Gambia has regained its eligibility under the United States African Growth and
Opportunity Act (AGOA), after losing its eligibility in 2015.
According to a media release from the Ministry of Information, the U.S. Trade Representative’s Office announced on Friday Dec. 22, 2017 that the U.S. Embassy in Banjul had officially requested reinstatement of The Gambia’s AGOA eligibility.
The reinstatement is due to progress made in strengthening the rule of law, improving human rights and supporting political pluralism in the Gambia.
The AGOA was signed into law on May 18th, 2000 as a Trade and Development Act of 2000. It offers tangible incentives for African countries to continue their efforts to open their economies and build free markets.
Since 2015, The Gambia lost its eligibility due to human rights abuses and the deterioration of the rule of law.
The reinstatement, however, comes on the heels of the inclusion of The Gambia for a new Threshold Program of the Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) and the inclusion of former President Yahya A.J.J. Jammeh and Yankuba Badjie, former head of the NIA on a U.S. sanctions list.
The AGOA trade program provides sub-Saharan countries duty-free access to the United States on condition they meet certain statutory eligibility requirements, including eliminating barriers to U.S. trade and investment and making progress toward political pluralism.