Welcome to the AGOA Civil Society Organization (CSO) Network Site!!!
The AGOA Civil Society (CSO) Network is a consortium of non-governmental organizations (NGOs), small-to-medium sized business representatives, chambers of commerce and other groups in the United States and Africa that are interested in the successful application of AGOA for the benefit of the US and African people.
The Network was established by 102 member organizations from the United States, Mauritius, South Africa, Nigeria, Kenya, Namibia, Mali, Lesotho and the Democratic Republic of Congo that were in attendance during the AGOA Civil Society Forum on January 17, 2003, in Phoenix, Mauritius.
The AGOA CSO Network's focus is on increasing the volume and quality of African exports under AGOA and educating stakeholders on both sides of the Atlantic Ocean on this trade policy and its advantages.
July 18, 2019
Washington, DC, USA
Dear Members, Partners, Colleagues, and Friends:
Since 2003, the AGOA Civil Society Organization (CSO)Network Secretariat has coordinated, participated in and promoted the CSO Session of the US-Africa Trade and Economic Cooperation Forum (also commonly known as the AGOA Forum). This year, a new approach is being employed to organizing the upcoming CSO Session of the 2019 AGOA Forum - one of directive, rather liaison with civil society. From our vantage point, this new approach is limiting the voice of civil society, marginalizing their participation in the 2019 AGOA Forum and regressing US-Africa trade and economic cooperation.
Furthermore, the AGOA CSO Network Secretariat started discussions with the Côte d' Ivoire Technical Organizatio n Committee in February of this year regarding providing technical assistance and planning for the CSO Session of the 18 th AGOA Forum. In March, the AGOA CSO Secretariat was formally invited to, Côte d’Ivoire to begin the planning process. Using its own financial resources, the Secretariat dispatched two of its members to Abidjan in March to conduct the advance mission. While on the ground in Côte d’Ivoire, the AGOA CSO Secretariat and the Ivorian Technical Organization Committee agreed that the AGOA CSO Secretariat would coordinate registration for the CSO Session and that fees from the registration would be used to defray the cost of the advance mission and costs associated with the Secretariat providing coordination and technical support while on the ground during the 18 th AGOA Forum. Additionally, the AGOA Secretariat would use the AGOA Spring Conference to start the planning for and promotion of the upcoming AGOA Forum in Côte d’Ivoire. The AGOA Spring Conference took place as scheduled at the Embassy of Cô t e d’ Ivoire in Washington, DC in April, and was highly successful. On June 19, 2019, it became apparent to Secretariat that the agreement was being reneged upon. The breaching of the agreement by the Ivorian Technical Organization Committee coupled with the “new approach” to organizing the Civil Society Session has led us to this decision.
Consequently, the AGOA CSO Network Secretariat is withdrawing the AGOA CSO Secretariat and Network’s participation in the CSO Session of the 2019 AGOA Forum, as of Sunday, July 14, 2019. Additionally, the Secretariat views the resulting structural changes to the CSO Session as hostile, and an attack on the rights and space of civil society. And we have requested that the following changes be reversed, immediately.
1. Cease direct interference in managing the agenda, list of speakers and coordination of CSO Session of the AGOA Forum with the exception of accrediting CSO delegates to the Ministerial/Official Forum
2. Recall the decision to start denying civil society members from non- AGOA eligible countries accreditation to the Official Ministerial Forum (as of the 2019 Forum)
3. Restore the read-out by civil society organizations on the agenda and during the Official Ministerial Forum on August 5, 2019, instead of "busing" a few delegates to the venue on August 4th, the day before the Official Ministerial Forum is scheduled to take place
4. Stop denying Civil Society the right to assemble during the Forum, by restricting civil society organizations to a limited one-day event, the day relegated as the official CSO Session day.
5. Put an end to restricting the AGOA Civil Society Organization Network Secretariat’s ability to manage our member’s affairs during the CSO Session of the US-Sub-Saharan African Trade and Economic Cooperation Forum (aka AGOA Forum)
Moreover, as of today, July 18, 2019, the agenda for the CSO Session does not include any plenary sessions and the registration portal for the CSO Session is still not operational, approximately, two weeks before this international event.
