THE Export Processing Zones Authority (EPZA) has accentuated the need for the extension of the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) as a fundamental component for Tanzania’s and the continent’s economic development and prosperity.
AGOA is a trade agreement that provides duty-free access to the US market for special categories of products from eligible African countries. It has been credited with boosting economic growth and creating jobs in Africa.
The trade agreement is due to expire in September 2025, and discussions are currently underway for its possible renewal.
The EPZA Acting Finance Director John Mwakasege made the remarks during the meeting with the Corporate Council on Africa (CCA) president and Chief Executive Officer Florizelle (Florie) Liser accompanied by a group of delegates for the renewal of the AGOA contract.
“The government under President Samia Suluhu Hassan has put a friendly investment environment to woo global investors to create new jobs, boost forex earnings and introduce new technology,” he said, noting that the extension of AGOA trade agreement will guarantee investors huge and reliable markets.
CCA is a trade association focusing on strengthening commercial relationships between the United States and the African continent.
The CCA is a nonprofit, membership-based organisation established in 1993 to promote business and investment between the United States and the nations of Africa.
It works closely with governments, multilateral groups and businesses to improve the continent’s trade and investment climate and to raise Africa’s profile in the U.S. business community.
He said the CCA president and CEO is eager to see that the AGOA agreement is extended so that will provide guaranteed markets for the products produced from their investment in Africa.
He said the tour is intended to know how Tanzania and the rest of Africa are benefitting from the AGOA agreement to continue persuading the US government to extend the contract.
The extension of the AGOA contract will stimulate the ongoing investment in the continent that depends largely on the AGOA market.
The CCA president and CEO was informed of the EPZA’s duties and obligations to serve investors in their day-to-day operations from providing export and processing zones (EPZ) licences to reserving areas for establishing infrastructures for industrial development.
Mr Mwakasege commended the CCA president and CEO for making swift efforts to ensure that the AGOA contract is extended to benefit investors and economies in Africa.
The Executive Director of the Confederation of Tanzanian Industries (CTI), Mr Leodegar Tenga said during the meeting that CTI is working closely with EPZA to ensure that their members benefit from the AGOA market.
He urged the CCA president and CEO to continue persuading the US government to extend the AGOA agreement so that African countries continue to reap immense benefits.
The CCA delegation made a tour at the Tooku Garment Limited whose products are sold in the US market and provide jobs to over 3,500 people.