President Muhammadu Buhari and nine other African presidents set to the kick-off of the African Development Bank (AFDB) have received awards for their contributions to the African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AFCFTA).
The Virtual award ceremony was organized on Friday, January 15 by the AU and the private sector in the AU headquarters at Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.
Presidents who received the awards include Muhammadu Buhari of Nigeria, Akufo Addo of Ghana; Felix Tshekedi of Congo; Ahmed Fattah Al-Sisi of Egypt and Mahamadou Issoufou of Niger; Alpha Conde of Guinea; Cyril Ramaphosa of South Africa and Chairperson of the AU; and Paul Kagame of Rwanda.
Country leaders who received awards include King Mswati III, Ngwenyama of Eswatini and Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed of Ethiopia. Some heads of state include Former Prime Minister of Ethiopia, Mr Hailemariam Desalegn, and Former President of Nigeria, Mr Olusegun Obasanjo.
Awards were also given to heads of institutions for their roles in the enforcement of the AFCFTA.
The President, Africa Business Council (AFBC), Ms Amany Asfour, who too presented with an award said the ceremony showed the commitment of the private sector towards the implementation of the AU Agenda 2063.
“We need an architecture where the organised private sector would cater for the implementation of the AFCFTA and it is such a pleasure now it has been constituted by the efforts of the AU Commission”.
“We need the legislation that will make it happen with the AFCFTA, the policies can be on paper but the implementation is our role as the private sector”.
Also, in a remark, President of Federation of West Africa Chambers of Commerce, Industries, Mines and Agriculture (FEWACCI), Mrs Saratu Aliyu, appreciated governments, private sector players and contributors to the success of the AfCFTA implementation.