Addis Ababa — The Ministerial Session of the 12th Africa Growth Opportunity Act (AGOA) Forum was opened on Monday at the African Union (AU) Conference Center in Addis Ababa, capital of Ethiopia.
At the opening session, Ethiopian Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn expressed hope that potential will be fully tapped in cooperation between sub-Saharan Africa and the United States.
"Indeed, the opportunity offered through AGOA was and remains immense but due to severe supply side constraints its potential benefits were far from realized in a manner and to the extent it was possible," he said.
In his video message to the 2013 AGOA forum, U. S. President Barak Omaba noted that AGOA has increased economic cooperation and trade between the U. S. and Africa, claiming that AGOA has also helped businesses succeed and made easier for Africa's products to reach the U. S..
"Africa's rise in our global economy, more growth and opportunity in Africa means more growth and opportunity for everyone," said Obama.
"As we work to a new AGOA in 2015, and continue integrating Africa into global economy, we also want to make sure the benefits of Africa's growth reach all parts of the society," he said.
AGOA is the U.S. flagship economic initiative with sub-Saharan Africa, providing duty-free entry to the U.S for nearly 7,000 product lines.
Enacted in 2000 and to expire in 2015, AGOA allows about 39 eligible African countries to export most products duty-free to the U. S..