Gabon To Host AGOA Forum, A First For Central Africa

Written by Dana Sanchez

Gabon will be the first Central African country to host the AGOA Forum, which meets August 24-27 in Libreville, according to a statement from the U.S. State Department.

The 2015 African Growth and Opportunity Act Forum will provide an opportunity to celebrate the recent reauthorization of AGOA, take stock of AGOA’s successes over the last 15 years and launch a dialogue on the future of U.S.-Africa trade, the State Department said.

Senior officials from the U.S. will travel to Gabon to meet with officials from 39 AGOA member countries, business leaders, entrepreneurs, civil society members, and the private sector to discuss trade and investment.

The Forum will feature “Doing Business in America” workshops and a trade exhibition where African entrepreneurs can network and display their products.

New AGOA legislation specifically calls for promoting the role of women in social and economic development.

The African Women Entrepreneurship Program will conduct workshops on preparing female African entrepreneurs to enter regional and global procurement supply chains.

Originally eacted in May 2000, AGOA is the cornerstone of U.S. economic engagement in Africa. Nearly 98 percent of all imports from eligible African countries enter the U.S. duty free.

One of the ways AGOA benefits the U.S. is that it makes Africa an easier place for U.S. companies to do business, according to the State Department. AGOA also encourages African economic and governance reform.

AGOA and trade with Africa are synonymous for the vast majority of the U.S. apparel and footwear industries doing business on the continent, according to an earlier AFKInsider report.