Ethiopia has experienced the largest increase in the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) exports to US from East Africa countries with a sharp 62 per cent year-on-year.
According to the East Africa Hub of the US Agency for International Development (USAID), Ethiopia may quickly become the second or third largest exporter under AGOA in East Africa, if the growth momentum is sustained.
Exports under AGOA to the US from eight East African countries amounted to nearly 1 billion US dollars in the year from October 2017 to September 2018.
Kenya was the largest exporter accounting for $454 million of total exports. Ethiopia exported goods worth $137 million, according to USAID Hub.
The exports from Ethiopia, Rwanda, Uganda, Madagascar, Kenya, Tanzania, Mauritius and Burundi under AGOA during the period was an increase of 17 per cent over figures from the previous year.
Except for Mauritius and Burundi, all countries saw their exports to the US grow under AGOA during the period under review.
Exports from Mauritius declined following increased competition from Madagascar which regained its AGOA eligibility.
Burundi, while not AGOA-eligible, saw its exports under the Generalized System of Preferences (GSP) drop.
Apparel constituted 84.4 per cent of all AGOA exports from the East African countries during the period from October 2017 to September 2018.
To date, USAID Hub trade and investment support has contributed to $4.07 billion in AGOA exports from the region, with $491.5 million from USAID Hub-supported firms.