The U.S. Department of State, in conjunction with several United States Government agencies, would host the eleventh annual U.S.-sub-Saharan Africa Trade and Economic Forum in Washington this week.
A statement issued by the US Embassy in Ghana stated that the 2012 AGOA Forum scheduled from June 14-15, 2012 in Washington, D.C would focus on enhancing infrastructure development in Africa in four ways.
This includes promoting an improved business climate and effective regulation that will encourage private-public partnerships; increasing regional economic integration through strategic development of regional transportation corridors, regional power pools and power generation capacity that can be shared across borders and encouraging the adaptation of renewable energy and energy efficient products.
Ghana is a beneficiary of AGOA but Ghanaian exporters have been criticized for not taking advantage of the Act.
On May 18, 2000 an act was signed into law as the US Trade and Development Act (2000) with the aim of offering tangible incentives for African countries to continue their efforts to open their economies and build free markets.
On August 6, 2002, the act was amended with substantially expanded preferential access for imports from beneficiary sub-Saharan African countries.
The annual AGOA Forum is a mix of programs and events that will take place during the month of June.
Information available indicates that the forum would be preceded by a two-day civil society program from June 12-13 2012 in Washington, D.C.
The Corporate Council on Africa (CCA) would also host its infrastructure conference in June after the forum in the same city while the U.S.-Africa Business Conference (USABC) would be held in Cincinnati, Ohio on June 21 and 22.
By Emelia Ennin Abbey