Rejoinder: Africa doesn’t need AGOA

Fatima Haram Acyl - Commissioner of Trade & Industry - AUC
Fatima Haram Acyl – Commissioner of Trade & Industry – AUC

The African Union (AU) Commission would like to clarify and elaborate on the statement attributed to the African Union and H.E Mrs. Fatima Haram Acyl, the AU Commissioner for Trade and Industry, in an article entitled: “Africa doesn’t need AGOA,” published on July 18, 2016.

The AU would like to point out that the African Union position, as reflected at the highest level decisions and engagements with the U.S. Government, is that Africa needs AGOA in order to be competitive in the US markets. This position resulted in the historic 10 year extension of AGOA by the US Congress in 2015.

To this effect, the Chairperson of the AU Commission, Dr. Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma, on behalf of all AGOA eligible countries, on 30 June 2015, issued a statement commending President Barack Obama for his leadership and strong commitment in enhancing the Africa-U.S. economic partnership.

The statistics in the article attributed to H.E. Fatima Haram Acyl, attest to the current lack of competitiveness that African textiles face in the US market when compared to textiles exports from a number of Asian countries. She pointed out that without AGOA, African textile exports to the US would be in an even more precarious position. She, further, highlighted the continuing need for African producers to improve their competitiveness in order to effectively maximize the benefits of AGOA, as well as to prepare for life after AGOA.

The AU, therefore, would like to request the publication of this “Right to Reply” in order to be accurately reflected that Africa, indeed, does need AGOA, and that H.E. Acyl’s statements were intended to show the same.

Thank you for your kind understanding and cooperation.

Source: Directorate of Information and Communication – The African Union

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