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Johannesburg hosts Agoa amid changes to US-Africa Trade programme

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Johannesburg is set to be the focal point for discussions as the African Growth Opportunity Act (Agoa) forum kicks off today.

The South African government, in partnership with the United States government, is hosting the two-day event, which holds significance for the future of trade relations between Africa and the United States.

The forum follows recent developments with US President Joe Biden’s announcement on Tuesday to remove Uganda, Gabon, Niger, and the Central African Republic (CAR) from the special US-Africa trade program.

The Agoa program grants eligible African countries preferential trade benefits, facilitating economic growth and development.

Trudi Hartzenberg, the Executive Director of the Trade Law Centre, emphasised the many advantages for African nations that will remain part of the Agoa program. She underscored the importance of careful preparation for the forum, which will see senior officials from across the continent convening to discuss vital issues related to continued US support.

As the Agoa program is set to expire in 2025, the forum represents an opportunity for African countries to engage in discussions about a potentially expanded and renewed Africa Growth and Opportunity Act.

Hartzenberg stated: “It is very important that we prepare well for the forum starting tomorrow, as senior officials from across the continent will be in attendance. I believe Africa stands to gain significantly in the discussions related to ongoing support from the US, and the potential for an extended and revitalised Agoa program beyond its expiry in 2025.”

The Agoa program plays a vital role in promoting trade and economic growth, and the discussions at the forum are expected to be pivotal in shaping the future of trade relations between African nations and the United States.

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