The Central African Republic, Uganda, Gabon, and Niger are to be eliminated from a special US-Africa economic initiative, according to plans disclosed by US President Joe Biden.
The president claimed that the nations were either engaging in flagrant human rights breaches or were not moving closer to democratic governance.
In 2000, the United States introduced the African Growth and Opportunity Act, or Agoa.
For almost 1,800 products, it provides duty-free entry to the US for qualifying countries in sub-Saharan Africa.
According to President Biden, Niger and Gabon, both of which underwent military takeovers this year, are ineligible for Agoa because they “have not established or are not making continual progress toward establishing the protection of political pluralism and the rule of law.”
Additionally, he said that the CAR and Uganda had been kicked out of the program because of their governments’ “gross violations of internationally recognized human rights.”
Following the passage of a contentious anti-homosexuality law in Uganda, the US government announced in May that it was considering pulling the nation out of Agoa and imposing penalties.
The law, which carries a death sentence for anyone found guilty of some same-sex crimes, has drawn outcry from all around the world.
President Biden made this revelation in a letter addressed to the speaker of the US House of Representatives.
“Despite intensive engagement between the United States and the Central African Republic, Gabon, Niger, and Uganda, these countries have failed to address United States concerns about their non-compliance with the Agoa eligibility criteria,” parts of the letter sighted by 1Family Radio read.
Their removal from Agoa is scheduled to begin at the beginning of next year and is expected to have an effect on their economies because Agoa is recognized for facilitating exports, economic expansion, and the creation of jobs among its member nations.
The US government’s most recent measure against the two junta-led nations is the threat to bar them from Agoa. This includes Niger too.
Last Monday, the US State Department declared that it was stopping most of its foreign aid to Gabon and that it would only start up again if the country’s transitional administration instituted democratic governance.
Nevertheless, the four nations have not yet responded to the news.