Jacob Zuma: We drove Agoa message home

2014-08-07 20:45

A commitment for the renewal of the African Growth and Opportunity Act (Agoa) was secured at the US-Africa Leaders Summit, says President Jacob Zuma.

“We successfully conveyed the message that South Africa’s graduation from Agoa would damage the African Union’s regional integration initiatives, as well as industries in neighbouring countries that benefit from South Africa’s manufacturing capability,” said Zuma today.

“Benefits to South Africa are immense, we can only trust that this matter will be concluded successfully and to mutual benefit.”

Zuma left Washington yesterday, just after the conclusion of discussions between more than 40 African leaders and the US.

The summit, which was the first of its kind, was initiated by US President Barack Obama after his visit to the continent last year.

Agoa is a non-reciprocal preferential scheme, which applies only to US imports from eligible sub-Saharan African countries.

It is an act of the US Congress, which will decide next year whether to renew it. South Africa wants it renewed for another 15 years.

While in Washington, Zuma and some of his cabinet ministers met three US senators, Senate foreign relations committee chairperson Robert Menendez, House of Representatives foreign affairs committee chairperson Ed Royce, and Senate foreign relations Africa subcommittee chairperson Chris Coons.

Zuma was accompanied to the summit by International Relations and Cooperation Minister Maite Nkoana-Mashabane, Trade and Industry Minister Rob Davies, Transport Minister Dipuo Peters, Science and Technology Minister Naledi Pandor and State Security Minister David Mahlobo.

He said the summit had rescaled the relationship between Africa and the US.

The summit discussed issues relating to boosting trade and investment, cooperation on matters of peace, security and governance.

“There had been a good relationship already between Africa and the US, but this summit has reshaped it and has taken it to another level.

“There are many opportunities for further development of this relationship and we look forward to further engagement, especially since we agreed to another summit to take matters forward,” he said.

Zuma welcomed the indication of support for African peacekeeping and peace-making mechanisms.

He said Africa had secured buy-in from the US for peace and security initiatives on the continent, including support for the African Standby Force.

“They understand our position very clearly that we want support but that this process must be African-led and African-controlled.

“As President Obama said, the boots must be African. We believe we are finding one another on these matters,” said Zuma.

»Flight and hotel costs for Sapa’s reporter covering the summit were paid by the presidency.

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24


Book flights

Compare, Book, Fly

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.