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For Immediate Release
Office of the Press Secretary
December 22, 2005

Statement on Countries Eligible for Economic and Trade Benefits under African Growth and Opportunity Act

Today, President Bush determined the following 37 countries as eligible for economic and trade benefits under African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA): Angola; Benin; Botswana; Burkina Faso; Burundi; Cameroon; Cape Verde; Chad; Republic of Congo; Democratic Republic of the Congo; Djibouti; Ethiopia; Gabon; The Gambia; Ghana, Guinea; Guinea-Bissau; Kenya; Lesotho; Madagascar; Malawi; Mali; Mauritius; Mozambique; Namibia; Niger; Nigeria; Rwanda; Sao Tome and Principe; Senegal; Seychelles; Sierra Leone; South Africa; Swaziland; Tanzania; Uganda; and Zambia. This year, the President designated Burundi as an AGOA beneficiary country and removed Mauritania from the list of eligible countries.

As required by the legislation, this annual determination provides benefits to those countries that are making continued progress toward a market-based economy, the rule of law, free trade, economic policies that will reduce poverty, and protection of workers' rights. By providing countries greater access to American markets, AGOA can continue to spur development by fostering new trade and economic opportunities and promoting shared values and shared responsibilities.

AGOA is a key pillar of the Administration's steadfast commitment to trade liberalization in order to advance hope, opportunity, and prosperity in both developed and developing countries by reducing barriers to trade and investment. AGOA eligible countries have benefited by the Administration's policy to spur economic development, alleviate poverty, and encourage trade in sub-Saharan Africa.

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