African SMEs May Export Duty Free to US


African businesses will get a chance to showcase the continent and improve economic relations between the United States and the regions.

This will be done with the possibility of exporting qualifying products into the USA duty free at the first ever Trade Expo Africa (TEXA).

The Cable quoted a statement by the organisers to have explained that TEXA aims to boost export opportunities in Africa by leveraging on the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA), which is a United States Trade Act, enacted on 18 May 2000 as Public Law 106 of the 200th Congress.

“Forums such as this enable us to consolidate efforts to contribute to the growth and development of Africa’s economy by increasing trade relations among African countries and the USA,” TEXA founder, Yinka Thomas-Ogboja, said while speaking of the expo scheduled to hold in Houston, Texas, in October.

“We are proud of who we are as Africans, where we are and more importantly, where we are headed. In April 2015, the IMF’s Regional Economic Outlook for Sub-Saharan Africa predicted that over the next 20 years, sub-Saharan Africa will become the main source of new entrants in to the global labour force.”

Thomas-Ogboja said she hopes other African countries will reduce heavy reliance on importation and take advantage of the endless possibilities the trade expo offers as Botswana and South Africa are the biggest exporting countries in Africa.

“We are excited about the opportunities inherent as participating SMEs with export oriented products and services will find this expo rewarding. We are our greatest asset and together we can make a difference. Let us stay focused and positive as we shape and reshape the future of AFRICA.

“Project Prime International (PPI) is pleased to host this event, which is designed to showcase and promote Africa’s small medium enterprises (SMEs) seeking market penetration into the United States of America and other African countries.

“African governments need to integrate entrepreneurship more fully into their industrialisation strategies (African Development Bank, 2017). Foreign direct investment, attracted by the continent’s emerging markets and fast urbanization, stood at $56.5 billion in 2016 and is projected to reach $57 billion in 2017.

“Africa is the world’s second largest and second most populous continent, with the youngest population compared to other continents. The key to successful development in Africa is to nurture the emerging culture of entrepreneurship and the continuous empowerment of regional SMEs. Roughly 31% of U.S. exports to Sub-Saharan Africa went to South Africa in 2015, and 19% to Nigeria.

“The top U.S. export markets in Sub-Saharan Africa for 2015 are: South Africa ($5.5 billion), Nigeria ($3.4 billion), Ethiopia ($1.6 billion), Angola ($1.2 billion), and Kenya ($937 million). While this impacts the U.S. economy significantly, it is imperative to create platforms that in return will boost African economies, promote bilateral trade with the U.S., and increase trade relations amongst African countries.”