The Secretariat asks that you join us in this protest by clicking the REPLY BUTTON; and adding your name, and your organization to the bottom of this document for circulation, and stand with us in reversing the “BIG GOVERMENT” approach to managing Civil Society Organizations.
My heartfelt thanks to you for your commitment to the mission of our Network and your continued support.
Fred O. Oladeinde
Chairman, AGOA Civil Society Network Secretariat
The 5th Annual AGOA Spring Conference took place April 10 -11, 2019 in Washington, DC . Day-one was held at the Embassy of the Republic of Côte d'Ivoire, and day- two took place on Capitol Hill. The theme of this year’s conference was “AGOA: Advancing Mutual Prosperity through Trade and Economic Cooperation.”
The AGOA Spring Conference is a precursor to the CSO/AWEP Session of the US-Sub-Saharan Africa Trade and Economic Cooperation Forum commonly know as the AGOA Forum, and serves as a vehicle for galvanizing support for the AGOA Forum. Civil society organizations, government officials, chambers of commerce and small and medium sized enterprises from throughout sub-Saharan Africa and the United States attended this highly successful event.
Africa Trade Development Center, Cargo Express and HUBB UCS leadership recently at Cargo Express facilities discussing logistics and fulfillment for 2018 holiday season
Fred Oladeinde President, Tony Okonmah of ATDC with Jose Matto President and Abdellatif Bedier of HUBB-UCS at recent meeting at the ATDC facilities in Miami on 2018 holiday seasons
Representative Ileana Ros-Lehtinen
AfrICANDO 2018 Gallery
African Women's Entrepreneurship Program
Agricultural Goods || Jewelry || Fashion & Design || Textiles and more!
Meridian International Center, Washington, DC
CIPE Hosts AGOA CSO Network International Forum on U.S. Africa Trade: “The Role of Civil Society Organizations in Expanding United States-Africa Trade and Investment”
July 11, 2018
WASHINGON, D.C. –– Global experts have concluded an international forum held at the Center for International Private Enterprise (CIPE) headquarters in Washington, D.C. to craft recommendations for maximizing trade between Africa and the United States under the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA). The longstanding U.S. legislation has helped boost trade with African nations, strengthen democracy, and improve the quality of life for citizens via new economic opportunities.
The AGOA Civil Society Organization (CSO) Network and the African Women’s Entrepreneurship Program (AWEP) organized the annual event, which occurred Monday and Tuesday. Participants from 40 nations held panel discussions and activities designed to help them form policy recommendations for their governments ahead of ministerial meetings this week with U.S. Trade officials. CIPE Executive Director Andrew Wilson welcomed forum attendees and provided encouragement. Read more
(also known as the AGOA Forum)
July 9 -11, 2018
Washington, DC, USA
The Civil Society Organization/African Women’s Entrepreneurship Program (AWEP) Session of the 17th AGOA Forum is scheduled for July 9-1oth, 2018 at the Center for International Private Enterprise (CIPE), located at 1211 Connecticut Avenue, NW, Suite 700, Washington, DC 20036, and on July 11, from 2:30-4:30 pm at The Heritage Foundation which is located at 214 Massachusetts, Avenue, NE, Washington, DC 20002.
The theme of this year's event is: " The Role of Civil Society Organizations in Expanding U.S.- Africa Trade and Investment," and the event will offer seminars, a workshop on developing an AGOA Country Utilization Plan for Civil Society, networking, a visit to Capitol Hill, museums and other historical sites in the United States Capitol.
The 4th Annual AGOA Spring Conference took place April 18 -19, 2018 in Washington, DC, at the Embassy of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, and on Capitol Hill. The conference focused on President Trump’s policy on Africa; and included a review of the Administration’s recent visit to Africa; trade numbers for AGOA over the past twelve months under the Trump administration; and discussed the opportunity that bi annual AGOA Utilization Strategies offer eligible Sub-Saharan African (SSA) countries for increasing exports and advancing economic cooperation under AGOA.
A highlight of the event was a visit by members of the AGOA CSO Network with Congressman Ed Royce, Chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee and a Congressional Exchange on the legislative agenda for AGOA on April 19th on Capitol Hill.
