Africa & Emerging Markets

This post originally appeared on the Africa Syndicate Blog on March 31, 2016.

What’s Your Experience with the African Growth and Development Act (AGOA)?

AGOA - The African Growth and Renewal ActThe African Growth and Opportunity, originally enacted in 2000, was renewed in the summer of 2015 for an additional ten years until September 30, 2025. It is described by the U.S. as the cornerstone of the U.S. economic relationship with sub-Saharan Africa and the most generous trade preference program offered by the U.S. While it is good news that AGOA was renewed, at the same time both the U.S. and sub-Saharan countries have entered into trade agreements with third countries and other developed countries such as the European Union and Canada have migrated away from trade preference programs to reciprocal trade agreements. This has led the U.S. to consider policies and approaches beyond preferences for sub-Saharan Africa. Both the Administration and the Congress in reenacting AGOA have expressed an interest in exploring such changes. Continue reading

nairobiAs we welcome the New Year, it is time for the African continent to take stock of developments in international trade policy that occurred in 2015. The year ended with the 10th Ministerial Conference of the World Trade Organization (WTO), which took place in Nairobi, Kenya from 15 to 19 December 2015, a first such meeting to be hosted by an African nation. The Conference was opened by Kenya’s President, Uhuru Kenyatta and hosted by Kenya’s Cabinet Secretary for Foreign Affairs and International Trade Amina Mohamed. They were joined at the Opening Ceremony by President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf of Liberia, whose country concluded its WTO membership negotiations on 16 December 2015. It is interesting to note that the round of trade negotiations being discussed in Nairobi, the Doha Development Agenda (Doha), was launched in Marakesh, Morroco in 2001. Continue reading

Evelyn Suarez was heavily quoted in a recent article posted on the International Bar Association website entitled “US-Africa trade: time for a rethink.” Excerpts from the article appear below, for the full text please visit the IBA website.

The value of US trade with Africa is declining, while China’s is booming. Global Insight analyses why the US is struggling to trade on a large scale with Africa and assesses what impact the Ebola outbreak has had.

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market-205227_640On January 21, 2014, the White House announced the first U.S.-Africa Leaders Summit in Washington, DC to take place on August 5 and 6, 2014. President Obama invited leaders from across the African continent with the aim of strengthening ties with one of the world’s most dynamic and fastest-growing regions. Six of the world’s ten fastest growing economies of the past decade are in sub-Saharan Africa. According to the White House Press Release, “[t]he Summit will build on the progress made since the President’s trip to Africa last summer, advance the Administration’s focus on trade and investment in Africa, and highlight America’s commitment to Africa’s security, its democratic development, and its people.”

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