After the end of the apartheid era in South Africa in the early 1990s, the United States attempted to improve economic relations with sub-Saharan Africa (SSA). President Clinton has implemented several measures related to investment, debt cancellation and trade. Congress adopted proposals that required the president to develop a trade and development policy for Africa. The office oversees the implementation of the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA), a trade preferences program adopted in 2000, which was at the heart of the U.S.-African commitment to trade and investment. Duty-free entry into the United States for almost all African products has allowed AGOA to expand and diversify African exports to the United States, while promoting the improvement of the business environment in many African countries by applying eligibility requirements. In 2015, the U.S. Congress extended AGOA until 2025. The Office for Africa is working closely with other U.S. authorities who are supporting capacity building to increase the use rate of the AGOA program. For more information about the AGOA program, click here. Despite the improvement in the economic performance of many African countries in recent years, the economic challenges facing Africa remain considerable. African countries are vulnerable to unstable weather conditions, fluctuations in commodity prices, poor road conditions and other infrastructure, as well as continued political instability in some parts of the continent.
Many countries have also struggled to reduce high poverty rates, improve social indicators, fight corruption and diversify their economies. In addition, the limited integration of regional trade and transport systems often hampers intra-regional trade and foreign investment. Domestic demand from many countries is not sufficient to attract the attention of large foreign and U.S. companies that may prefer to focus on larger regional markets13 The value of total trade between China and Africa was $8.9 billion in 2000. In 2009, China-Africa trade surpassed trade between the United States and Africa (62 billion euros). $127.3 billion in 2011, an increase of 1.423% over the 2000 level.25 Africa`s share of China`s world trade has also increased over the past decade, from 1.9% of China`s world trade in 2000 to 3.5% of world trade in 2011. China is also Africa`s largest source of individual imports, while the United States is its largest export destination. In 2011, about 62% of African exports to China came from crude oil (more than $24.77 billion comes from Angola, where more than 9% of Chinese oil imports were made in 2011). Another 34% were made up of raw materials, mainly metals and wood. Oil also dominates Africa`s exports to the United States; In 2011, crude oil accounted for about 75% of U.S. imports from Africa.
China and the United States export a wide range of products to Africa, including equipment, machinery, vehicles and other technologies. Trade between the United States and Africa has also grown over the past decade, but not as fast as German-African trade.26 U.S. Trade and Development Agency, 2010 Annual Report. Examples of USTDA-specific projects in the SSA are available on the USTDA website at www.ustda.gov/program/regions/subsaharanafrica/.