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Tanzania: Talks on Agoa extension going on well – Kigoda


Tanzania: Talks on Agoa extension going on well – Kigoda

Tanzania: Talks on Agoa extension going on well – Kigoda
Industry and Trade minister, Dr Abdallah Kigoda. Photo credit: The Guardian

The government has said that talks on its request to have the US government extend the African Growth and Opportunity Act (Agoa) are progressing well.

Speaking in an exclusive interview with The Guardian from Dodoma, Industry and Trade minister Dr Abdallah Kigoda said the talks to extend the Agoa market after expiry next year are in good progress and the US government is also thinking of renewing the programme.

The trade programme is due for expiry in 2015, but there are feelings that it has not been fully utilised by African countries.

“We are still in talks with the American government to ensure that Agoa tenure is extended although most African governments have not fully utilised the opportunity given. Agoa market is very useful in promoting trade between Africa and America,” he said.

Dr Kigoda challenged the Tanzanian business community to export value added products so as to benefit from the opportunity given.

“Since Agoa was signed into law in May 18, 2000 it has been offering incentives for African countries that export a wide range of products to the US. Tanzania has somehow utilised the market compared to its neighbours such as Kenya but we have to improve our products by insisting on value addition so as to earn better prices,” he said.

The minister noted: “We have to insist on quality to our products, one among the challenges that face our traders is quality, I am sure that if we will improve the quality of our products, surely we will win the Agoa market and other markets as well.”

However, statistics issued recently say that in the first half of 2012, US total trade with sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) reached $48bn, a decrease of 24 percent compared to the same period in 2011.

In accordance with 7 percent growth of exports to the world, US exports to SSA (mostly composed of machinery) increased by 4.5 percent, nearly reaching $11bn but representing only 1.4 percent of total US exports to the world.

The top five African destinations for US products have continue to be South Africa, Nigeria, Angola, Ghana and Benin.

While exports to South Africa decreased by 4 percent and those to Nigeria remained constant, sales to Angola increased by 14 percent (largely increase in US exports of electrical machinery).

Exports to Ghana by 10 percent (increase in US exports of machinery), and to Benin by 7 percent (increase in US exports of pharmaceutical products).

The only major increases in US imports from SSA originated from Tanzania (precious stones) and Senegal (oil).

In the first half of 2012, US imports from SSA decreased by 29 percent, falling to $27bn and representing only 2.4 percent of total US imports from the world.

This decrease was mostly due to a 32 percent decrease in US minerals, fuel and oil imports and a 19 percent decrease of precious stones and metals imports from SSA.

US imports from SSA originated, for the most part from Nigeria, Angola, South Africa, Chad and Congo.

US imports (mostly oil) from Nigeria dropped by 44 percent, from Gabon by 76 percent, and from Ghana by 57 percent.

During this timeframe, Agoa imports totaled $18.7bn, 29 percent less than in the same period in 2011, mainly due to a 32 percent decrease in petroleum product imports.


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