Togo’s National African Growth Opportunity Act (AGOA) Committee has requested the Trade Hub’s assistance to develop a national AGOA export strategy to increase export earnings under the preferential trade agreement. This request follows Hub assistance to help the Committee and Ministry of Commerce to develop a national textile visa in February 2016.
During the strategy development process which will start before the end of 2016, the Hub will provide technical comments and direction, and conduct awareness and sensitization campaigns targeting the private sector and government officials.
Togolese officials made the request when the Hub’s Senior AGOA Specialist, Mohamed Abou Iiana, and finance and Investment Lead, Jean Francois Guay, travelled to Lomé from November 1-4. Abou Iiana and Guay spent four days in Lomé, following up on the country’s AGOA activities and participating in the U.S. Ambassador to Togo’s business event on private sector access to finance.
Togolese exports under AGOA total $145,000, leaving much “potential for increasing exports under AGOA,” said Abou Iiana. This includes taking advantage of AGOA for eligible products that go unclaimed, including cocoa paste and powder. Other Togolese agricultural exports, like coffee and cocoa, are already duty-free under other tariffs.
The Hub is working on several fronts to boost the country’s AGOA exports, including training officials from the Office Togolais des Recettes on customs documentations and AGOA procedures, as well as the completion of its AGOA textile visa. The project will also be actively involved in the planning of the 2017 AGOA Forum, which Togo will host in Lomé.
Banyan Global is a subcontractor to Abt Associates on the West Africa Trade Hub Project.