Our Africa index shows dollar strengthening against key currencies; Trump last ditch effort at US-Africa trade …

As of 5:10 pm AST, here are exchange rates between the United States and key African nations:

Pairs OANDA as of 18 December 2020 OANDA as of 23 December 2020 Notes 
USD/KES 110.603 109.163 Dollar weakening 
USD/NGN 379.792 380.931 On 21 December USD/NGN peaked at 383.512 
USD/GHS 5.8522 5.87027 Dollar strengthening 
USD/CDF 1951.91 1950.60 US redesignation under AGOA on 22 December 
USD/AOA 649.638 649.479 Flat 
USD/ZAR 14.6031 14.6359 Dollar strengthening 

Source: OANDA

Legal/Political events impacting US-Africa trade relationship

Trump re-designates the Democratic Republic of the Congo as a sub-Saharan beneficiary nation under the Trade Act of 1974

Yesterday, President Donald J. Trump designated the Democratic Republic of the Congo a beneficiary sub-Saharan country under the Trade Act of 1974 as amended by the African Growth and Opportunity Act and the Africa Investment Incentive Act. Pursuant to 19 U.S.C. 3703, the President has determined that the Democratic Republic of the Congo has made progress or is making progress toward the following:

(A) a market-based economy that protects private property rights for men and women, incorporates an open rules-based trading system, and minimizes government interference in the economy through measures such as price controls, subsidies, and government ownership of economic assets;

(B)the rule of law, political pluralism, and the right to due process, a fair trial, and equal protection under the law;

(C)the elimination of barriers to United States trade and investment, including by—(i)the provision of national treatment and measures to create an environment conducive to domestic and foreign investment;(ii)the protection of intellectual property; and(iii)the resolution of bilateral trade and investment disputes;

(D)economic policies to reduce poverty, increase the availability of health care and educational opportunities, expand physical infrastructure, promote the development of private enterprise, and encourage the formation of capital markets through micro-credit or other programs;

(E)a system to combat corruption and bribery, such as signing and implementing the Convention on Combating Bribery of Foreign Public Officials in International Business Transactions; and

(F)protection of internationally recognized worker rights, including the right of association, the right to organize and bargain collectively, a prohibition on the use of any form of forced or compulsory labor, a minimum age for the employment of children, and acceptable conditions of work with respect to minimum wages, hours of work, and occupational safety and health.

The President has also determined that the Democratic Republic of the Congo does not engage in activities that undermine United States national security or foreign policy interests; and does not engage in gross violations of internationally recognized human rights or provide support for acts of international terrorism and cooperates in international efforts to eliminate human rights violations and terrorist activities.

The Democratic Republic of the Congo lost its designation as a beneficiary sub-Saharan nation in 2010 under the Obama administration, according to the President’s executive order. With this new designation, certain textiles and apparel will be able to enter the United States duty free.

Sources: Executive Office of the President; Legal Information Institute-Cornell University