During the Congressional Exchange, Network participated in discussions on AGOA with:
Angela Ellard, Chief Trade Counsel Ways & Means Committee and Trade Subcommittee Staff Director of the U.S. House of Representatives
Joshua Snead, Trade Counsel to the Committee on Ways and Means, U.S. House of Representatives
Katherine Tai, Chief Trade Counsel, Democratic Staff, U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Ways and Means
Katherine F. White, Brookings Legis Congressional Fellow, U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Ways and Means
Download Remarks from the Spring Conference
AGOA CSO Network Newsletter
AGOA Civil Society/AWEP Session
16th AGOA Forum
Presented to 16th AGOA Ministerial Session
The AGOA Civil Society Organization and African Women Entrepreneurs Program (AWEP) Session of the 2017 African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) Forum took place on August 7-10, under the Theme “Civil Society and AWEP Using AGOA to Build Prosperity by 2025” The Session was held at the Radisson Blu Hotel and the ECOWAS Building in Lomé, Togo.
The CSO/AWEP Session of the 16th AGOA Forum brought together more than 200 delegates from the United States and AGOA eligible countries throughout Sub-Saharan Africa to address the following issues:
Becky Norton Dunlop
Ronald Reagan Distinguished Fellow, Policy Promotion, The Heritage Foundation
19th Annual AfrICANDO Trade and Investment Conference/Trade Show
Supply Chain Development and Competitiveness under AGOA
Apparel, Handi-Crafts, Beverages, Spices and Ethnic Food Trade Show for SMEs
2nd Track for Port Directors on Supply Chain and Port Security
September 20-22, 2017
Betty T. Ferguson Complex, Miami Gardens, Florida, USA
AfrICANDO 2017 - A US - Africa Trade and Investment Conference/Trade Show brought together more than 200 leaders from government, civil society, chambers of commerce, and the private sector from throughout Africa, the Caribbean and the United States. The objective of this year’s event was to address supply chain development, trade policy, trade security, logistics/transportation, and other relevant issues in an effort to identify the challenges and obstacles to small, and medium enterprises’(SMEs’) competitiveness in the US markets under AGOA.
The 4-day event included a dinner, and tour of several points of interest, including the Africa Trade Development Center (ATDC)/ Miami Free Zone; workshops; a trade show, and a marketplace; reception/fashion show; and competition among export ready companies from AGOA eligible countries exhibiting during the trade show.
And the Winners of the MSME Competition during AfrICANDO 2017 are...
Cameroon, Ghana, Guinea, Kenya, and Nigeria (Ghana not pictured)
3rd Annual AGOA CSO Network
The 3rd Annual AGOA Civil Society Organization Network Spring Conference under the theme “The Future of AGOA under the Trump Administration and 115th Congress of the United States” took place on April 20, 2017 at the Embassy of the Republic of Senegal, in Washington DC, and on April 21, 2017 in the historic Library of the House Ways and Means Committee in the Longworth House Office Building, on Capitol Hill, in Washington, DC.
The event brought together Ambassadors representing AGOA eligible countries, leaders from civil society, government, business, members of the press from the USA and Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) and a Cabinet Minister to focus on how civil society organizations can support government and business in reversing the current trend of declining US-Africa trade volume and economic engagement and strengthen the implementation of AGOA with the view of creating sorely needed good paying jobs on both sides of the Atlantic Ocean under the Trump administration. Download the complete Communique, including Recommendations here!
Download Presentations from the Spring Conference
The Civil Society Organization (CSO)/African Women’s Entrepreneurship (AWEP) Joint Session of the 15th Annual U.S. – Sub-Saharan Africa Trade and Economic Cooperation Forum (also known as the AGOA Forum) took place September 22-23, 2016 under the theme “The Role of Civil Society in Maximizing AGOA Benefits Now while Preparing for the Future Beyond AGOA.” The event was held at the Reagan Events Center which is located in the International Republican Institute (IRI) in Washington, DC.
The Joint Session of this year’s African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) Forum brought together more than 200 delegates from the United States, AGOA eligible countries, and others to address the following issues:
To view video of the Ministerial Opening Ceremony of the United States Sub-Saharan Africa Trade and Economic Cooperation (AGOA) Forum. Introductory remarks by Ambassador Linda Thomas-Greenfield, Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs; Opening Remarks by Ambassador Michael Froman, U.S. Trade Representative, click on the link below: