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June 27, 2015

US Congress votes to renew the African Growth and Opportunity Act for 10 years

The US Congress voted on Thursday June 25 to renew the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) for a further 10 years.

Medeshi- The US Congress voted on Thursday (June 25) to renew the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) for a further 10 years.

According to a statement issued by US Congresswoman and Ranking Member of the Africa sub-committee, Ms. Karen Bass, “the Congress work to re-authorize the African Growth and Opportunity Act is now complete.” Her statement notes that both the House of Representatives and the US Senate voted “overwhelmingly to re-authorize AGOA, sending the legislation to the President and guaranteeing a seamless and long-term extension of this vitally important law.”
Ms. Bliss said the vote had been a “direct result of the bipartisan work and commitment from both Houses of Congress, the African Diplomatic Corps, African heads of state, members of African governments, the Obama Administration and countless individuals from the African Diaspora and African civil society who spoke and worked for an African continent that is a partner to the United States. “  The statement adds that the extension of the AGOA opens a new era, underlining that “American leaders must be as focused as ever on this vitally important part of the world.”
It points out that in the last decade six of the world’s 10 fastest-growing economies were in sub-Saharan Africa, and “Over the next 10 years, Africa will become an even more important part of the world economy with a large, youthful population that is increasingly university-educated, tech-savvy and entrepreneurial.”
It was, therefore, in the interest of the United States and of the countries of Africa that “we work toward a stronger and mutually beneficial economic relationship that will stand the test of time.”  The extension of the AGOA, providing preferential market access to 39 African countries, also provides leeway for these countries to engage in the global market. The AGOA was originally signed into law in 2000 by the US government to allow African countries to export a wide range of products to the US to encourage the development of African industry and production. It allows for the export of more than 6,000 products to the US duty free.
-MoFA Ethiopia