A general view of the logo of the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) seen on the first day of the 20th AGOA summit in Johannesburg on 2 November 2023.
- As the year comes to an end, the US is bullish in its strategy for Africa
- Biden said he encourages Congress to reauthorise AGOA in a timely fashion.
- Coups, climate change, and geopolitics were discussed at the 9th Annual US-African Union Commission (AUC) High-Level Dialogue underway in Washington, DC.
In December last year, during the Africa Leaders Summit, the US presented an ambitious plan for Africa, at a time when Russia and China seemed to be working harder than ever to spread their influence in the continent.
A little under a year later, the United States is having two major gatherings simultaneously, one in South Africa and the other on US soil, as it begins to implement that plan.
In Johannesburg, there’s the 20th forum of the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA), and in Washington, DC, there’s the 9th Annual US-African Union Commission (AUC) High-Level Dialogue.
Minister of Trade and Industry of South Africa Ebrahim Patel (R) speaks on the first day of the 20th African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) summit in Johannesburg on 2 November 2023.
Since January, there have also been numerous visits to Africa by senior US policymakers, the most prominent being Vice President Kamala Harris, although US President Joe Biden has not visited yet.
However, Biden has put his weight behind one of the most important US projects on the continent – AGOA.
Biden supports the extension of AGOA in a “timely fashion”, he said, in a statement during the Johannesburg gathering.
AGOA is set to expire in 2025.
I strongly support reauthorisation of the African Growth and Opportunity Act – a landmark, bipartisan law that has formed the bedrock for US trade with sub-Saharan Africa for more than two decades,
“I encourage Congress to reauthorise AGOA in a timely fashion and to modernise this important Act for the economic opportunities of the coming decade.”
By making African products more competitive in the US market, diversifying African exports, and fostering the creation of tens of thousands of new, high-quality jobs in Africa, AGOA is supporting private-sector-led economic growth throughout sub-Saharan Africa.
AGOA gives American companies doing business in sub-Saharan Africa access to a more competitive market.
I am committed to expeditiously working with Congress and our African partners to renew this law beyond 2025 in order to deepen trade relations between our countries, advance regional integration, and realise Africa’s immense economic potential for our mutual benefit. In so many ways, Africa is the future, and so when Africa succeeds, the whole world succeeds.
US hosts senior AU delegates
While the US meets policymakers and business leaders from civil society in Johannesburg, there’s another Africa-focused forum underway in Washington, DC.
African Union Commission chairperson Moussa Faki Mahamat and US Secretary of State Antony Blinken are leading engagements at the 9th Annual US-African Union Commission (AUC) High-Level Dialogue.
In a statement, the US Department of State said the meeting was about sharing goals along the lines of “democracy and governance, peace and security, climate, and food security in line with AU Agenda 2063 Goals and Aspirations”.
Coups that have made a comeback in parts of West Africa and the continent’s role in international affairs were critical points of discussion during the meetings.
“Secretary Blinken and Chairperson Faki discussed shared priorities, which included stemming the recent tide of military takeovers by promoting democratic governance and ensuring the composition and leadership of international institutions reflect the critical role of African voices in global governance,” reads their joint statement.
US Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs Molly Phee and African Union Commissioner for Political Affairs, Peace and Security Bankole Adeoye agreed that the unconstitutional changes of governments in Africa “only serve to further deteriorate governance and security conditions within the affected countries and have negative ripple effects in the region”.
They also noted that there was a funding gap for African peacekeeping missions.
Crisis hotspots in Africa are the Sahel region, Sudan, Somalia, and the Great Lakes region.
The News24 Africa Desk is supported by the Hanns Seidel Foundation. The stories produced through the Africa Desk and the opinions and statements that may be contained herein do not reflect those of the Hanns Seidel Foundation.
Source link : https://www.news24.com/news24/africa/news/agoaing-concern-the-us-makes-good-on-its-africa-ambitions-with-a-flurry-of-activity-20231102
Publish date : 2023-11-02 14:45:31