AU Commission Chairperson commends re-authorizing the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA)
The Chairperson of the African Union Commission, Dr. Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma, on behalf of all AGOA eligible countries, has commended President Barack Obama for his leadership and strong commitment to enhancing Africa-U.S. economic partnership. President Obama, on Monday June 29, 2015, signed into law the Trade Preference Extension Act of 2015, to enact a 10-year renewal of the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA).
The Chairperson of the AU Commission also expressed her gratitude to members of both Houses of Congress for their strong and broad bipartisan support for the reauthorization of AGOA. “Their vote to extend AGOA for 10 years is an eloquent illustration of the importance they attach to the U.S.’s relationship with Africa, and their interest in advancing sustainable trade relations with the continent,” said the Chairperson.
The Chairperson also commended the efforts of the private sector, African civil society and the Diaspora, who worked tirelessly with the African Ambassadors Group in Washington, D.C. and the AU Mission to promote a long-term extension of AGOA for the best interest of Africa-U.S. relations.
The preferences that AGOA provides have fostered a mutually beneficial partnership that will allow for job creation in both Africa and the U.S., and the enhancement of trade and business environments. AGOA demonstrates how a trade preference can catalyse the expansion and creation of new industries, new export sectors, and new jobs that promote the reduction of poverty and sustainable economic development of the continent.
Over 1.5 million jobs have been directly and indirectly created on the continent thanks to the economic opportunities it provides, with many supporting women and youth. Extending AGOA through September 2025 will provide the necessary certainty for long term and predictable U.S. investments in Africa and foster ever increasing economic development and deepened commercial ties over the next decade.
The AUC Chairperson reiterated the commitment of the AU Commission to work with all stakeholders to ensure that the new AGOA legislation meets its potential in promoting growth, development, increased industrialization and furthering integration of Africa into global and regional supply chains.
The Chairperson Dr. Dlamini Zuma looks forward to hosting President Barack Obama on the historic occasion of the first ever visit of a sitting U.S. President to the AU headquarters at the end of July. The Presidential visit will provide an excellent opportunity to further advance common interests and to take the Africa-U.S. strategic partnership to a higher level.