The United States and Côte d’Ivoire will co-host the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) Forum in Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire from August 4-6.
The Forum will bring together senior government officials from the United States and the 39 AGOA-eligible sub-Saharan African countries to discuss ways to boost economic cooperation and trade between the United States and Africa. Regional Economic Communities, the private sector, and civil society will also participate.
The theme of this year’s Forum is “AGOA and the Future: Developing a New Trade Paradigm to Guide U.S.-Africa Trade and Investment.” The 2019 Forum will explore new tools that both the U.S. and African governments have developed over the past year and how to use them most effectively. It will also highlight the important role played by women, youth, civil society, and the private sector in promoting trade, expanding economic growth, and generating prosperity.
Representatives from the private sector, civil society, the U.S.-sponsored African Women’s Entrepreneurship Program (AWEP), and the Young African Leaders Initiative (YALI) have organized AGOA Private Sector and Civil Society Forums for August 4. The AGOA Forum Ministerial will follow August 5-6, bringing together senior government officials from the United States and the current 39 African beneficiary countries. A trade exhibition will run throughout the official program.
The U.S. delegation will be led by Deputy U.S. Trade Representative C.J. Mahoney and includes Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs Tibor Nagy, as well as senior officials from the U.S. Departments of Agriculture, Commerce, Energy, Labor, Transportation, Treasury, the U.S. Agency for International Development, the U.S. Trade and Development Agency, as well as the Millennium Challenge Corporation, the Overseas Private Investment Corporation, and the United States African Development Foundation. A bipartisan Congressional delegation will also participate in the forum.
The African Growth and Opportunity Act, which enhances access to the U.S. market for most products of qualifying sub-Saharan African countries, has been the cornerstone of the U.S. government’s trade policy with sub-Saharan Africa since 2000. The law mandates that each year a special Forum be convened to discuss issues related to the implementation of the law and issues of economic cooperation and trade in general. The Forum location alternates between the United States and Africa. Previous AGOA Forum hosts include Mauritius, Ghana, Senegal, Kenya, Zambia, Ethiopia, Gabon, and Togo.