Obama Reinstates Economic Benefits Act for Guinea, Ivory Coast, Niger

Posted October 26th, 2011 at 9:00 pm (UTC-5)
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U.S. President Barack Obama has reinstated benefits for Guinea, Ivory Coast and Niger under the African Growth and Opportunity Act.

All three countries lost eligibility because of what U.S. officials call undemocratic changes of government.

But the State Department says all three have recently completed free and fair presidential elections — a key factor in reinstatement. Other criteria include establishing a market-based economy, rule of law, fighting corruption and respecting worker rights.

Former President Bill Clinton signed the African Growth and Opportunity Act in 2000. It aims to expand U.S. trade and investment in sub-Saharan Africa, and stimulate economic growth. Forty African countries are currently eligible to receive benefits under the act.