TANZANIA Private Sector Foundation (TPSF) has called for expansion of export products into the United States covered under African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) for Tanzania and African countries to reap more from the arrangement.
The TPSF Ag Chief Executive Officer Mr Raphael Maganga made the plea during the AGOA Forum which took place in Johannesburg South Africa at the weekend.
“In order for Africa to benefit, AGOA has to be expanded in two ways, namely to expand its product coverage as well as country coverage.
In terms of product coverage, Africa is the next food basket for the region, we need more access to the USA market for our agricultural products such as Tanzania’s avocados,” he said.
The Forum was attended by a business delegation from various African countries, whereas the Tanzanian delegation was led by Minister for Trade and Industry, Dr Ashatu Kijaji.
During the Forum, Mr Maganga had an audience with the US Administrator Foreign Agricultural Service, Mr Daniel Whitley where the former conveyed the interests of the private sector and measures to consider in order for Tanzania and African countries to benefit more from AGOA.
Leading the Tanzania delegation, Minister Kijaji expressed her gratitude to the US government for AGOA and her desire to extend the AGOA.
The Tanzanian delegation also had a meeting with the delegation of the US House of Representatives and the discussion stemmed on the need to create a more durable, valuable AGOA programme in the context of African Continental Free Trade (AfCFTA).
AGOA legislation was first passed by the US Congress in 2000 and allows over 6,500 products to be exported. It expires in 2025, having been extended four times before.
Initially, it was meant to last until 2007 but was amended to clarify on preferential treatment of African goods and other standards required of goods.
The AGOA Forum was attended by a large number of Trade Ministers from African countries along with their delegation of business people from their countries. The Forum featured ministerial and private sector programmes.