By Carlos Lopes and Kamal Dervis
The Africa Growth and Opportunity Act (Agoa) rarely makes headlines in the US. But the frequency with which it was raised during President Obama’s recent trip to Africa underlines how important the trade legislation is seen on the continent both as a driver of progress and as a symbol of the US’s relations with it. The need to extend Agoa, due to expire in 2015, was a clear priority for the countries the President visited.
It should also be a welcomed by the US – evidence shows that the benefits are in both directions.
When it comes to trade, sub-Sarahan Africa is highly exposed to the eurozone, isn’t it? You would think so, given the warnings from the IMF to that effect.
But park your assumptions for one minute. Yes, any eurozone slowdown hurts African trade. But not by as much as a slowdown from other parts of the world, and the eurozone dependency is falling.
The north African nation of Algeria has hired an American company, Itron, to upgrade the metering system for its electricity power network.
US firms play a relatively major role in Algeria’s economy, but mostly in developing the oil and gas industry, rather than utilities.