On October 2, 2000, former US President Clinton designated 34 Sub-Saharan African countries as eligible for the trade benefits offered under the African Growth and Opportunity Act. Subsequently, on January 18, 2001, Swaziland was designated as the 35th AGOA eligible country and on May 16, 2002 Côte d'Ivoire was designated as the 36th AGOA eligible country. The Gambia was declared eligible on January 1, 2003, while the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC)’s inclusion was subsequently backdated to January 1, 2003. On 31 December 2003, the Central African Republic (CAR) and Eritrea were removed as AGOA-beneficiaries, and Angola was included. Other additions to this list are Burkina Faso and Burundi, while Mauritiania and Cote d'Ivoire have been suspended. In December 2006, the Republic of Liberia was also added to the lis of AGOA beneficiaries, taking the total number of countries that qualify to 38. Countries not eligible for AGOA are Zimbabwe and Sudan.
Country eligibility for AGOA is determined by the US President (and listed in section 107 of the African Growth and Opportunity Act - see Downloads Section), and takes into account whether countries meet with a number of requirements. Countries need to "have established, or are making continual progress toward establishing the following: market-based economies; the rule of law and political pluralism; elimination of barriers to U.S. trade and investment; protection of intellectual property; efforts to combat corruption; policies to reduce poverty, increasing availability of health care and educational opportunities; protection of human rights and worker rights; and elimination of certain child labour practices".
The eligibility criteria for the Generalised System of Preferences (GSP) and AGOA substantially overlap, and countries must be GSP eligible in order to be eligible for AGOA. While GSP eligibility does not imply AGOA eligibility, the majority (45 of 48) of Sub-Saharan African countries are currently GSP eligible. 37 of these are also AGOA-eligible.
Separate rules of origin apply to wearing apparel: AGOA eligibility does not automatically imply eligibility for the 'Wearing Apparel' provisions. In order to export apparel (and certain textile items) to the U.S. duty-free under AGOA, countries must have implemented a 'Visa System' to the satisfaction of US authorities and one that ensures compliance with the AGOA rules of origin. As of May 2006, 25 of the 37 AGOA-eligible countries had complied with this condition and had obtained the necessary visa system, allowing them to export apparel to the US duty-free under AGOA. The most recent beneficiary is the Republic of Chad, which gained eligibility on April 26, 2006. Countries determined to be 'Lesser Developed Countries' (LDCs) are now allowed until September 2007 (-following amendments to AGOA under the ‘AGOA Acceleration Act of 2003’) to utilise external, non-originating textiles in the production of garments, without compromising the AGOA-eligibility status of the finished garment. Further information on the Rules of Origin for apparel is provided in the Apparel Rules of Origin Section.
The list below identifies AGOA-eligible countries, and indicates compliance with the 'Wearing Apparel' provisions.
|List of AGOA-Beneficiaries|
|COUNTRY||DATE DECLARED AGOA ELIGIBLE||DATE DECLARED ELIGIBLE FOR SPECIAL RULE FOR APPAREL ||ELIGIBLE FOR SPECIAL RULE FOR APPAREL
|(Republic of) Angola||30-Dec-03|
|(Republic of) Benin||02-Oct-00||28-Jan-04||Yes|
|(Republic of) Botswana||02-Oct-00||27-Aug-01||Yes|
|(Republic of) Burundi||01-Jan-06|
|(Republic of) Cameroon||02-Oct-00||01-Mar-02||Yes|
|(Republic of) Cape Verde||02-Oct-00||28-Aug-02||Yes|
|(Republic of) Chad||02-Oct-00||26-Apr-06||Yes|
