The information was transmitted in Luanda by the minister counselor of the Embassy of the United States of America in Angola, Mea Arnold, when she spoke at the official ceremony of the first shipment of Angolan food products to the USA.
The first shipment of food products from Angola to the United States of America, under the North American African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA), took place this Thursday at the Luanda Logistics and Distribution Center, in Viana.
Several food products from the Angolan food processing company Foodcare were loaded into a containerized truck, in a ceremony attended by members of the North American embassy and representatives of the Angolan Private Investment and Export Promotion Agency (AIPEX).
Mea Arnold stated that the Angolan company has had a partnership with the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) since 2021 to help strengthen its competition in the market, connect with American buyers and take advantage of of AGOA.
“The African Growth and Opportunity Act, better known as AGOA, gives eligible sub-Saharan African countries duty-free access to the US market for more than 1,800 products,” she said.
According to the North American leader, by offering new market opportunities, AGOA helped boost economic growth, promoted economic policies and reforms and improved economic relations between the USA and the African continent.
The US Government, through USAID, highlighted, “is helping countries in the Southern African region take advantage of AGOA through a $31 million regional program, which offers African companies, such as Foodcare, technical assistance and business support to access the US market”.
He also said, in his speech, that trade between Angola and the USA has historically played a significant role in both economies, with Angola's exports to the USA dominated by crude oil, diamonds and gas.
He highlighted, however, that the number of Angolan exports of agricultural products to the USA continues to be low, noting that “the time has come to promote economic diversification through trade”.
Corn meal, cassava meal, peanut butter, catato (caterpillars typical of Angolan cuisine) and quizaca (edible cassava leaves) are some of Foodcare's Angolan products that will be exported to the North American market.
Marlene José, co-founder and executive director of Foodcare, considered the moment historic and challenging for the firm she runs, considering this to be a step towards the company's growth and capitalization.
According to the manager, this first shipment under AGOA should arrive in the USA at the end of November and said she expects a second to happen in January 2024.
The head of AIPEX's Investment Promotion and Attraction department, Bruno Baptista, expressed “pride” in being part of Foodcare's journey and assured that the institution “will continue to support national companies to internationalize their businesses”.