AU pushes for AGOA extension
The African Union has urged member countries to push for the extension of the Africa Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) for the next 15 years to enable them maximize benefits through trade relations with the world economy. Local media reports Monday quoted the AU’s commissioner for Trade and Industry, Mrs. Fatima Haram as saying that there should be renewed efforts to strengthen Africa’s link with AGOA, a trade mechanism by the US government to offer tangible incentives to African countries to continue their efforts to open their economies and build free markets.
Haram said it was also crucial to maintain the momentum towards the establishment of the Continental Free Trade Area (CFTA) as soon as possible due to the uncertainties in the various bilateral and multilateral trade negotiations with developed economies.
Haram who was speaking during the ongoing Extra Ordinary Conference of AU Ministers of Trade in Addis Ababa which opened on Sunday added: “It has become even more critical for Africa to create and maintain momentum towards the establishment of CFTA that is ambitious for the shortest possible time as possible.”
She stressed the need to prioritize Africa’s economic integration agenda over other bilateral and multilateral agreements because “it is this agenda that is key to Africa’s economic transformation and development.”
The conference was convened in response to the directive from the AU Summit of January as recommended by the High Level Africa trade Committee (HATC).