The Speaker of Parliament, Rebecca Kadaga is leading a campaign aimed at creating awareness about the opportunities provided by the African Growth Opportunity Act (AGOA).
Kadaga, Friday 10 May 2019 was speaking at a press conference ahead of an AGOA sensitization workshop and exhibition to take place on 14 and 15 May 2019 at the Parliament. The event is expected to attract over 70 exhibitors.
Kadaga said that the exhibition and workshop is timely because many Ugandans are not aware of the benefits of AGOA and how to access them.
“Uganda can take advantage of the 8,000 products that can be exported to the United States of America,” Kadaga said.
The chairperson of the AGOA Exporters Association of Uganda, Meg Hilbert Jacquay gave an assurance that accessing AGOA is not difficult and is open to everyone.
“As long as one has products that meet the international market needs, they can be exported. We need to end the notion that AGOA is dead, we are very much alive in Uganda,” said Hilbert Jacquay.
She encouraged Ugandans to take advantage of the need for fresh foods in the American market.
“There is no fresh food allowed in the US because no one has asked. If Uganda is interested especially in exporting avocado, there is a huge opportunity that lies in exporting fresh foods to America,” said Hilbert Jacquay.
The Senior Presidential Advisor on AGOA, Susan Muhwezi applauded the contribution from the private sector to the progress made so far by AGOA. She said that in 2017, AGOA made US$ 82million and US$ 53 million in 2008 in exports to America.
“In 2018, the figures however, went down to US$ 40 million. This performance is dismal compared to other African countries that are making billions from AGOA,” said Muhwezi.
She called for prioritization of AGOA through funding of the line ministries including that of Agriculture, Animal Industry and Fisheries as well as that of Trade.
AGOA was enacted into law 2000 as part of the Trade and Development Act of 2000. It is among regional initiatives in United States trade policy that are based on the general philosophy of “Trade not Aid” as the chief tool of promoting economic development.
The main aim of AGOA is to promote a two-way trade between Sub-Saharan Africa and United States and to increase US investment into Sub-Saharan Africa.