LOME, Aug. 10 (Xinhua) -- Togo's President Faure Gnassingbe said that the partnership within the Africa Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) "must be constantly assessed, revisited and upgraded to remain effective".
He expressed his standpoint on Wednesday in the opening speech of the ministerial session as part of the 16th AGOA Forum that occurs from 8 to 10 August in Lome, the capital of Togo.
"Regarding the purpose to achieve conditions for shared prosperity by acting on the levers for the fight against poverty, the partnership established by AGOA must be constantly assessed, revisited and upgraded to remain effective", the speech delivered on the occasion by the Prime Minister Selom Komi Klassou read.
The two-day ministerial session discusses ways to achieve deeper commercial engagement so as to reach greater reciprocity likely to ensure sustained political support for the trade between the United States and eligible sub-Saharan African countries.
"As we gather in Lome as part of the 16th Forum, the onus is on us to continue discussions undertaken to substantial strengthening of this relation by remaining faithful to the concept of trade, not aid", Togolese president declared.
He believed that AGOA which is favorable to 6,500 African products is an important pillar of the trade relation between eligible African countries and the US. It was driver of important progress in trade exchanges and enabled trade exchanges between the two parties to be doubled.
"However, we must keep in mind that this mechanism is both opportunity and challenge", Faure Gnassingbe said, underscoring that the entire potential of AGOA is not yet achieved.