Volatile cryptocurrency markets have experienced massive gains in recent months, followed by huge dips and then subsequent signs of recovery. Continue reading
LUSAKA, Aug 11 (Reuters) – British company Tullow Oil on Friday started exploring for oil and gas in Zambia, Africa’s No.2 copper producer, as the country pushes to diversify its economy and reduce its reliance on the industrial metal.
Togo hosted an annual conference on the African Growth and Opportunities Act (AGOA) this week, bringing together various stakeholders from African nations and the United States. In 2015, the US Congress renewed the zero tariff deal for 10 years. Analysts have questioned how the programme will fare under U.S president Donald Trump’s presidency, given his “America First” campaign, that has seen him withdraw from various international trade deals.
SHOWS: LOME, TOGO (AUGUST 09, 2017) (REUTERS) – Talks between African and U.S. officials to review the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) free trade deal ended on Thursday (August 10) with no decision and a feeling of all sides that it had achieved little since it was set up.
President Donald Trump’s top trade negotiator Robert E. Lighthizer and other U.S. officials have been in the tiny West African nation of Togo over the past two days to discuss the Clinton-era trade pact with sub-Saharan Africa.
Trump’s “America First” campaign has seen him withdraw from the Trans Pacific Partnership, threated to tear up the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) and seek to renegotiate the U.S.-South Korea free trade deal.
But his administration has said little about Africa, and had not previously mentioned the 2000 AGOA trade agreement. It is not clear whether the U.S. wants to change the deal before it expires in 2025 or extend it further – no decision was made on either count.
AGOA allows tariff-free access for thousands of goods from 38 African nations to U.S. markets.
But few African economies can take advantage of a U.S. trade initiative providing to the world’s largest market because they have little to export beyond commodities, an asset class where prices are in free fall.
Togo’s minister of commerce Bernadette Legzim-Balouki said that although not all the countries eligible have benefited from the law, the agreement allowed Africa to access the US market and that member countries will examine the constraints that prevent some African countries from profiting.
“2025 was the year that the AGOA agreement will officially came to an end. If the United States decides not to extend the agreement, does that mean that our trade relationship with the U.S must also come to an end? Not at all! African entrepreneurs and other stakeholders were able to have access to the US market. They have straightened their partnerships with economic partners in the U.S. A door has been opened, a relationship was established between the US and African countries,” she said.
Legzim-Balouki also said that the United States and the nations eligible for AGOA had agreed on some loose aims, including: to develop a better plan to take full advantage of the pact, for each eligible country to have bilateral talks with the United States, and the need for a mechanism to protect African producers from price volatility.
US officials at the forum said that the number of countries benefiting from AGOA was very limited, as is the number of sectors, adding that they will see if the situation improves in the coming years, but it is also up to the beneficiary countries to enhance their business climate.
“The AGOA programme was renewed for ten years by congress by a large margin. That means that we have 8 years of the law in place. It’s true that the environment has changed, and we are currently studying the best ways for African countries to benefit from AGOA,” said Peter Barlerin a representative of the US state department.
The U.S. trade deficit with the AGOA countries shrank to about $7.9 billion last year from a peak of $64 billion in 2008, as U.S. shale oil production increases have lessened the need for oil imports from major exporters Nigeria and Angola.
BUTUO COUNTY, LIANGSHAN, SICHUAN PROVINCE, CHINA (REUTERS) – Hidden away in mountains thousands of miles from the white-knuckle development of cities like Beijing, live the “hard bones” of China’s poverty, the Yi. Continue reading
HAMBURG, GERMANY (JULY 6, 2017) (REUTERS) – Charity Oxfam on Thursday (July 6) denounced unfair wealth distribution in the world ahead of the start of the G20 summit, demanding from leaders they put “reducing inequality number one on their agenda.” Continue reading
LUSAKA, Zambia, May 23, 2017 /PRNewswire/ — U.S. Senate Candidate Randy Brinson left Alabama May 19th on a 10 day trade mission to Zambia as part of his Alabama Agribusiness Renaissance initiative. Continue reading
Chinese President Xi Jinping urges backing for his new Silk Road Initiative while addressing world leaders at a summit in Beijing, stressing the importance of rejecting protectionism in seeking global economic growth. As David Pollard reports, China has pledged $124 billion to make the plan a reality. Continue reading
LONDON, May 12 (Thomson Reuters Foundation) – Zambia’s smallholder farmers could be made squatters on their own land as the country opens up to farming multinationals in an effort to boost its economy, said a United Nations expert. Continue reading
MONTERREY, NUEVO LEON, MEXICO (MAY 12, 2017) (REUTERS) – General Electric Co’s chief executive on Friday (May 12) praised Mexico as a big part of its future growth and said the company is “very supportive” of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) that U.S President Donald Trump has threatened to ditch.
Government of Sierra Leone rejects outcome of giant diamond auction. Sadiya Chowdhury reports. Continue reading