AGOA at 10: Challenges and Prospects for U.S.-Africa Trade and Investment Relations

This year’s Africa Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) Forum, held on August 2-3, 2010 in Washington, DC, recognizes 10 years of trade and development cooperation between the United States and Africa. The forum brings together senior government trade officials from 38 African nations with senior leadership in the U.S. government to discuss “New Strategies for a Changing World.” AGOA has thus far been a significant step in encouraging African reform efforts and prompting greater investment and growth for Africa; however, critics charge that AGOA could do more to benefit more diverse sectors of African economies and needs to be greatly extended beyond its 2015 expiration date.

Experts from the Brookings Africa Growth Initiative examine the current AGOA framework and the progress made over the past 10 years and provide recommendations on how African and U.S. policymakers should strengthen and extend AGOA in order to realize greater positive gains.

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Consolidating Gains from the Africa-U.S. Trade: Post-AGOA Options Beyond 2015 »
Mwangi Kimenyi, with Stephen N. Karingi, Laura Páez, and Mekalia Paulos review the challenges inherent in the possible expiration of AGOA preferences in 2015 and what could happen to U.S.-Africa trade should they not be extended.

Addressing Uncertainty to Spur Investment in Africa »
John Mutenyo and Nelipher Moyo examine the current pitfalls, which have limited foreign direct investment (FDI) in Africa under AGOA, and provide policy recommendations to mobilize private investment in all sectors of African economies.

AGOA and the African Agricultural Sector »
Emmanuel Asmah and Olumide Taiwo investigate the demand-side constraints affecting AGOA agricultural exports and discuss the potential for U.S. and African policymakers to encourage greater growth in this vital sector for Africa’s overall development.

AGOA and Regional Integration in Africa: A Missed Opportunity »
Nelipher Moyo and John Page analyze the importance of regional integration in Africa and how AGOA can contribute to strengthening regional trading blocs.

Improving U.S. Trade Assistance under AGOA »
Ezra Suruma and Zenia Lewis tackle aid for trade issues in the context of AGOA legislation. They provide recommendations on how U.S. aid for trade should be better organized and linked to specific countries and firms within Africa in order to fully realize the potential gains from AGOA.

Trade Logistics: AGOA’s Next Frontier »
Nick Krafft and John Page examine the supply-side constraints that have limited the competitiveness of African exports, despite AGOA preferences. They discuss how the U.S. and Africa can work through AGOA channels to improve trade logistics in Africa.