President Cyril Ramaphosa and his United States of America counterpart President Joe Biden will engage in discussions during the upcoming 20th African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) Forum to be held in Johannesburg next week.

This according to Presidential Spokesperson Vincent Magwenya who on Thursday briefed the media on the President's upcoming engagements.

"The AGOA Forum serves as a vital platform for the United States to build on the success of the Africa Leaders' Summit and further enhance the economic partnership with African states, under the aegis of the United States' African Growth and Opportunity Act that was approved by the US Congress in May 2000.

"During the Forum, President Joe Biden and President Cyril Ramaphosa will engage in discussions on shared priorities, reaffirm the Administration's commitment to the continent, and explore opportunities to make AGOA more transformative as they deepen trade and investment relations with Sub-Saharan African countries," Magwenya said.

The event brings together the US government together with the governments of eligible African countries and economic organisations, business, labour and civil society.

"Over the course of the event, participants will delve into conversations about strengthening trade and investment ties between the United States and Sub-Saharan Africa, with a focus on promoting resilient, sustainable, and inclusive economic growth and development.

"AGOA...remains a key driver of economic growth and development. An extension of AGOA beyond 2025 is expected to promote inward investment in Africa and provide mutual benefits to the United States and African countries.

"This extension will further support the African Continental Free Trade Area, covering 54 countries and 1.4 billion people," Magwenya said.

South Africa has derived benefits from AGOA including the following:

  • In 2022, South African exports under the Most Favoured Nation system accounted for the largest share and export value of the country's total exports to the US market, steadily growing from US$5.6 billion in 2011 to US$12.7 billion in 2022.
  • Trade under AGOA accounted for approximately 21% of South Africa's total exports to the United States in 2022, increasing in value from US$2.0 billion in 2021 to US$3.0 billion in 2022.
  • AGOA has been estimated to create numerous jobs in Sub-Saharan Africa, with South Africa benefiting from the creation of 62 395 jobs, both directly and indirectly.
  • AGOA exports represented 21% of total South African exports in 2022, up from 13% in 2021.

"Since its inception in 2000, the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) has been pivotal in strengthening economic ties and promoting growth and development across the African continent.

"AGOA has opened up new market opportunities, facilitated economic growth, encouraged economic and political reform, and improved economic relations between the United States and Sub-Saharan Africa.

"It remains a cornerstone of United States economic policy and commercial engagement with Africa," Magwenya concluded.