Togo and the United States will co-host this year’s African Growth and Opportunity (AGOA) Forum in Lome, Togo from 8th to 10th August 2017.
AGOA is a United States Trade Act that enhances market access to the United States for qualifying sub-Saharan African (SSA) countries. It was signed into law by former U.S. President Barack Obama in 2015.
The legislation which been the cornerstone of the U.S. government’s trade policy with sub-Saharan Africa since 2000 mandates that a special Forum be convened annually to discuss issues related to the implementation of the law and issues of economic cooperation and trade in general.
The Forum will bring together senior government officials from the United States and 38 African countries to discuss ways to boost economic cooperation and trade between them.
They will also explore how Africa can maximize AGOA benefits in a rapidly changing economic landscape and highlight the vital role of women, civil society and the private sector in promoting trade, expanding inclusive and sustainable economic growth and generating prosperity.
Regional economic communities will also be represented at the Forum whose theme will be “The U.S. and Africa: Partnering for Prosperity through Trade”.
AGOA Forum activities will include Ministerial plenaries bringing together senior government officials from the United States and the African beneficiary countries on 9th and 10th August; and a trade exhibition will run throughout the official program.
The United States-sponsored African Women’s Entrepreneurship Program (AWEP) will participate in the Forum on 8th and 9th August.
U.S. Trade Representative Ambassador Robert Lighthizer will lead the U.S. delegation including senior officials from the U.S. Departments of State, Agriculture, Commerce, Energy, Labor, Transportation, and Treasury.
Others are the U.S. Agency for International Development, the U.S. Trade and Development Agency, the National Security Council, Millennium Challenge Corporation, the Overseas Private Investment Corporation, the Export-Import Bank, the Small Business Administration, and the United States African Development Fund.
The Forum which alternates between the U.S. and Africa has previously been held in Mauritius, Ghana, Senegal, Kenya, Zambia, Ethiopia, and Gabon.