15 April 2019

Uganda: Government Working On New Agoa Strategy

Kampala — The African Growth and Opportunity Act (Agoa) will before the end of April launch a national strategy that will identify key products that Uganda can leverage on to improve its exports to US.

The strategy, whose formulation started in 2016, seeks to among others, identify five key products that can influence Uganda's penetration into the US market.

Ms Suzan Muhwezi, the head of Agoa Secretariat, said the strategy has already been tabled before Cabinet and will soon be enacted.

"We are soon launching the Agoa National Strategy. As I speak, it has gone to Cabinet for endorsement," she said, adding that before the end of April, it should be launched.

Agoa is a US trade legislation enacted in May 2000 to allow sub-Saharan African countries to export more than 6,000 different products duty free to the US market.

According to available data, Uganda had a 49 per cent increase in exports to the US making $3.2m in September 2018 due to Agoa influence.

Trade Minister Amelia Kyambadde told The EastAfrican last year that the new strategy seeks to streamline Uganda's Agoa business.

Agoa has over the years not performed to expectation due to poor leadership and failing standards.

While flagging off youth groups, anticipating to export goods to US in Kampala recently, Ms Muhwezi said there is need for partnerships to register success in the Agoa agenda.

A number of youth groups, which have been supported by the US embassy and Tooro Gallery, have been prepared through Young African Leaders Initiative Export Promotions Initiative, to produce export ready goods.

Ms Anne Kalinzi, the Tooro Gallery managing director, said youth have been trained to produce good quality products that will have a competitive edge in the US export market.

Use opportunity

According to Mr Niles Cole, the US embassy cultural affairs officer, Uganda must elevate its trade position in the global market by using the Agoa opportunity to increase its exports to the US market.

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