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Economies in Sub-Saharan Countries Stand to Benefit from AGOA, Says President Cyril Ramaphosa

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Economies in Sub-Saharan Countries Stand to Benefit from AGOA, Says President Cyril Ramaphosa

#President Cyril Ramaphosa

In his weekly newsletter, President Cyril Ramaphosa highlighted the significant benefits that economies in Sub-Saharan countries can gain from the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA).

AGOA, an initiative of the United States of America, provides duty-free market access for producers in eligible countries in Sub-Saharan Africa.

President Ramaphosa emphasized that AGOA enhances the diversification of African economies by enabling them to export value-added products. By providing preferential access to the US market, AGOA incentivizes African countries to develop and export value-added goods and services.

 

As a result, this reduces Africa’s dependence on primary commodities and enhances its ability to participate in global value chains.

One key element of AGOA is its capacity-building and technical assistance component. This component supports African countries in meeting the requirements for accessing the US market, thereby improving Africa’s competitiveness.

Economies in Sub-Saharan Countries Stand to Benefit from AGOA, Says President Cyril Ramaphosa

Economies in Sub-Saharan Countries Stand to Benefit from AGOA, Says President Cyril Ramaphosa

It helps enhance skills, knowledge, and infrastructure, enabling African businesses to meet international standards. President Ramaphosa noted that this assistance plays a crucial role in Africa’s economic development.

The recent 20th AGOA Forum held in Johannesburg offered a platform for President Ramaphosa to discuss the potential benefits of AGOA and its impact on regional integration. He pointed out that if AGOA is extended beyond 2025 for a sufficiently long period and used more effectively, it can significantly contribute to the further diversification of African economies.

It could enable countries to produce a wider range of products using their abundant minerals, metals, and agricultural produce. The extension of AGOA could also encourage the further development of value chains across different countries.

President Ramaphosa highlighted the success of AGOA in South Africa’s automotive industry. Local automotive companies source various components, such as leather car seats, wiring harnesses, and steering wheel components, from different African countries. The vehicles are then fully manufactured in South Africa and exported to the US duty-free under AGOA. This collaboration among African countries is contributing to job creation and raising foreign exchange earnings.

AGOA not only promotes economic development but also acts as a catalyst for regional integration. President Ramaphosa emphasized that AGOA encourages African countries to work together to increase production capacities, harmonize standards, and develop regional value chains. The experience of 10 African countries, including South Africa, in the production of motor vehicles exported to the US is a prime example of how cooperation, economic integration, and the growth of larger regional markets within Africa can be achieved through AGOA.

South Africa, as the United States’ largest trading partner in Africa, benefits greatly from AGOA. The US exports more goods to South Africa and imports more goods from South Africa than any other African country. President Ramaphosa highlighted that South Africa was the largest destination for US foreign direct investment among AGOA eligible countries according to data from the US Census Bureau.

President Ramaphosa expressed that South Africa values its bilateral relationship with the US, which extends well beyond trade. He emphasized the importance of further engagement around the reauthorization of AGOA, as its benefits continue to support South Africa’s quest for economic growth, job creation, and inclusive, sustainable development.

 

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