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Africa mulls diversified exports to US

21 May 2013, 13:33

Nairobi - Africa is set diversify its exports to the United States through the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) after the African Development Bank (AfDB) on Monday announced plans to help boost trade and investments under the initiative.

AfDB Manager for Regional Integration and Trade Moono Mupotola said the bank has launched several bilateral meetings with U. S. and multilateral companies on ways of helping African countries to broaden AGOA export prospects.

"There is growing political will within the Bank to help boost U. S.-Africa trade relations, in accordance with the general spirit to boost African trade as agreed by African Heads of Government during the 18th and 19th sessions of the Summit of Heads of States and Governments," said Mupotola in a statement received in Nairobi.

He said AGOA, together with the Trade and Investment Framework Agreements, are considered critical tools of U. S.-Africa trade relations.

The regional bank has identified several areas of possible support to be discussed with U. S. government agencies and African countries at the AGOA XII Forum that will be held in the Ethiopian capital Addis Ababa in the summer.

AGOA is a preferential market access system given to specific countries in Africa and the Caribbean by the United States, where Kenya's apparel exports expected to grow by at least 6 percent in 2012.

Assistant Director of the Ministry of Trade Lornah Okumu told Xinhua recently that in 2011, the country's textile exports to the United States amounted to 298 million U. S. dollars.

"Our current projection is that textile and apparel exports will grow by at least 6 percent in 2012 to top 315 million dollars, " Okumu said.

She noted that most of the exports enter the U.S. markets under the preferential Africa-U.S. trade agreement. According to the ministry of trade, the total value of Kenya and U.S. bilateral trade in 2011 was approximately 830 million dollars.

- Xinhua

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