Office of the Spokesperson
July 14, 2017
The United States and Togo will co-host the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) Forum in Lomé, Togo August 8-10. The Forum will bring together senior government officials from the United States and 38 Sub-Saharan African AGOA-eligible countries to discuss ways to boost economic cooperation and trade between the United States and Africa. The African Union and regional economic communities will also participate.
The theme of this year’s Forum is “The United States and Africa: Partnering for Prosperity through Trade.” The 2017 Forum will explore how countries can continue to maximize the benefits of AGOA in a rapidly changing economic landscape, and highlight the important role played by women, civil society, and the private sector in promoting trade and generating prosperity.
Representatives from the private sector, civil society, and the U.S.-sponsored African Women’s Entrepreneurship Program (AWEP) will participate in Forum activities August 8-9. The Ministerial plenaries will follow on August 9-10, bringing together senior government officials from the United States and the 38 African beneficiary countries.
U.S. Trade Representative Ambassador Robert Lighthizer will lead the U.S. delegation, which will include senior officials from the U.S. Departments of State, Agriculture, Commerce, Labor, Transportation, Treasury, the U.S. Agency for International Development, the U.S. Trade and Development Agency, as well as the Millennium Challenge Corporation, the Overseas Private Investment Corporation, and the U.S. African Development Fund. Members of Congress and their staff from both parties are also invited to attend the Forum.
The AGOA law, which enhances market access to the United States for qualifying sub-Saharan African countries, has been the cornerstone of the U.S. government’s trade policy with sub-Saharan Africa since 2000. The law mandates that each year a special Forum be convened to discuss issues related to the implementation of the law and issues of economic cooperation and trade in general.