|(Union of the) Comores||01-Jul-08||Yes|
|(Republic of) Congo||02-Oct-00|
|(Democratic Republic of) Congo*||01-Jan-03|
|(Republic of) Djibouti||02-Oct-00|
|(Republic of) Ghana||02-Oct-00||20-Mar-02||Yes|
|(Republic of) Guinea||SUSPENDED end 2009|
|(Republic of) Guinea-Bissau||02-Oct-00|
|(Republic of) Kenya||02-Oct-00||18-Jan-01||Yes|
|(Kingdom of) Lesotho||02-Oct-00||23-Apr-01||Yes|
|(Republic of) Liberia||29-Dec-06||Yes|
|(Republic of) Madagascar||SUSPENDED end 2009||06-Mar-01||Yes|
|(Republic of) Malawi||02-Oct-00||15-Aug-01||Yes|
|(Republic of) Mali||02-Oct-00||11-Dec-03||Yes|
|(Republic of) Mauritius||02-Oct-00||18-Jan-01||Yes****|
|(Islamic Republic of) Mauritania ||28-Jun-07|
|(Republic of) Mozambique||02-Oct-00||08-Feb-02||Yes|
|(Republic of) Namibia||02-Oct-00||03-Dec-01||Yes|
|(Republic of) Niger||SUSPENDED end 2009||17-Dec-03||Yes|
|(Federal Republic of) Nigeria||02-Oct-00||14-Jul-04||Yes|
|(Republic of) Rwanda||02-Oct-00||04-Mar-03||Yes|
|(Democratic of Republic of) Sao Tome and Principe||02-Oct-00|
|(Republic of) Senegal||02-Oct-00||23-Apr-02||Yes|
|(Republic of) Seychelles||02-Oct-00||No|
|(Republic of) Sierra Leone**||23-Oct-02||05-Apr-04||Yes|
|(Republic of) South Africa||02-Oct-00||07-Mar-01||No|
|(Kingdom of) Swaziland||02-Oct-00||26-Jul-01||Yes|
|(United Republic of) Tanzania||02-Oct-00||04-Feb-02||Yes|
|(Republic of) Togo***||21-Apr-08||Yes|
|(Republic of) Uganda||02-Oct-00||23-Oct-01||Yes|
|(Republic of) Zambia||02-Oct-00||17-Dec-01||Yes|
|* Effective date of designation of the Republic of Sierra Leone as an AGOA beneficiary country was determined by the U.S. Trade Representative to be October 23, 2002 |
|** Effective date of designation of the Democratic Republic of Congo as an AGOA beneficiary country was determined by the U.S. Trade Representative to be October 31, 2003 |
|*** Date of Federal Register Notice proclaiming Republic of Togo as Beneficiary under AGOA and applicable to goods entered from 30 days after date of publication|
|*** As per HR 7222 legislative amendment (See legal text in Downloads Section)|
21 AGOA FORUM 2013: Ethiopia will host the 2013 US-Africa AGOA Forum. AGOA.info has been informed that the Forum will not take place as envisaged on 28 June - 1 July, but at a later date yet to be determined. The theme for this year’s Forum is “Trade and Technology for sustained change”“
21 December 2012: Guinea-Bissau and Mali lose AGOA eligibility
APRIL 2013: Monthly data has been updated to include February 2013 data, quarterly includes full year 2012 data.
New US strategy towards Africa: White House Factsheet on new strategy towards Africa, plus overview of past US engagement with Africa. Click here for the file and this link for a summary article.
02 August 2012: Bill to extend third country fabric provision passes Congress Download the House of Reps. Bill at this link
South Sudan declared AGOA-eligible on 26 March 2012. Earlier, Cote d'Ivoire, Niger and Gambia declared AGOA eligible on 25 October 2011. See news item, presidential declaration and trade overview at this link (S Sudan) and here (others).
US GSP extended and GSP benefits to be applied retrospectively for the year 2011 since expiry of previous GSP. See AGOA.info legal documents section at the following link.
AGOA at 10: Reflections on US-Africa trade with a focus on SACU: Tralac Working Paper that can be downloaded at this
December 2010: The Democratic Republic of Congo loses its AGOA eligibility status. See proclamation here (pdf download available at this link
ITC investigation of textiles and apparel: Further details at this link
AGOA IV – Changes to AGOA explained
For disaggregated trade data covering each AGOA country, follow the relevant link in the Country Sections (left column) or click here.
For detailed AGOA maps click here