The USAID Hub’s lead African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) strategy consultant is in Ethiopia this week to gather supply-side information and conduct a sector analysis for a new Ethiopia National AGOA Strategy. The Ethiopian government requested the Hub to provide technical assistance on the Strategy, which will set strategic actions and targets for significant growth in exports from Ethiopia to the United States by 2025.
The Hub began the strategy in October 2018 with a review of the macro-economic environment and Ethiopia’s trade performance globally and with the United States. The Hub is now refining competitive export sectors and reviewing supply-side capacity. The Strategy process will include stakeholder validation meetings in Ethiopia before concluding the drafting process at the end of March 2019, when the Hub will submit a completed draft to the Ethiopian government.
Ethiopia became eligible to benefit from AGOA in August 2000. A year later, Ethiopia’s textile visa program was approved enabling qualifying Ethiopian-made apparel eligible to enter the United States duty free. Ethiopia also qualified to use third-country (non-U.S., non sub-Saharan Africa) fabric to make apparel for duty-free export.
Despite this long history of AGOA eligibility, Ethiopia’s AGOA exports did not grow at the expected rate and thus the Ethiopian Ministry of Trade developed a draft AGOA national response strategy in October 2013. The draft strategy established targets for growth of Ethiopia-U.S. trade between 2013 and 2018, identified critical actions to improve supply-side capacity, and suggested improvements to the operating environment that would enable Ethiopian exporters to take advantage of duty-free access provided by AGOA. The USAID Hub is building on this work.