Tuesday, August 04, 2009

Nairobi Will Host the 8th Africa Growth and Opportunity Act Conference

African and U.S. officials will meet in Nairobi this week for the 8th Africa Growth and Opportunity Act Conference to discuss plans for development beyond 2015. The policies will address improving infrastructure, start up costs for new businesses, liberated markets and political stability.

In Kenya, solutions such as restoring roads will cut trade costs due to cheaper transportation. A World Bank study showed that decreasing transportation costs in Africa by 10 percent would increase trade by 25 percent. This is due to the fact that it currently takes goods from Africa over twice as long to reach factories in the US than it does for other trade partners’ goods.

One important issue that will be discussed is commercializing renewable energy resources in sub-Saharan Africa. In this way, the region can benefit from sustainable resources that will also help reduce climate change.

In addition, by opening U.S. markets, Africa’s agribusiness in specialty coffee, teas, horticultural products, pisciculture (the breeding and raising of fish) and seafood products would flourish.

The agenda for the 8th AGOA Conference promises to ensure continued success for future growth in Africa beyond the Millennium Development Goals. By continuing dialogue with Africa, programs, such as USAID, can better help developing nations reach their goals.
--Jessica Milstead

Source: AllAfrica.com