A high level African Ministers Group has unanimously elected Ethiopia to Chair the Africa Growth and Opportunity Act /AGOA Forum for the coming two years, during the annual session of the Forum held here for the last five days.
Ethiopian Minister of Trade Kebede Chane, who attended the meeting of the African Ministers' group held in Washington D.C. in a key note remark he made to the delegates of the senior officials and experts convocation under the theme "Enhancing Africa's Infrastructure for Trade" apprised that this year's AGOA Forum Team, is closely tied with that of the African Union that places due emphasis on the crucial role that infrastructure plays to enhance trade and investment between the sub-Saharan region and the US.
In this regard he re-iterated that Ethiopia believes the provision of affordable physical and economic infrastructure, including transportation, communications and energy will make a formidable contribution to economic growth, job creation, social welfare and the over-all expansion of the industrial sector.
The Minister recalled that the new US Strategy towards Sub-Saharan Africa stipulates that AGOA will continue to be a key part of the strategic US-Africa Partnership. He underlined by drawing a special attention to the Obama Administration’s promise to intensify Doing Business in Africa Campaign, and underscored the Forum's belief that Africa has increasingly become a continent of opportunity in wide variety of areas including infrastructure.
He opined that the said opportunity is a pass word that amply signifies that Africa is bound to be the ideal continent of the 21st century.
Ethiopia garnered the approval and entire endorsement by the African Ministers' Group and was entrusted and tasked to host the 2013 AGOA Forum in Addis Ababa, the continent's capital and seat of the African Union.
Present during the session of the Forum were Ambassador Taye Atskeselassie, Director General for American Affairs in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ethiopia and Ambassador Girma Birru, Special Envoy and Ambassador Extra-ordinary and Plenipotentiary of Ethiopia to the US.
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.
The much anticipated 2013 AGOA Forum to be held in Addis Ababa is expected to attract over Six Hundred participants to be drawn from the United States of America and the continent of Africa.