AGOA

AGOA, Uganda won’t “vanish from planet earth” – Bahati 

(Last Updated On: 3 January 2024)

Kampala I Uganda has lost its position on the Africa Growth Opportunity Act (AGOA) table following the United States of America’s decision to suspend the East African country over human rights violations and “a harsh” Anti-Homosexuality Law.

A decision to suspend Uganda was made in 2023 and recent reports say the Pearl of Africa has finally been removed from the trade deal.

In December last year, President Museveni flew to the U.S. a delegation led by his son-in-law and the Chairperson of the Presidential Advisory Committee on Exports and Industrial Development, Odrek Rwabwogo to advocate against Uganda’s expulsion from the lucrative trade deal.

The outcomes of the meeting are fruitless. In November 2023, Rwabwogo said, “Ugandan farmers and small business owners will suffer. It seems that they (the U.S.) have decided that Uganda should be punished.”

Responding to the AGOA decision, State Minister for Trade, Industry and Cooperatives, David Bahati said Uganda will wait for February and see whether the country will vanish from planet earth.

“But what I know is, we will continue to build our capacity for import substitution and we hope that at one time, they realize that the decision that they have taken is a wrong decision.”

The minister added that Uganda will continue to defend human rights, saying the NRM government is “a chief defender of human rights even on the continent”. “We still have that good record and where there have been abuses of human rights, those abuses are punishable according to the law.”

Bahati has offered to continue praying for America so that they can change their minds against supporting homosexuality.

“It is unfortunate that the Americans have taken this decision, it is unfortunate that they have taken the wrong path of history which is supporting a man marrying a man or a woman getting married to a woman.”

Business Insider Africa reported in September 2023 that under AGOA trade incentive, Uganda’s yearly exports were worth shs741b ($200m).

“Due to the passing of Uganda’s anti-gay bill, several U.S. companies covered by the AGOA have ceased doing business with Uganda,” the Business Insider added.

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