A conference sponsored by the United States State Department began on Aug. 24 in Libreville, Gabon to further promote trade between Wall Street and Africa.
Gabon, a former French colony, is an oil producer which has maintained friendly relations with both Paris and Washington. French troops are still stationed in Gabon and have been activated under conditions of mass demonstrations and instability in recent years.
This event is designed to promote the African Growth and Opportunities Act (AGOA), a program in place since 2000 designed ostensibly to facilitate trade between Africa and U.S.-based firms. The U.S. says that AGOA represents the cornerstone of its economic policy in Africa and the Congressional authorization for the continuation of this program was recently granted.