Export American Goods to Africa
Krysta Harden, US deputy secretary of agriculture, visited Accra, Ghana, in November in the bid to relate the United States of America's food export growth objective for sub-Saharan Africa. With an economic outlook that is strong, consumer-oriented food demand surge, and a middle class that keeps growing, statistics from the US department of Agriculture show that the sub-Saharan Africa exports by US agriculture are growing rapidly.
According to the USDA, regional agricultural exports by the US over the last decade saw a 2014 $2.3bn culmination of business due to growth that exceeded 50%. Sub-Saharan Africa imported record levels of prepared foods and poultry meat from the US last year.
Last year Ethiopia ($83m), Kenya ($87m), Ghana ($151m), South Africa ($298m), Angola ($300m), and Nigeria ($883m) were the top US agricultural and related products markets in sub-Saharan Africa. The USDA website serves as a platform for companies to apply to be part of the November 17 - 20 trade mission.
Harden led a mission two years ago to launch the sub-Saharan Africa Trade Initiative of the USDA in southern Africa aimed at expanding the regional commercial and agricultural ties of the US. She expressed her excitement about returning to Africa, saying that businesses owned by small women minorities were of particular focus for an advanced market opportunities exploration by a new set of agricultural leaders from the US.
In a bid to learn about the regions' business environment and market conditions and forge relationships, potential customers from over a dozen countries will meet with the delegation. In order to expand key market sales and assist them in developing strategies, it is necessary to obtain such hands-on experience.
Agricultural organizations leaders and heads of state departments of agriculture including company representatives of businesses that represent a diverse selection of food and agricultural products will be part of the event.
The African Growth and opportunities Act (AGOA) that allow US duty-free exports from certain African countries sees South Africa and the US in a current dispute that could well be a complicating. A 15-year-long ban imposed by South Africa to stop imports of US bone-in chicken was lifted in early 2015 in exchange for the agreement's renewal. The imposed ban was to prevent the US from offering goods at a lower price than domestic producers offer by exporting poultry in vast quantities.
Although the deal was signed over three months, poultry exports by the US to South Africa are still not possible. It is also unlikely that this will change anytime soon as currently, an avian influenza-related blanket ban is in effect.
US trade representative, Michael Froman, earlier this month demanded the rectification of the situation or South Africa risked suspension from the AGOA scheme.
He said the AGOA's important tariff benefits could be lost if South Africa fails to take swift action. At this stage, it is unclear if the discussions in Accra will have this as part of the agenda.
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Contact: Mark R. Dagel MD@iCCMV.com
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