Press Release – For Immediate Release
April 29, 2021
United States and Ministry of Investment, Trade, and Industry launch revised AGOA Utilization Strategy to improve economic growth in Botswana
On April 29, the Embassy of the United States of America joined the Ministry of Investment, Trade, and Industry (MITI) and other stakeholders to launch the revised strategy at the Hilton Garden Inn in Gaborone. U.S. Ambassador to the Republic of Botswana, Craig L. Cloud, joined Minister Mmusi Kgafela to formally launch the strategy. Also present were the USAID Representative to Botswana, Ms. Alyson McFarland; MITI Permanent Secretary, Ms. Keganele Malikongwa; MITI Acting Deputy Permanent Secretary, Mr. Gideon Mmolawa; and the Chief Executive Officer of the Botswana Exporters and Manufacturers Association, Ms. Mmantlha Sankoloba.
The United States Agency for International Development (USAID), though its TradeHub project, supported MITI to revise the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) Utilization Strategy and Implementation Plan for Botswana. The strategy, which MITI approved in March 2021, provides a comprehensive plan for Botswana to increase its exports to the United States under the AGOA Preference Program.
The AGOA Preference Program is a non-reciprocal unilateral trade arrangement that the United States established two decades ago to promote bilateral trade and investment between the United States and sub-Saharan African countries. For Botswana, exports through the AGOA program will provide entrepreneurs with a chance to revive their firms, which have suffered heavily due to the impacts of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, while providing much-needed employment to revitalize the economy.
In support of Botswana’s National Development Plan (Vision 2036) and National Export Strategy (2019-2024), the revised strategy emphasizes priority sectors including arts and crafts, jewellery and semi-precious stones, natural indigenous products and meat and meat products. It calls for counselling to exporters on how to access U.S. markets through, for example, support with certifications and label reviews as well as listings on ecommerce platforms. The strategy also gives special attention to addressing specific challenges faced by women-led enterprises.
Firms assisted by the U.S. government through USAID include Donkey Milk Industries and DLG Naturals. Overall, in Southern Africa, USAID has supported nearly $90 million in African intra-regional trade and exports to the United States since October 2016. It has also facilitated more than $177 million in private-sector investment in both agriculture and non-agricultural sectors.
For additional information, please contact the U.S. Embassy Press Office at 373-2419 or PASGaborone@state.gov.