Cape Town — AGOA 2019 is taking place from August 4-9 in Abidjan, Cote d' Ivoire.
The African Growth and Opportunity Act, which enhances access to the U.S. market for 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.
Thirty nine African countries are in attendance with the U.S. Deputy Trade Representative Curtis Mahoney leading the U.S. delegation.
The forum will be split into the two focus areas - AGOA private sector and civil society forums - arranged for August 4 and will include representatives from the private sector, civil society, the U.S.-sponsored African Women's Entrepreneurship Program (AWEP), and the Young African Leaders Initiative (YALI).
The AGOA Forum Ministerial will follow on August 5-6 and will bring together senior government officials from the U.S. and the current 39 African beneficiary countries.
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 more 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.
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.
A trade exhibition will run throughout the official program.