Despite international threats, SA will host Agoa summit as US investment grows

US Ambassador Katherine Tai and Minister Ebrahim Patel announce the 20th Agoa Forum to be held in Johannesburg in November. Picture: X (Twitter)

US Ambassador Katherine Tai and Minister Ebrahim Patel announce the 20th Agoa Forum to be held in Johannesburg in November. Picture: X (Twitter)

Published Sep 21, 2023


There have been a number of reports that South Africa may not host the summit between the US and beneficiaries of the African Growth and Opportunity Act (Agoa) in November.

The official news is that SA will host the event, despite the threats by US officials.

According to a joint statement by US trade Representative Ambassador Katherine Tai and Minister of Trade, Industry and Competition Ebrahim Patel, the summit will take place in Johannesburg on November 2.

In June, a number of US legislators asked that the Biden administration move the summit.

This was after the US alleged that SA had sent arms to Russia in December 2022. The allegation was that the South African government had used a sanctioned Russian ship docked in Simon's Town.

Following the claims, a report commissioned by the SA presidency found that the ship was only offloading Armscor equipment that was ordered in 2018.

Despite these tensions and allegations, Representative Tai said that she was looking forward to the SA trip and the possibility of discussing shared priorities to allow Agoa to become more transformative.

“The Agoa Forum is an opportunity for the United States to build upon the success of the Africa Leaders Summit and further our economic partnership with Agoa countries,” said Tai.

“As President Biden has said, the future is Africa. I look forward to visiting South Africa in November to discuss our shared priorities, reaffirm the Administration’s commitment to the continent, and discuss opportunities to make Agoa more transformative as we deepen our trade and investment relations with the sub-Saharan African countries.”


Minister Patel has been in the US over the last few days with President Cyril Ramaphosa.

The aim of the visit was to encourage more bilateral trade between SA and the US.

Earlier this week, pharmaceutical company, Novo Nordisk announced that it would be moving to produce insulin in South Africa.

“The collaboration between Novo Nordisk, a global leader in diabetic research and innovation, and Aspen, Africa’s largest pharmaceutical manufacturer, will facilitate the production of human insulin,” Patel stated.

“Aspen will produce this under a contract with Novo Nordisk. We are optimistic that this partnership will significantly enhance access to insulin treatment, not just in South Africa, but also across the continent,” he said.

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