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Hub's trade advisor comments on AGOA renewal

Published on August 31, 2015

The Hub's trade advisor J.C. Mazingue recently commented on the renewal of the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) in an article on Apparel magazine's webstie:

A key operator called the East Africa Trade and Investment Hub (EATIH), a trade promotion agency based in Nairobi, Kenya, and funded by the U.S. government, has applauded AGOA's extension.  J.C. Mazingue, trade advisor for Africa and a contractor for USAID, said that AGOA would give African exporters duty-free access to 8,000 products, including almost all textile and apparel products.

AGOA, renewed until 2025, has a third-country provision that will give African exporters an added advantage: any fabric can be cut and sewn free of U.S. duty.  This will also motivate African companies to invest in capacity.  Most African factories are doing well.  Africa needs greater capacity, which means there is demand for African textile and apparel products in the U.S.  The largest African exporter of apparel is Kenya, followed by Lesotho, Mauritius and Ethiopia.  The government of Ethiopia has identified textile and apparel as a priority industry.  Overseas companies, mainly from India, China and Turkey, have invested considerable sums of money in Ethiopia because of the much lower labor and energy costs.  Ethiopia's primary energy source is hydraulic derived.

According to Mazingue, "The East Africa region is becoming a de facto sourcing hub of the continent.  Ethiopia, Kenya, Lesotho, Madagascar, Mauritius are well positioned."

Read the full story here.