Progress and Challenges: U.S.-Africa Duty-Free Initiative (AGOA), Tigray Prisoner Release, and Ethiopia’s Digital ID Project


Mixed Outcomes for U.S.-Africa Duty-Free Initiative,  Trade Panel Report

A recent report by the U.S. International Trade Commission (USITC) on the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) reveals that the U.S. trade preference program for Sub-Saharan Africa has been successful in developing the region’s apparel sector in selected countries. However, its benefits have not been widespread across all countries and sectors.

The report highlighted apparel as the biggest success story for the program, with the industry having a positive impact on poverty reduction in major exporters Madagascar, Kenya, Lesotho, Mauritius and Ethiopia.

Over three-quarters of duty-free non-petroleum exports to the U.S. under AGOA from 2014-2021 came from South Africa, Kenya, Lesotho, Madagascar, and Ethiopia.

On December 23, 2021, Ethiopia’s AGOA beneficiary status was revoked, effective January 1, 2022, due to allegations of “gross violations” of human rights by Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed’s government. Read more …

Tigray’s interim administration Begins Releasing War related prisnors

The Justice Bureau of Tigray’s interim administration has started releasing prisoners arrested during the two-year war with the Ethiopian federal government.

The prisoners were accused of violating regional emergency prohibitions.

The release is in line with the peace deal signed with the federal government and aims to involve these citizens in the reconstruction of the war-torn region.

The release includes prisoners with cases under investigation, facing charges, or sentenced.

However, those accused of serious crimes, cooperation with the Eritrean government, or foreign nationals will not be released.

The total number of released prisoners is yet to be disclosed. Read more …

Ethiopia’s Digital ID Project: A Catalyst for Economic Growth

Ethiopia’s recently approved digital ID project draft proclamation is expected to drive economic growth by contributing up to 6% of the country’s GDP if implemented effectively.

The proclamation addresses registration, authentication services, institutional framework, data security, data privacy protection, and criminal liability.

With various stakeholders involved, the digital ID system is considered a vital tool for Ethiopia’s digital economy transformation plans, aligning with international best practices in design, inclusion, and governance. Read more …

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