Some success stories:
AGOA has spurred a vibrant textile and apparel industry that is the nation’s largest private sector employer. The sector has generated more than 36,000 jobs, mainly for women, accounting for almost 50% of jobs in the formal sector. Surpassing exports from larger competitors such as Kenya and Madagascar, Lesotho is now sub-Saharan Africa’s largest exporter of apparel to the United States, with more than $300 million in exports to the U.S. in 2012 under AGOA.
FDI worth $78 million was introduced through AGOA and prospects of Asian and European companies building cotton-yarn spinning mills also increased. Exports to the U.S. have grown more than 400 percent. The textile and apparel sector has grown annually at a rate of five percent and leading non-apparel exports have grown at an overall rate of 12 percent since 2001.
The East Africa Trade Hub in Kenya has facilitated over $145 million in exports to the US under AGOA and has assisted over 200 firms with market access to the US.
Growing at an average of 2% a year before AGOA, Kenya’s exports to the US exploded to a 28% year on year growth rate in the first few years (between 2001 and 2005). Growth in the textiles and apparel sector averaged 44% a year during the same period. AGOA also enabled diversification of the textile and apparel sector into business opportunities that had not previously been leveraged. Non-textile and apparel exports also grew well, with nuts and cut flowers averaging a growth rate of over 50%.