Citi Business News can confirm that the United States of America will renew the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA).
According to the US assistant secretary of state for African affairs Linda Thomas – Greenfield the act will be renewed.
AGOA is a preferential trade agreement between the United States and sub-Saharan African countries.
Currently about 39 countries in Africa including Ghana have signed onto the deal.
For an African country to qualify it must be a democratic state.
Over 6 thousand products from Africa including petroleum, clothing and various other industrial and agricultural products fall under the initiative.
AGOA which was signed into law in 2000 was enacted to expand U.S. trade and investment in sub-Saharan Africa and allows certain products made in Africa into the U.S. duty and quota free.
But the trade initiative which has run for close to 14 years will expire in September next year.
It was expected that the US congress will renew the law soon, as its delay, according to some industry players, has lead to a wait and see attitude from US investors.
US assistant secretary of state for African affairs Linda Thomas – Greenfield speaking during an online press conference to discuss U.S policy and partnerships in sub-Saharan Africa as well as priorities for the upcoming YALI Summit and U.S – Africa Leaders Summit says the act will be renewed.
‘President Barack Obama has announced the AGOA will be renewed’.
Despite the announcement of AGOA’s renewal it is unclear how long the renewal will last this time round.
In 2000 it was approved to run for 15 years by the US Congress.
President Barack Obama is expected to meet Africa Leaders including President Mahama in August this year in the USs and the length of the renewal is expected to be announced before that month.
Linda Thomas – Greenfield says ‘our legislature is looking at the AGOA legislature and defiantly it will be renewed before the deadline but for how long it will last for this time round am not at liberty to say. We are all waiting for congress’. She said.
By: Vivian Kai Mensah/citifmonline.com/Ghana