US Acting Deputy Secretary of State, Victoria Nuland, is on her way to South Africa to hold discussions with senior government officials. Moreover, South Africa is actively seeking an extension of the African Growth and Opportunity Act (Agoa) beyond its expiration in 2025.
Recently, Minister of Finance Enoch Godongwana, Trade and Industry Minister Ebrahim Patel, and Minister in the Presidency responsible for State Security, Khumbudzo Ntshavheni, travelled to the US.
They engaged with top Joe Biden administration officials and senior lawmakers regarding Agoa and potential investments.
During their visit, US Trade Representative Katherine Tai met with the ministers in Washington to discuss the Agoa issue, alongside a meeting with business executives and Senator Chris Coons.
Senator Chris Coons was among four US lawmakers who wrote to Secretary of State Antony Blinken, National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan, and Tai, expressing concerns and requesting the Agoa summit to be moved away from South Africa due to allegations of arms sales to Russia.
However, Pretoria has firmly denied these allegations. Moreso, Nuland’s African tour will also include visits to Côte d’Ivoire and the Democratic Republic of Congo.
In South Africa, Nuland will lead US participation in the US-South Africa Working Group on African and Global Issues, marking her third year of representation at the event.
She will also meet with senior South African government leaders and leaders in the energy sector, among other engagements.
There has been significant activity between South Africa and the US in recent months, with Pretoria making earnest efforts to secure the renewal of Agoa, which Trade and Industry Minister Ebrahim Patel has emphasized as very crucial for the economy.