Thursday, April 01, 2004

Africa Growth & Opportunity Act: who's in and who's out

Came across two articles dealing with the AGOA today ...

Today's edition of the East African Standard carries a story about how Eritrea and the Central African Republic are no longer eligible to take advantage of the benefits of the AGOA ... this isn't new news. Their eligibility was revoked back in December.

And a March 25 story in the Zimbabwe Herald which states that Zim has met some preconditions that could eventually enable it to qualify for the AGOA. And this quote ...
"The United States looks forward to the day that Zimbabwe qualifies for Agoa. It has moved closer to qualification after improvements especially in the economic landscape," [US Embassy Economic and Commercial Chief, Mr William] Weissman said during a seminar which was co-organised by ZimTrade and the Ministry of Industry and International Trade headed by Dr Samuel Mumbengegwi.
I don't know about Zim's eligibility ... but the same story says that Angola is one of the few other countries that doesn't qualify for the AGOA. Well, that's not true ... at the same time that Eritrea and CAR were removed from the list, Angola was added in.

Some of the AGOA eligibility criteria ....
market-based economies; the rule of law and political pluralism; ... efforts to combat corruption; ... protection of human rights and worker rights; and elimination of certain child labor practices.