The Hub recently awarded a grant to the American Chamber of Commerce (AMCHAM) in Madagascar to boost trade and investment in the region. AMCHAM Madagascar will work with public and private sector stakeholders to increase awareness of export opportunities under the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA), with the goal of growing exports to reach the level they were before Madagascar lost its AGOA eligibility status. A major component of the grant is an AGOA market access training and knowledge management center project, which will provide exporters with U.S. market requirements and information, and facilitate business linkages.
The Hub’s Partnership Fund is designed to mobilize results-focused and outcome-based grant funding to further the goals and impact of the Hub. The Fund supports strategic interventions that can catalyze rapid and inclusive growth in East Africa by funding activities that lead to better policy implementation, association-level matchmaking opportunities, and the development of innovative tools to support trade and investment.
The American Chamber of Commerce in Madagascar is a non-profit association of American and local businesses and business people and is locally registered in Madagascar. AMCHAM was the brainchild of former U.S. Ambassador R. Niels Marquardt and former Minister of Trade, Commerce and Economy Ivohasina Razafimahefa who saw the potential in the underdeveloped commercial relationship between the United States and Madagascar.
It began its activities in November 2008 and was officially recognized by the Government of Madagascar in February 2010. A steering committee comprising of Americans and Malagasies was formed in September 2008. AMCHAM’s currently has over 110 companies as s members. The mission of the organization is to:
Enhance economic relations between the United States and Madagascar through trade and investment
Uphold the highest standards of commercial practice
Support the expansion of an English-speaking, Anglophone business community in Madagascar, and
To protect the legitimate general interests of its members
AMCHAM fulfills its mission by:
Advocating and defending AMCHAM members interests with local and international authorities
Providing business facilitation services, including business appointments, trade missions, and market research;
Holding regular discussion groups and round tables on subjects of interest to the members
Facilitating communication between businesses
Introducing businesses to potential investors and investors to businesses
Providing updates on the Malagasy and American business environments
Vigorously advocating AGOA privileges to Madagascar-based companies
Recently, AMCHAM became one of the founding members of the American Centre, an association which has had the benefit of significant funding to provide a facility of high standing in Madagascar, with access to training rooms, computer lab, library and auditorium.