WASHINGTON, USA – United States Trade Representative Katherine Tai and South African minister of trade, industry and competition Ebrahim Patel announced Wednesday, that the government of South Africa will host the 20th US-sub-Saharan Africa Trade and Economic Cooperation Forum (AGOA Forum) in Johannesburg, South Africa from November 2-4, 2023.
The Forum will bring together the governments of the United States and AGOA-eligible countries, as well as representatives from key regional economic organizations, the private sector, civil society, and labor. Over the course of the event, participants will engage in discussions on how to strengthen trade and investment ties between the United States and sub-Saharan Africa and how to promote resilient, sustainable, and inclusive economic growth and development. The Forum will also feature the ‘Made in Africa Exhibition’ which will showcase regional value chains on the continent.
“The AGOA Forum is an opportunity for the United States to build upon the success of the Africa Leaders Summit and further our economic partnership with AGOA countries,” said ambassador Katherine Tai. “As president Biden has said, the future is Africa. I look forward to visiting South Africa in November to discuss our shared priorities, reaffirm the administration’s commitment to the continent, and discuss opportunities to make AGOA more transformative as we deepen our trade and investment relations with the sub-Saharan African countries.”
“We look forward to welcoming a senior delegation from the United States and a number of countries in sub-Saharan Africa,” said minister Ebrahim Patel. “AGOA has helped to promote the export of African goods to the United States, and we believe there is scope to deepen its impact on African industrialisation. An extension of AGOA beyond 2025 will promote inward investment in Africa and provide benefits to both the United States and African countries. It will also support our efforts to increase growth through the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) that will cover 54 countries and 1.4 billion people.”
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 US 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 a market-based economy, the rule of law, political pluralism, and the right to due process. Additionally, countries must eliminate barriers to US trade and investment, enact policies to reduce poverty, combat corruption, and protect human rights.
By providing new market opportunities, AGOA has helped bolster economic growth, promoted economic and political reform, and improved US economic relations in the region.