By Tsehaye Debalkew, Washington DC, May 02, 2012
A three-day confab of the 11th AGOA/African Growth and Opportunity Act/ Forum, the Preparatory meeting for Senior Officials and Experts under the theme "Enhancing Africa's Infrastructure for Trade opened here yesterday with the active participation of the leaders of the entire member countries representing the African continent and the African Union Mission to the USA.
The Forum during its opening day session held the election of the Bureau, examined the Matrix of AGOA decisions, reviewed the AGOA implementation at country level and intimated itself with the Strategic Framework paper presented during the function.
In a key note remark he made during the opening session of the Confab, Ambassador Girma Birru, Special Envoy and Ambassador Extra-ordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Democratic Republic of Ethiopia to the US and non-resident Ambassador to Mexico, who is the current Vice-Chair of AGOA Consultative Group and the incoming Chair of the Ambassadors' Group of the AGOA eligible countries highlighted the salient objectives of AGOA emphasizing for the need to find ways and means not only to diligently follow through the AGOA Themes charted out but also to meticulously ensure that they are translated into best practices that would certainly and ultimately be beneficial to the people of Africa at the grass root level.
In his presentation of the core factors that require the utmost attention of the participants of the session the Chairman of the group implored on the occasion for the inescapable contour to critically look at the path thus traversed since the august Enactment of AGOA and stressed for the need for designing a monitoring and evaluation tool box that would entail that a robust mode of self-analysis is in place to envision the prospects of AGOA beyond 2015.
The Ambassador further reminisced some of the key recommendations that emerged during the last AGOA Forum held in Zambia and expressed his gratitude to the US for explicitly concurring to extend AGOA preferences and the Third-Country Fabric beyond their current life spans in a solemn response to the pleas made by us Africans.
According to information retrieved during the occasion, the session is set to observe pertinent presentations by representatives from public, government, the private sector and the academia pertaining to topics of relevance to AGOA.
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