Buhari, Obasanjo, Akinwumi, 9 others receive AfCFTA awards

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President Muhammadu Buhari and his compatriot, Dr Akinwumi Adesina, President, African Development Bank (AfDB) were on Friday bestowed with awards by the African Union for their contributions to the kick-off of the African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA).

Nine other African Heads of State were also presented with awards during a ceremony organised virtually by the AU in collaboration with the private sector in the union’s headquarters at Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.

Awards were also given to heads of institutions for their roles in the enforcement of the AfCFTA.

The presidents given the awards were Muhammadu Buhari of Nigeria, Akufo-Addo of Ghana; Felix Tshekedi of Congo; Ahmed Fattah Al-Sisi of Egypt and Mahamadou Issoufou of Niger.

Others were, Presidents Alpha Conde of Guinea; Cyril Ramaphosa of South Africa and Chairperson of the AU; and Paul Kagame of Rwanda.

Other country leaders who also received awards were, King Mswati III, Ngwenyama of Eswatini and Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed of Ethiopia.

Two former heads of states, Hailemariam Desalegn, former Prime Minister of Ethiopia and Olusegun Obasanjo, former President of Nigeria were presented with awards.

The President, Africa Business Council (AfBC), Ms Amany Asfour, was also presented with an award for her role in that respect.

Some heads of African institutions and other prominent individuals were also awarded for their exceptional contributions to the AfCFTA process.

The awards were received by the various countries’ ambassadors and representatives of institutions present.

The organisers also promised to send the others through courier services to the recipients.

One of the award recipients, Ms Amany Asfour 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,” she said.
Asfour also urged the players in the private sector to ensure the implementation of the policies regarding the agreement.

“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.

“It is a must to empower our Small and Medium Enterprises, youths and women. We are the richest continent in the world but we need to manage our own resources,” she said.

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