At a time when South-South trade is becoming a force to be reckoned with, the North is jumping into action. Is it too late? In this global and growing world, there might just be room for everyone, and I expect that both the US and the EU will regain some footing in Africa in the years to come.
Power Africa, President Obama’s initiative to increase access to low cost energy, and Trade Africa, the initiative to boost trade with and within Africa, have both been written about extensively since Obama’s visit to the continent recently.
President Clinton’s African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) however seems to have been ignored somewhat. And yet, the 2012 Presidential Directive on Sub Saharan Africa, talks about a new and enhanced AGOA, with the potential of making the U.S./Africa trade relationship as significant as the one between the U.S. and the European Union. (The Africa-EU Partnership has also announced that they are entering into “a new phase” with an increase in Trade agreements).
Next month, Washington D.C. will host the 2013 U.S.-Sub-Saharan Africa Trade and Economic Cooperation Forum in Addis Ababa. Trade and investment-related issues are top of the agenda and it is expected that the “new and improved” AGOA will finally be revealed in all its glory.
I guess we should therefore expect extensive (although belated) coverage soon.