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    South Africa set to host 2024 US-Africa summit

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    Somali Magazine –  The 2024 US-Africa summit will take place in South Africa. This was revealed during a summit on trade relations between Africa and the United States underway in Johannesburg – South Africa on Thursday.

    The summit meeting is a plan to attempt to mend trade relations between Washington and Africa.

    Ministers from about 40 sub-Saharan African countries that are part of the African Growth and Opportunity Act [AGOA], are to hold talks with US envoys for three days in Johannesburg.

    Joy Basu, US deputy assistant secretary of state for African affairs told AFP, “The choice of South Africa as host for the annual summit was a sign of our commitment to our bilateral relationship”

    Approved by the US Congress in 2000, AGOA is the cornerstone of US economic and trade policy on the African continent.

    The pact offers duty-free access into the world’s largest economy for countries that meet democratic criteria assessed on a yearly basis.

    The AGOA trade pact ends in 2025, and with little plan yet for any successor, talks are expected to revolve around a possible extension.

    Relations between Washington and Pretoria have been strained by the war in Ukraine, amid accusations that South Africa, which has said it wants to stay neutral, has moved closer to Russia.

    In an unusually strong statement in May, the US ambassador to South Africa, Reuben Brigety, alleged that a Russian freighter loaded up weapons and ammunition on a stop at a Cape Town naval base.

    A group of US lawmakers later called for the country to be kicked out of AGOA in response.

    An independent panel appointed by President Cyril Ramaphosa to investigate the matter has since concluded that there was no evidence to suggest weapons were loaded onto the ship.

    “We really appreciated the Ramaphosa’s administration investigations into the concerns that were raised,” said Basu.

    “South Africa is fully eligible to maintain its AGOA benefits”.

    Trade under the pact accounts for 21 percent of South Africa’s annual exports to the United States, which range from automotive products to raw materials and in 2022 was worth about $3 billion.

    “AGOA has been pivotal in strengthening economic ties and promoting growth and development across the African continent,” said the South African presidency.

     

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