African Countries AGOA Eligible
AFRICAN GROWTH AND OPPORTUNITY ACT (AGOA)
The United States of America has a long time relationship history with African countries but to us, the most important, correctly structured and well organized is AGOA. It’s a United States Trade and Development Act with doors opened not only to multilateral cooperation, free market, exports but also to promotion of democracy and human rights and labor standards.
Enacted on May 18th 2000 as Public Law 106 by President Georges Bush, the African Growth and opportunity Act is a United States Trade Act offering tangible incentives to about 40 African Countries to strengthen their economies and build free markets under certain conditions. For the purpose of the event we will focus on the Apparel section of the law well known as AGOA IV.
Signed on December 20th 2006, the Africa Investment Trade Act (AGOA IV) provides duty free and quota free treatment for Eligible Apparel Articles made in qualifying Sub Saharan African Countries through 2025. Many amendments have been made since then even by President Barack Obama to help the Fashion Industry Actors benefit from this law.
WHAT ARE THE AFRICAN COUNTRIES AGOA IV ELIGIBLE?
The number of African Countries AGOA eligible varies from time to time because one thing is to be declared eligible and the other is to stay and remain in the list.
The African Countries AGOA Eligible are: Angola, Benin, Botswana, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cameroon, Cape Verde, Chad, Cote d’Ivoire, Comoros, Congo, Djibouti, Ethiopia, Gabon, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Kenya, Lesotho, Liberia, Malawi, Madagascar, Mali, Mauritania, Mauritius, Mozambique, Namibia, Niger, Nigeria, Rwanda, Sao Tome and Principe, Senegal, Seychelles, Sierra Leone, South Africa, Tanzania, Togo, Uganda, Zambia.
Please click on the Country’s name to have more information about Tourism, Economy, Fashion Industry Actors, AGOA Apparel Status and helpful contacts.
HOW DOES AGOA BENEFIT THE AFRICAN COUNTRIES?
To this question the United States Department of Commerce answers this:
AGOA passed as part of The Trade and Development Act of 2000 provides beneficiary countries in Sub-Saharan Africa with the most liberal access to the U.S. market available to any country or region with which we do not have a Free Trade Agreement. It reinforces African reform efforts, provides improved access to U.S. credit and technical expertise, and establishes a high-level dialogue on trade and investment in the form of a U.S.-Sub-Saharan Africa Trade and Economic Forum.
And on the other hand How AGOA benefit the US Firms, they said ”by creating tangible incentives for African countries to implement economic and commercial reform policies, AGOA contributes to better market opportunities and stronger commercial partners in Africa for U.S. companies. The Act should help forge stronger commercial ties between Africa and the United States, while it helps to integrate Africa into the global economy. U.S. firms may find new opportunities in privatizations of African state-owned enterprises, or in partnership with African companies in infrastructure projects”.
Country Eligibility for AGOA benefits are presented in the Section 104 of the AGOA legislation as follows:
(A) THE PRESIDENT IS AUTHORIZED TO DESIGNATE A SUB-SAHARAN AFRICAN COUNTRY AS AN ELIGIBLE SUB-SAHARAN AFRICAN COUNTRY IF THE PRESIDENT DETERMINES THAT THE COUNTRY
(1) (A country that) has established, or is making continual progress toward establishing:
(A) a market-based economy that protects private property rights, incorporates an open rules-based trading system, and minimises government interference in the economy through measures such as price controls, subsidies, and government ownership of economic assets;
(B) the rule of law, political pluralism, and the right to due process, a fair trial, and equal protection under the law;
(C) the elimination of barriers to United States trade and investment, including by:
(i) the provision of national treatment and measures to create an environment conducive to domestic and foreign investment;
(ii) the protection of intellectual property; and
(iii) the resolution of bilateral trade and investment disputes;
(D) economic policies to reduce poverty, increase the availability of healthcare and educational opportunities, expand physical infrastructure, promote the development of private enterprise, and encourage the formation of capital markets through micro-credit or other programs;
(E) a system to combat corruption and bribery, such as signing and implementing the Convention on Combating Bribery of Foreign Public Officials in International Business Transactions; and
(F) protection of internationally recognized worker rights, including the right of association, the right to organise and bargain collectively, a prohibition on the use of any form of forced or compulsory labour, a minimum age for the employment of children, and acceptable conditions of work with respect to minimum wages, hours of work, and occupational safety and health;
(2) (A country that) does not engage in activities that undermine United States national security or foreign policy interests; and
(3) does not engage in gross violations of internationally recognised human rights or provide support for acts of international terrorism and cooperates in international efforts to eliminate human rights violations and terrorist activities.
(B) ONGOING COMPLIANCE:
If the President determines that an eligible Sub-Saharan African country is not making continual progress in meeting the requirements described in subsection (a)(1), the President shall terminate the designation of the country made pursuant to subsection (a).