TRALAC - Trade Law Centre

AGOA Forum: Senegal to Host

Wednesday, 13 July 2005

Source: AGOA Forum Website

The choice of Senegal to host the fourth AGOA (African Growth and Opportunity Act) Forum, is based on political and diplomatic reasons, Senegalese Ambassador to Washington, Amadou Lamine Ba, said in Dakar Wednesday.

The choice is not linked to AGOA criteria or economic performances. Senegal meets the governance criteria and it is a model country for Americans, " he said during a press briefing.

He further underscored that the country's capacity to host the forum is "considered fairly satisfactory'' and its geographical proximity with the United States facilitates travelling.

The fourth edition of the AGOA forum, and the second of its kind on the African continent (after the one held in Mauritius), will take place in Dakar from 18 to 20 July 2005, on the theme : "developing and diversifying trade in order to promote growth and competitiveness".

This forum on trade and economic cooperation between the United States and Sub-Saharan Africa is better known as the AGOA forum.

It provides government representatives, those of the private sector as well as the American and African civil society organisations (of the 37 eligible countries) with the opportunity to reflect together on ways of making AGOA an effective mechanism for the promotion of trade and investments between the United States and Sub-Saharan Africa.

"It seeks to institutionalise dialogue between all the actors concerned, with a view to promoting closer economic relations between the United States and Sub-Saharan Africa, and providing opportunities for economic growth through the promotion of trade, " the organisers explained in a communiqué received at the APS.

Over 1000 delegates have confirmed their participation. For each of the 36 other eligible African countries, four ministers (trade, finance, agriculture and foreign affairs) have been invited to the Dakar Forum.

"Two countries - Seychelles and Sao Tomé and Principe- have not yet confirmed their participation, " according to Ambassador Boubacar Ba, coordinator of the forum.

The American delegation, led by Secretary of State, Condoleezza Rice, will comprise 270 members.

The forum will be opened at Méridien Président Hotel, Monday, under the chairman of His Excellency , President Abdoulaye Wade.

After the word of welcome by the Senegalese Trade Minister, Mamadou Diop Decroix, a recorded message from President George Bush will be delivered to participants, before the intervention of his Senegalese counterpart.