The US House of Congress has finally voted to extend the African Growth and Opportunity Act (Agoa) by 10 years.
“After years of tireless work and effective advocacy, the Congress work to reauthorise the African Growth and Opportunity Act is now complete,” reads a statement issued by the US Congresswoman Karen Bass, who is also the Ranking Member of the Africa sub-committee.
Both the House of Representatives and the US Senate voted "overwhelmingly to reauthorise Agoa, sending the legislation to the President and guaranteeing a seamless and long-term extension of this vitally important law."
“Today’s vote marks a new chapter and American leaders must be as focused as ever on this vitally important part of the world.”
The renewal and extension of the Agoa period is expected to give African countries ample time to build competitive capacity in the global market.
It accords preferential market access system to 39 countries in sub-Saharan Africa including all the East African countries to develop their economies and create free markets.
The initiative was signed into law in 2000 by the US government, to allow African countries to export a wide range of products to the US. The agreement allows African countries to export more than 6,000 products to the US duty free.