Posted by: APO | 15 June 2010

EAC-AGOA work plan meeting set for Nairobi

 

EAC-AGOA work plan meeting set for Nairobi

 

NAIROBI, Kenya, June 15, 2010/African Press Organization (APO)/ — The EAC meeting to develop a regional African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) Work Plan is set for 16 – 18 June 2010 at the Laico Regency Hotel in Nairobi, Kenya.

According to the EAC Director for Trade, Dr. Flora Musonda, the development of a regional approach for AGOA program will be based on the review of all the stages of production of eligible products and will identify sectors where regional cooperation can be envisaged.

In this regard, she says, the EAC Secretariat is organising consultations with Partner States AGOA stakeholders with the main aim of coming up with strategies to develop and implement a regional approach which is expected to increase the export potential within AGOA framework.

Dr. Flora Musonda says the Nairobi meeting will consider among others; the review of the products to be exported to the US market and identify where regional cooperation can be initiated; identify the activities to be undertaken and by who; identify the targets to be achieved and when; discuss new elements to be incorporated into national AGOA work plan; and finally discuss and make proposals on the monetary and evaluation mechanism.

During the last AGOA Forum held from 4 to 6 August 2009 in Nairobi, Kenya, African Ministers recognised the need to adopt a regional approach to create conditions of increased exports to the US market.

Additional information for Editors

The African Growth and Opportunity Act is a partnership between the United States of America and Sub Saharan Africa aimed at creating an environment that encourages Africans to secure their own prosperity. The Act originally covered an eight-year period from October 2000 to September 2008, but the amendments signed into law by U.S. President George Bush in July 2004 further extended AGOA to 2015. At the same time, a special dispensation relating to apparel was extended by three years to 2007. On 20 December 2006, key changes to AGOA were signed into law, extending the garment provisions to 2012.

In June 2007, a revised textile certificate of origin was published to give effect to the “abundant supply” provisions contained in the most recent legislative changes.

To have the opportunity to export over 6,400 products duty-free, quota-free to the largest consumer market in the world, is a critical incentive for every African Country to strive to produce a variety of products for export, to create jobs, earn foreign exchange and thereby increase the level of incomes particularly for disadvantaged and vulnerable groups.

All the EAC Partner States are AGOA eligible. The goal for the EAC Partner States should be to maximize the trade potential that AGOA provide to the EAC region as AGOA will not remain open to Africa for ever. EAC Partner States shall take advantage of it to transform their economies and build their competitiveness for the present and the future.

Although reports show that AGOA exports continue to grow with positive impact on U.S. trade and investment with sub-Saharan Africa, many countries that qualify for the program are still far from reaching their full potential in order to get the maximum benefit of the preferential opportunities offered.

The US market requires quality standards that must be strictly complied with, quantity and timely delivery, and consistency of delivery throughout the year. To meet all these requirements, tremendous efforts need to be deployed in terms of organisation, industrialisation, investments, capacity building, and promote a new culture of production. In addition, logistic, transport, transit and other administrative issues need to be revisited to expedite all the processes.

It is with the purpose to meet this challenge that EAC Secretariat is organising a meeting to develop an EAC regional AGOA work plan.

SOURCE 

East African Community (EAC)


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