U.S Department of State is proud to host the 17th annual African Growth and Opportunities Act Forum, commonly known as AGOA, from July 11-12 in Washington, DC. This year’s theme “Forging New Strategies for U.S.-Africa Trade and Investment,” reflects the U.S. commitment to boosting economic growth, spurring development, and reducing poverty in Africa through sustainable business practices and mutually beneficial trade relations.
Enacted in 2002, AGOA brings together African and American government officials, civil society, and private sector representatives to discuss current trade and investment relations and possibilities for future engagement. At its core, AGOA seeks to expand U.S.-sub-Saharan African trade and investment, stimulate inclusive development and economic growth, foster a high-level dialogue on trade and investment-related issues, encourage economic integration, and facilitate sub-Saharan Africa’s integration into the global economy. Specifically, AGOA provides generous trade preferences to sub-Saharan African countries that are making progress in implementing economic, legal, labor and human rights reforms.
Today, AGOA not only receives broad bipartisan support in Congress, but also remains instrumental to our efforts to grow the next generation of emerging markets such as those of the countries of sub-Saharan Africa. In fact, the data has shown that the trade agreements established through AGOA have proven widely successful.