United States Ambassador to The Gambia, C. Patricia Alsup on May 9 presided
over an African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) workshop in Banjul, using the
opportunity to reaffirm the United States government’s commitment to restoring
and expanding its trade links with The Gambia.
AGOA workshop was organized in partnership with the Gambia Investment Export
and Promotion Agency (GIEPA), and the United States Agency for International
Development (USAID). The workshop
symbolizes the genuine desire of the United States Government and its various
agencies to help The Gambia and the local private sector access the large and
highly lucrative U.S. market.
Alsup enjoined The Gambia to take advantage of exporting local products that can
enter the U.S duty free under AGOA.
remarked: “The Gambia should be able to export nuts, fruits and juices, but the
products need to be properly developed and branded and packaged. Efforts should be made to export processed
rather than raw products to the U.S. to increase the value added. We urge the government of The Gambia and the
private sector to enthusiastically tap into all AGOA channels to increase
bilateral trade with the United States.
We know that The Gambia is open for business and we are too.”
U.S. Ambassador said The Gambia’s AGOA eligibility reinstatement is a testament
to improved bilateral relations between Washington and Banjul and their mutual
desire to see democracy, human rights, and economic prosperity flourish in The
two sectors that have the greatest immediate potential to benefit from AGOA in
The Gambia are the fishing industry and the apparel and garments industry. Gambian fish was already being exported to
the U.S. under AGOA prior to 2015. Now
it’s time to refocus, get back on track and pick up where you left off,” she
provides Sub-Saharan African countries the opportunity to export a wide range
of products to the U.S. market duty-free and quota-free. AGOA covers an expanded list of 6,400
products from Africa, including handicrafts and footwear, fish and fish
products, textile, and apparel, which are some key items produced by The
Gambia lost its AGOA eligibility in 2015 due to human rights abuses and the
deterioration of the rule of law. Three
years later, the decision to reinstate The Gambia’s AGOA eligibility is recognition of all the progress made by The
Gambia under leadership of President Adama Barrow to strengthen the rule of
law, improve human rights and support political pluralism and democracy.