News24 | Niger, Uganda, CAR and Gabon kicked out of AGOA, as Mauritania is welcomed back

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Joined: Nov 2016

Gabon, CAR, Uganda and Niger are out, and Mauritania is in.

Graphic by News24, Image by Getty Images

On 1 January, the Central African Republic, Gabon, Niger, and Uganda were removed from the African Growth and Opportunity Act.Mauritania has been brought back into AGOA after a 16 year ban.The AGOA bans are linked to human rights abuses and unconstitutional government changes.On New Year’s Day, US President Joe Biden issued a proclamation banning the Central African Republic, Gabon, Niger and Uganda from participating in the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA), while at the same time bringing Mauritania back into the fold.

The decisions were already made ahead of the 20th AGOA Forum meeting in Johannesburg in November last year.

Mauritania was removed from AGOA in 2008, a year after its admission. This was after the coup that led to the removal of President Sidi Ould Cheikh Abdallahi from office.

Sixteen years later, the country is back on the programme because it “meets the eligibility requirements set forth in Section 104 of the AGOA and the eligibility criteria set forth in Section 502 of the Trade Act”.

The Central African Republic was removed from AGOA because of growing human rights abuses.

Uganda was added to the sanctioned list after enacting its Anti-Homosexuality Act (AHA) last year.

President Yoweri Museveni has said he doesn’t mind being excluded from AGOA.

Gabon and Niger were both kicked out of AGOA because they now fall under military rule.

“Accordingly, I have decided to terminate the designations of the Central African Republic, Gabon, Niger, and Uganda as beneficiary sub-Saharan African countries,” reads Biden’s proclamation.

AGOA is set to expire in 2025, but there are calls from African governments for its extension. The US is also optimistic that AGOA will get bipartisan support from Congress for its extension, since it’s one of the US’s strongest ties with the continent.

The News24 Africa Desk is supported by the Hanns Seidel Foundation. The stories produced through the Africa Desk and the opinions and statements that may be contained herein do not reflect those of the Hanns Seidel Foundation.


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