Ag Secretary Tom Vilsack and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton will attend the 8th U.S.-Sub-Saharan African Trade and Economic Cooperation Forum in Nairobi, Kenya from Aug. 4-8. The forum is an annual event mandated by the African Growth and Opportunity Act, which was signed into law by President Clinton in May 2000 to expand U.S. trade and investment with Sub-Saharan Africa. The forum allows participating officials to review the implementation of AGOA, as well as chart new ways forward in building closer ties between the United States and Sub-Saharan Africa.
In announcing the trip Secretary Vilsack said, "Through the Obama Administration's new food security efforts, we're striving to improve the security situation in developing regions around the world, which will also help reduce world hunger. I look forward to working with my counterparts at the forum to realize the benefits of this strategy to develop sustainable agriculture systems worldwide."
USDA already works with AGOA countries in several different ways. For instance, USDA conducts trade-capacity building, technical assistance, and education and research activities to enhance AGOA countries' ability to trade with the United States and other countries. USDA also provides educational and research opportunities to policymakers, private sector representatives, scientists and researchers, university professors, and other agricultural specialists.