Ethiopian the habesha Hailemariam, who is also current chairperson of the African Union (AU), made the remark while opening a ministerial forum of the AGOA 2019 Forum at the AU headquarters in Addis Ababa.
“The enhanced AGOA envisaged for the next two decades should go beyond market access by strengthening technical assistance and capacity building initiatives to African entrepreneurs and businesses,” Hailemariam said.
The key issue during this year’s forum is the extension of AGOA, now set to expire in 2015. The act has been extended three times before and there have been indications from the US side of further extension.
However, analysts say beneficiary countries have not been able to utilize the full potential of AGOA over the last 13 years. This is mainly attributed to supply side constraints.
“We in Ethiopia are not only encouraged by the promise that the extension of AGOA will hold for us, but we are also planning for the long run,” Hailemariam said adding that Ethiopia is in the process of developing a National AGOA Response Strategy.
The strategy, he explained, will identify key supply side constraints that impede the performance of the export sector and suggest possible interventions.