In a significant move with potentially far-reaching implications, the United States has decided to terminate Uganda’s designation as a beneficiary of the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA). This action comes as U.S. President Joe Biden expresses concerns about Uganda’s Human Rights record and its compliance with the eligibility criteria under AGOA.
In a letter addressed to the Speaker of the House and President of the Senate, President Biden stated, “The Government of Uganda has engaged in gross violations of internationally recognized Human Rights.” This decision to revoke AGOA eligibility reflects the U.S. administration’s deep reservations about Uganda’s human rights practices.
Uganda is not the only country affected by this move. The Central African Republic, Gabon, and Niger have also had their AGOA eligibility terminated. These countries were similarly cited for Human Rights abuses.
President Biden emphasized that despite extensive diplomatic engagement between the United States and the affected nations, concerns have persisted regarding these countries’ non-compliance with AGOA eligibility criteria.
The African Growth and Opportunity Act, widely known as AGOA, was established into U.S. law in 2000. It aims to promote economic growth and development by providing duty-free access to the U.S. market for a wide range of products from eligible African nations.