Urging our nation's leaders to end hunger

Bread for the World Praises Congress for Africa Trade Commitment

AGOA 8.13.12

Fabric for sale at a Tanzania marketplace. (Racine Tucker-Hamilton/Bread for the World)

by Rev. David Beckmann

Great news for African development today! Bread for the World applauds members of Congress for their support for the renewal of the Third Country Fabric provision of the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA). AGOA seeks to increase mutually beneficial trade ties between the United States and Africa and promises to lift millions of Africans out of poverty.   

Several months ago, African ambassadors met with the chairs and ranking members of the Congressional subcommittees on Africa to discuss the urgency of renewing this provision. It has come at a critical time, as declines in apparel orders (due to the uncertainty of this provision’s renewal) were already leading to job losses in several African countries.  


By giving African manufacturers the freedom to purchase fabric from outside the continent to sew garments for export to the U.S. market, AGOA’s Third Country Fabric provision will save approximately 300,000 textile and apparel-related jobs which support an estimated 10 million people. It also saves U.S. taxpayers $5 million.  

Bread for the World helped pass and extend AGOA. This is especially exciting since I serve on the Trade Advisory Council on Africa, which advises Ambassador Kirk on Africa trade issues. I also recently spoke at the AGOA civil-society forum that complemented the recent high-level official meetings between U.S. and African officials on trade issues. 

Bread for the World has been involved in key discussions on the need to enhance Africa’s infrastructure for trade, so that trade can in turn facilitate development on the continent. We will continue to advocate for better integration of trade and development policy.


Rev. David Beckmann, is president of Bread for the World.

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