The United States and Togo will co-host the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) Forum in Lome, Togo from Aug. 8-10.
The Forum will bring together senior government officials from the United States and 38 Sub-Saharan African countries to discuss ways to boost economic cooperation and trade between the U.S. and Africa. Regional economic communities will also be represented.
The theme of this year’s Forum is “The U.S. and Africa: Partnering for Prosperity through Trade.” The 2017 Forum will explore how countries can continue to maximize the benefits of AGOA in a rapidly changing economic landscape, and highlight the important role played by women, civil society, and the private sector in promoting trade, expanding inclusive and sustainable economic growth, and generating prosperity.
Representatives from the private sector, civil society, and the U.S.-sponsored African Women’s Entrepreneurship Program (AWEP) will participate in Forum activities from August 8-9. Ministerial plenaries will follow on August 9-10, bringing together senior government officials from the United States and the 38 African beneficiary countries. A trade exhibition will run throughout the official program.
The U.S. delegation will be led by U.S. Trade Representative Ambassador Robert Lighthizer and include senior officials from the U.S. Departments of State, Agriculture, Commerce, Energy, Labor, Transportation, Treasury, the U.S. Agency for International Development, the U.S. Trade and Development Agency, as well as the National Security Council, Millennium Challenge Corporation, the Overseas Private Investment Corporation, the Export-Import Bank, the Small Business Administration, and the United States African Development Fund. Members of Congress from both parties will also attend the Forum.
The AGOA law, which enhances market access to the U.S. for qualifying sub-Saharan African countries, has been the cornerstone of the U.S. government’s trade policy with sub-Saharan Africa since 2000. The law mandates that each year a special Forum be convened to discuss issues related to the implementation of the law and issues of economic cooperation and trade in general. The Forum alternates between the U.S. and Africa. Previous AGOA Forums have been held in Mauritius, Ghana, Senegal, Kenya, Zambia, Ethiopia, and Gabon.
Distributed by APO on behalf of U.S. Department of State.