29 July 2014

Africa: Assistant Secretary of State for Africa Linda Thomas Greenfield to address Civil Society Session of the 13th AGOA Forum on "AGOA: Reauthorization beyond 2015"

Photo: The White House
Barack Obama (file photo).
press release

Washington, DC — The African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) Civil Society Organization Network, secretariat announced today, that Assistant Secretary for African Affairs Linda Thomas Greenfield will give the keynote address at the opening ceremony of the two days civil society organization session of the 13th AGOA forum, on Friday 1, August 2014 at the FHI-360 Conference Center in Washington DC. The theme for this year’s session is “AGOA: Re authorization beyond 2015.”

AGOA, signed into law in 2000, has remained the cornerstone of U.S. trade policy with sub-Saharan Africa over the past fifteen year. Currently, 40 sub-Saharan countries are eligible to benefit from AGOA’s unilateral trade preference regime, which provides reforming African countries with the most liberal access to the U.S. markets. AGOA supports U.S. businesses by encouraging reforms of Africa’s economic and commercial regimes, building stronger markets and more effective partners for U.S. firms.

AGOA Civil Society Organization Network represents NGOs, small and medium enterprises, chambers of commerce and individuals across Africa and the US interested in the successful application of AGOA legislation. Panel discussion will include regional integration and trade facilitation; textiles and apparel; small holder farmers and small to medium-sized enterprise capacity building; infrastructure; and transportation linkages

The Civil Society Session submits its recommendations each year to the AGOA Ministerial Forum for consideration. This year the AGOA Ministerial Forum is scheduled for Monday 4 August 2014; U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, U.S. Trade Representative Michael Froman and Ministers of Trade from AGOA-eligible countries will meet to address issues related to AGOA re-authorization and recommendations from the civil society session.

Civil Society Leaders are demanding that President Obama work with Congress for a timely passage of the AGOA re-authorization bill before the legislation is set to expire, in September 2015. Timely renewal will avert unnecessary disruption to the production cycle and supply chains, that can result in labor layoffs, factory shutdowns, and other economic difficulties.

The last CSO session was held at the African Union Conference Center in Addis Ababa August 10-11 2013.

For more information, please contact: AGOA Civil Society Organization Network Secretariat E mail: agoacsonet@democracy-africa.org, website: http://www.democracy-africa.org/agoa-civil-society-network.html

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