DRC exports could suffer because of AGOA decision

The Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) has lost its status as a beneficiary country under the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA), effective 1 January 2011.

In a presidential proclamation dated 21 December 2010, US president Barack Obama stated that the “DRC is not making continual progress in meeting the requirements” of the Act.

AGOA allows designated Sub-Saharan African countries to export goods to the US without paying duties.

The decision stemmed from large-scale human rights abuses by the Congolese armed forces, especially rapes, Voice of America recently reported.

According to a Press TV report, Congolese government spokesman Lambert Mende described the move as totally unjustified.

“The US justifications to exclude DR Congo from AGOA were false because the country’s armed forces are not accomplices of the armed groups that commit violations against the civilian populations,” Mende said according to Press TV.