The United States and Africa can jointly create a better business environment and chart a path towards a stronger and more sustainable trade relationship, US Trade Representative (USTR) Robert Lighthizer recently told the 16th forum of the Africa Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) in Togo’s capital Lome. “The United States is committed to Africa,” he said.
The annual forum brings together senior government officials, business leaders, and civil society actors from the United States and 38 sub-Saharan Africa nations to discuss ways to boost trade and maximize the effectiveness of the AGOA program, which has been the foundation of US-Africa trade ties since 2000.
The theme of the 2017 was ‘The United States and Africa: partnering for prosperity through trade’, according to a press release from the US Embassy in Lome. The event was attended by about 1,000 delegates.
Key topics discussed were the role of regional integration and transportation infrastructure in developing competitive supply chains, tools for maximizing the returns on infrastructure investments, models for increasing agricultural productivity and scaling up agri-business investments for agriculture, and the role of small and medium enterprises, especially those led by women, in driving economic growth.