AFRICAN WOMEN
Entrepreneurship Programme
AWEP, has urged the Federal
Government to leverage on the
opportunities offered by the
African Growth Opportunity
Act AGOA, to drive the
Nigerian economy.
AWEP’s Public Relations
Officer, Mrs. Eme Ugwuegbu,
told the News Agency of
Nigeria NAN recently in
Abuja that this would help the
government to boost its non-oil
export revenue in the face of
the current dwindling nation’s
finances. .
NAN reports that AGOA
is a US preferential trade
programme established on
May 18, 2,000, that provides
duty-free access to the 3
trillion dollars for thousands
of products from eligible sub-
Saharan African countries.
The Act offers tangible
incentives for African countries
to continue their efforts to open
their economies and build free
markets.
After completing its initial
15-year period of validity,
the AGOA legislation was
extended on June 29, 2015 by an
additional 10 years.
Ugwuegbu expressed her
optimism that Nigeria could
double its non-oil export
revenue if effective strategies
were targeted toward
leveraging on the benefits of the
initiative.
She said that the reality of
the dwindling revenue from
crude oil should propel the
government toward improving on the standards of its non-oil
products for greater acceptability
in the US.
“Sadly, Nigeria is yet to fully
take advantage of the opportunity
to increase its input in the US
market.
“US is not just going to
accept any goods that is not of
standard from us just because
of the AGOA initiatives. The
onus is upon us to meet with
the requirements to exploit the
opportunity.
“I believe the first opportunity
was a learning process. We
should reposition to leverage
on the extension, learn from
the pitfalls and make adequate
information available to
exporters on how to access the
opportunities.”
She urged the Federal
Government to emulate other
African countries like South
Africa, Lesotho, Cameroon,
Ghana, Kenya, Mauritius; who
had maximised the AGOA
opportunities to boost their trade
in the US.
Ugwuegbu reaffirmed the
commitment of AWEP to assist
women entrepreneurs in the
country to bridge the skills gap
towards leveraging on the benefits
of AGOA initiatives for their
businesses.
NAN reports that AWEP
provides firm-level technical
support to sub-Saharan African
women entrepreneurs.
The support aims to help
women entrepreneurs access
the networks, knowledge, and
markets required to grow their
businesses, export their products,
create jobs and economic growth
in their countries.
In 2014, the US Department
of State and the US Agency for
International Development USAID
committed five million dollars to
scaling up the African Women’s
Entrepreneurship Programme


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