Anticipated that SA would be ‘punished’ in Agoa exclusion
The US removing SA from Agoa would be based on petty reasons.
Photo: Agoa Summit
Photo: Agoa Summit
Subscribe to continue reading this article
and support trusted South African journalism
Following South Africa’s positions that are not in line with the United States in relation to the Russia-Ukraine and Israel-Palestine wars, it has been anticipated that the country will be excluded from the America’s African Growth and Opportunity Act (Agoa).
Unfortunately, through the Agoa forum, hosted in South Africa last week, a number of US senators were left disappointed that the country is still included because they were keen for it to be punished after standing up for what it believes in.
Agoa is a US trade Act which assists African economies to improve and foster strong relations between the US and Sub-Saharan Africa since 2000. South Africa has benefitted immensely through Agoa. The country has been able to export goods that amount to billions of dollars, which have contributed to job creation.
However, the US has had access to the African continent because of South Africa, and it still stands to benefit from its inclusion because of its stature and importance on the continent. The US understands the vital role South Africa is playing and cannot risk marginalising the country because of its independence in global politics, as well as its role in the balancing of the forces.
For if the US decided to exclude South Africa, the decision would be based on petty reasons that would portray America’s bruised ego to the world. With the world experiencing wars that have the globe anxious, South Africa has been under intense pressure to toe America’s line of march, and it must be commended that the country still holds steadfast to its ideals.
More specially, with the current Israel and Palestine conflict, South Africa has done nothing but choose the right side of history. Regardless of what was going to happen with Agoa, the country continued to showcase its human fabric to the world. It has shown compassion and solidarity to the cries and plights of the Palestinian people.
Instead of folding its arms like other countries, it has not only made rhetorical calls for peace but has taken the bold step of recalling its diplomats from Israel in order to show Israeli leaders that it means business.
Furthermore, by Cabinet lashing out at the Israeli ambassador for his derogatory comments, South Africa has been separated from cowards. This move must be applauded because South Africa shows that bullies must not prevail and will not be tolerated just because they control financial muscles of a number of countries.
The country has suffered in the brutal past of apartheid and continues to rise from its horrific experience to defend and be the voice of the defenceless. While the world is turning a blind eye to Israel’s position of denying Palestine its right to self-determination, South Africa is making much-needed noise.
For, in the face of thousands of women, children, innocent people and Palestine becoming a mass grave, South Africa is flying the flag of human rights high.
The conflict is causing a great deal of harm, and South Africa is correct when it seeks to re-evaluate the sustainability of its relationship with Israel amid the atrocities against Palestine, that are wiping out its future and are a violation to international humanitarian practices.
President Cyril Ramaphosa’s call during the Cairo Peace Summit that countries must not supply weapons to either side of the conflict, while on the other hand, the department of international relations and cooperation calling for the United Nations to deploy forces to protect civilians in Gaza, is the highest level of maturity that the world must emulate.
Access to the top content, vouchers and other member only benefits