Roundtable: US-Africa Experts Working Discussion: The Future of AGOA and Financing

On Tuesday 16th April, on the sidelines of the IMF-World Bank Spring Meetings, Development Reimagined (DR) and the Center for Global Development (CGD) co-hosted a US-Africa experts roundtable to discuss the future of US-Africa relations, in particular in light of the upcoming US elections, and possible renewal of the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA).

The discussion examined different scenarios regarding the upcoming elections in November and the subsequent implications for the direction of US policy towards the African continent. Pre-empting possible shifts will provide both African and US policymakers with an understanding of how to navigate the relationship in the coming years.

Beyond the US elections, a central point of discussion was the recently proposed “AGOA Renewal and Improvement Act” including its limitations, such as its exclusion of northern Africa and its proposed extended review periods. Participants also discussed the impact and effectiveness of AGOA on the continent’s long-term development, and how to improve it going forward, especially through expanding its benefits beyond the apparel and textile sectors to include areas such as critical minerals. Furthermore, the discussion noted that there is more work to be done on linking the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) to AGOA to maximise trade benefits for the continent.

Beyond AGOA, the conversation also covered African country’s access to development finance from US partners. This included conversations regarding the role of the private sector investment into priority areas to stimulate growth going forward, especially within infrastructure and manufacturing to enhance value-addition. The issue of tracking commitments from the US-Africa Leaders Summit was also raised, given the number of dispersal avenues from the US side.

The roundtable was held under Chatham House rules, with a total of 20 attendees (11 in person, 9 online), from a breadth of African and US organisations, including government, think tanks and consultancies. This dialogue was part of a series which aims to bring together key thought leaders, policymakers and experts in the US-Africa space to share expertise and coordinate on how to proactively engage on the commitments/initiatives from the USALS to ensure African interests are met going forward. The next dialogue will be in October during the IMF-World Bank Annual Meetings.

If you would like a summary report of the discussion, or if you are an expert in US-Africa relations and are interested in joining future discussions, please contact

US-AFRICA- experts wprking discussion photo
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