The Civil Society Session of the 2012 African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) Forum examined the following issues: AGOA - Challenges and Opportunities; Civil Society’s Role in Effecting Legislative Reforms that Enhance U.S. Africa Trade beyond the Expiration of AGOA in 2015; Africa’s Regional Integration and Bilateral Trade Facilitation Efforts; Strengthening African SME’s Capacity to Diversify Imports under AGOA; Technical Assistance and Capacity Building to Support Expansion in the Africa’s Agriculture Sector; Engaging the Diaspora as Culture Brokers for US-Africa Trade and Investment Expansion; Public Private Partnerships: A Platform for Supporting Youth Entrepreneurship; and Trade and Gender: Empowering Women Entrepreneurs.
The CSO Session of the 11th AGOA Forum brought together civil society organizations, network members, small and medium enterprises, young professionals, entrepreneurs and members of the African Women Entrepreneurs Program (AWEP) together to discus, share experiences and best practices and network on AGOA and other trade related issues. We call on the Obama administration to work with the leadership in both Houses of Congress for a prompt Congressional extension of the Third Country Fabric Provision (TCF) and prevent further pain and suffering to the most vulnerable – the poor.
We acknowledge the significant contributions of the African Diaspora to the development of their home countries through money remittances and recognize the Diaspora as culture brokers for AGOA and an untapped asset for government and private sector on both sides of the Atlantic in the effort to expand U.S. Africa trade and economic ties.
We urge the African Diaspora to use their numbers to influence votes in local elections to support stronger US-Africa Trade and Economic Cooperation and to get heavily involved in organizing, educating and advocating for AGOA.