AGOA logo. Source/WikiCommons

President Joe Biden’s administration has given the boot to Uganda, alongside the Central African Republic, Gabon, and Niger, from the VIP list of countries invited to the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA). The decision came barely three months after President Biden wrote to the Speaker of the U.S Congress last October expressing his intention to remove the four countries from the list of AGOA beneficiaries over human rights abuses.

According to an executive order dated December 29, 2023,  the President of the United States of America removed the 4 countries from the list of 35 beneficiaries, citing  “gross violations of internationally recognized human rights”, as well as, democratic shortcomings in these nations. The order went into effect on January 01, 2024.

“Accordingly, I have decided to terminate the designations of the Central African Republic, Gabon, Niger, and Uganda as beneficiary sub-Saharan African countries for purposes of section 506A of the Trade Act, effective January 1, 2024..these countries have failed to address United States’ concerns about their non-compliance with the AGOA eligibility criteria,” he said.

Analysts in Uganda linked the country’s suspension from the trade deal to the recent enactment of the Anti-Homosexuality Act through the Parliament of Uganda.

Other countries already out of the deal include; South Sudan, Somalia and Burundi in the East African Community bloc as well as Ethiopia, Guinea, Mali, Gabon, Cameroon, Burkina Faso, The Gambia, Sudan and Zimbabwe.

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