US Suspension of Ethiopia from AGOA Disappointing, Regrettable: Investment Commission

Addis Ababa, November 04,2021 (ENA) United States government decision to suspend Ethiopia from Africa Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) is very disappointing and regrettable in many ways, said Ethiopian Investment Commission.

The commission in a statement indicated that the suspension of Ethiopia from the initiative is against the US's core principles of human and labor rights and primarily endangers the human rights of hundreds of thousands of the vulnerable as well as discourages investors.

“The suspension is against the core principles of the very initiative itself and its alleged interest to protect human and labor rights in the African continent.”

Although AGOA augured a new beginning in the US and Africa economic cooperation and made Africa an attractive destination for efficiency-seeking FDIs, create productive and decent jobs, encourage value addition, and diversify their export structure, it said, the delisting of Ethiopia from the beneficiary list refutes its core objectives.

AGOA used to give Ethiopia opportunity to export half of the manufactured products and increased export by ten folds between 2000 and 2020, the Commission stated.  

The massive industrial park infrastructures deve1oped targeting the US market through AGOA initiative gave hundreds of thousands of job opportunities directly and indirectly, especially on the apparel products of which over 8 percent workers are the vulnerable rural migrant young women.

“Through the job opportunities in the industrial parks, these young women were able to acquire skills, develop confidence and earn income, which enables them to support themselves and their families. Not mentioning, the anticipated thousands of small-scale businesses that are benefited from service provision within the industrial parks,” the statement read.

The removal decision will primarily endanger the human rights of hundreds of thousands of the valneurable, young, and low educated women workers, who solely depend on their job for self-development and life opportunities, it added.

“We, hence, believe that this is a sufficient reason for the US government to reconsider its decision as soon as possible.”

The decision severely jeopardizes the motivation and scale of operation of companies that invest targeting to benefit from AGOA, it further added.   

Ethiopian News Agency