United States Ambassador to Ghana, Robert P. Jackson, joined officials from the Ministry of Trade and Industry at a validation workshop on Ghana’s African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) Strategy as part of efforts to rev up the successful implementation of a trade agreement between Washington and Accra.
The meeting brought producers, processors and exporters together with customs and government officials to discuss the implementation of Ghana’s AGOA Strategy, which aims to helps Ghanaian companies take advantage of AGOA, a trade preference provided by the U.S. government to African countries allowing duty-free access to certain goods.
Ghana began developing the AGOA Strategy last year, following the renewal of AGOA for a 10-year period (2015 to 2025) by the U.S. Congress. The strategy builds on Ghana’s National Export Strategy, which seeks to double the country’s non-traditional export earnings to $5 billion per year.
The AGOA Strategy aims to enable Ghana to make maximum use of opportunities under AGOA, with an emphasis on intensifying export development and diversification, a key initiative of the Government of Ghana’s 10-point Integrated Industrial Transformation Agenda. It identifies Ghanaian industries with the greatest potential to benefit from AGOA. These industries include apparel, fisheries, horticulture, tropical fruits, specialty vegetables, root crops, vegetable fats (palm oil and shea butter), cocoa, handicrafts, and jewelry.
Successful implementation of the strategy will require collaboration between the Ministry of Trade and Industry and its agencies, notably the Ghana Export Promotion Authority, the Free Zones Board and Ghana Standards Authority. Collaboration is also required with the Customs Division of the Ghana Revenue Authority under the Ministry of Finance; Food and Drugs Authority; and the Plant Protection and Regulatory Services Directorate of the Ministry of Food and Agriculture. The Ghana Investment Promotion Centre will play a key role in attracting foreign direct investment and implementing the strategy.
“I sincerely hope that after this validation event, companies will do more to take advantage of AGOA, and that the Government of Ghana will set forth additional policies that will enable the private sector to flourish,” said Ambassador Jackson at the event. “The United States is ready to work together with you to create an enabling business environment — one that will build upon Ghana’s stable economic and political foundation, and create jobs for citizens of both our countries.”
USAID works with the Ghanaian government and private sector to target key barriers to trade and investment and promote regional integration and trade competitiveness. It seeks to increase intra-regional African trade and exports to the United States and reduce the time it takes to import or export from ports to land-locked interiors on the continent.