Ethiopia to host 2013 AGOA Forum

Addis Ababa, Ethiopia – Ethiopia will for the first time host the 2013 African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA), forum according to information obtained by The Reporter. The country got the chance to organize the yearly event after authorities, being overseen by Prime Minister Meles Zenawi, have been lobbying for it for over four years now, of whom one key figure was the former minister of the then Trade and Ministry.

The previous AGOA forum was held in Zambia while Ghana and Kenya had got the chance to organize the forum, the latter two times.

“The fact that Ethiopia will be hosting the upcoming AGOA forum is a huge benefit for the country as it creates a platform to sell Ethiopia to the world,” said Addis Alemayehu, former chief of party of VEGA Ethiopia, an organization under the auspices of USAID that assist Ethiopian exporters to AGOA market. “No country in Africa has invested a lot in the AGOA sector than Ethiopia.”

According the AGOA trade expert, it is the tremendous progress that the country has made that finally makes it eligible to host the AGOA forum.

“Only five years ago, the country’s total annual export in the textile sector was a meager USD 2.8 million,” Addis told The Reporter. “Now one single company relocated from Turkey, AYKA Addis, is exporting USD 60 million annually.”

Ethiopia’s export solely to AGOA market has reached over USD 15 million birr, according to some exports.

AGOA is a U.S. Trade Act that significantly enhances U.S. market access for currently forty sub-Saharan African countries. The Act originally covered the eight-year period from October 2000 to September 2008, but amendments signed into law by U.S. President George Bush in July 2004 further extend it to 2015. At the same time, a special dispensation relating to apparel was extended by three years to 2007. On 20 December 2006, key changes to AGOA were signed into law, extending the garment provisions to 2012. In June 2007, a revised textile certificate of origin was published to give effect to the “abundant supply” provisions contained in the most recent legislative changes. These changes were repealed in 2009. A new bill was later published

Source: Ethiopian Reporter



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