Ramaphosa urges lengthy AGOA extension

Ramaphosa urges lengthy AGOA extension

President Cyril Ramaphosa has urged the US to renew the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA). 

Ramaphosa urges lengthy AGOA extension

Ramaphosa delivered the keynote address on day two of the Agoa Forum in Nasrec, south of Johannesburg on Friday.  

The 3-day summit on trade relations between Africa and the United States kicked off in Johannesburg on Thursday.  

Ministers from about 40 sub-Saharan African countries benefiting from AGOA are to hold talks with US envoys. 

AGOA was approved by the US Congress in 2000 and serves as a bridge of US economic and trade policy on the continent. 

The pact offers duty-free access into the world's largest economy for countries that meet democratic criteria assessed on a yearly basis. 

It ends in 2025, and with little plan yet for any successor, hence Ramaphosa’s plea for an extension.  

The US and SA are on a path to mending relations following explosive accusations that strained relations between the two countries.  

In May, US Ambassador to South Africa Reuben Brigety accused South Africa of providing weapons and ammunition to Russia amid the war in Ukraine.  

An independent panel appointed by President Cyril Ramaphosa found there to have been no truth to the allegations.   

“We would like you to look at the extension of our renewal of AGOA for a sufficiently lengthy period for it to act as an incentive for new investors to build factories on the African continent. The United States and Africa, we are going to be here for a long time, we are here for the long haul so let us make AGOA a long haul for all of us," said Ramaphosa.  

The president said AGOA was set up to ensure that the policy promotes work.  

“Beyond the government-to-government discussions, we are particularly pleased with the interactions that have taken place between the private sector representatives as well as the labour forum and civil society forum.

“I am pleased that this is the first AGOA Forum at which the labour forum has helped in bringing the voices of not only African workers but also American workers together and this for us gives strength to what AGOA should be about. This forum is making sure that policy promotes work."


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