Tag Archives: Angola

11Aug/17

Africa-U.S. AGOA trade talks end with no decision, waning enthusiasm

Togo hosted an annual conference on the African Growth and Opportunities Act (AGOA) this week, bringing together various stakeholders from African nations and the United States. In 2015, the US Congress renewed the zero tariff deal for 10 years. Analysts have questioned how the programme will fare under U.S president Donald Trump’s presidency, given his “America First” campaign, that has seen him withdraw from various international trade deals.

SHOWS: LOME, TOGO (AUGUST 09, 2017) (REUTERS) – Talks between African and U.S. officials to review the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) free trade deal ended on Thursday (August 10) with no decision and a feeling of all sides that it had achieved little since it was set up.

President Donald Trump’s top trade negotiator Robert E. Lighthizer and other U.S. officials have been in the tiny West African nation of Togo over the past two days to discuss the Clinton-era trade pact with sub-Saharan Africa.

Trump’s “America First” campaign has seen him withdraw from the Trans Pacific Partnership, threated to tear up the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) and seek to renegotiate the U.S.-South Korea free trade deal.

But his administration has said little about Africa, and had not previously mentioned the 2000 AGOA trade agreement. It is not clear whether the U.S. wants to change the deal before it expires in 2025 or extend it further – no decision was made on either count.

AGOA allows tariff-free access for thousands of goods from 38 African nations to U.S. markets.

But few African economies can take advantage of a U.S. trade initiative providing to the world’s largest market because they have little to export beyond commodities, an asset class where prices are in free fall.

Togo’s minister of commerce Bernadette Legzim-Balouki said that although not all the countries eligible have benefited from the law, the agreement allowed Africa to access the US market and that member countries will examine the constraints that prevent some African countries from profiting.

“2025 was the year that the AGOA agreement will officially came to an end. If the United States decides not to extend the agreement, does that mean that our trade relationship with the U.S must also come to an end? Not at all! African entrepreneurs and other stakeholders were able to have access to the US market. They have straightened their partnerships with economic partners in the U.S. A door has been opened, a relationship was established between the US and African countries,” she said.

Legzim-Balouki also said that the United States and the nations eligible for AGOA had agreed on some loose aims, including: to develop a better plan to take full advantage of the pact, for each eligible country to have bilateral talks with the United States, and the need for a mechanism to protect African producers from price volatility.

US officials at the forum said that the number of countries benefiting from AGOA was very limited, as is the number of sectors, adding that they will see if the situation improves in the coming years, but it is also up to the beneficiary countries to enhance their business climate.

“The AGOA programme was renewed for ten years by congress by a large margin. That means that we have 8 years of the law in place. It’s true that the environment has changed, and we are currently studying the best ways for African countries to benefit from AGOA,” said Peter Barlerin a representative of the US state department.

The U.S. trade deficit with the AGOA countries shrank to about $7.9 billion last year from a peak of $64 billion in 2008, as U.S. shale oil production increases have lessened the need for oil imports from major exporters Nigeria and Angola.

27Nov/16

Angolans remember ‘son of Africa’ Fidel Castro

Angola remembers Fidel Castro, the Cuban revolutionary who died on Friday aged 90.

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03Jan/16

A review of how African economies performed in the second half of 2015

African growth was at its weakest in six years and analysts warned that things could get worse if the global economy continues to struggle. The IMF reported that the continent was likely to grow 3.75 percent this year and 4.25 percent next, a big drop from the years before and after the 2008/2009 financial crisis. China’s investment slowdown, and low commodity prices affected support to growth.

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09Oct/15

Africa’s GDP growth to slow to 3.7 pct this year, World Bank

Economic growth is set to slow in Sub-Saharan Africa to 3.7 percent this year from 4.6 percent in 2014, its weakest pace since 2009, mainly due to the drop in commodity prices, the World Bank has said in its latest Africa pulse report.

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02Aug/15

India set to become world’s most populous country by 2022

Global population is forecast to reach 11.2 billion in 2100, according to projections in new U.N. population report.

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25Jul/15

2018 world cup draw pits Spain against Italy

The draw for the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia throws up exciting matches including Spain against Italy and Netherland versus France.

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25May/15

Nigeria fuel shortages hit MTN, Guaranty Trust bank

Severe fuel shortages in Nigeria hit the services of Africa’s largest mobile telecoms operator, MTN, and force Guaranty Trust Bank to close its branches nationwide at lunchtime, the companies say.
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07May/15

Angola preacher paraded, sect killings mystery remains

Popular anti-authority preacher Jose Kalupeteka is paraded in front of the media in a yellow prison jumpsuit following a raid by Angolan police in Mount Sumi. Human rights activists say that more than 1,000 civilians were killed by the police and military in a siege aimed at crushing a group that has defied the government.
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14Apr/15

Gabon will host next Africa Cup of Nations and draw is made

(CONFEDERATION OF AFRICAN FOOTBALL, 2017 TOURNAMENT) – Gabon was named on Wednesday (April 8) as the host of the next African Cup of Nations finals in 2017.

The Gabonese beat rival bids from Algeria and Ghana in a vote by the Confederation of African Football’s (CAF) executive committee at a meeting in Cairo.
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01Apr/15

Boko Haram did not disrupt Nigeria election – UN envoy

As Nigerians celebrate the victory of opposition candidate Muhammadu Buhari in the just concluded presidential election, the U.N. says the ongoing violent conflict in north-eastern Nigeria by the Boko Haram Islamist insurgency remains a challenge but did not disrupt the elections. In its six-year insurgency, Boko Haram has killed thousands and displaced about 1.5 million people.
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