President Muhammadu Buhari was awarded for his contributions to the start of the African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA), alongside 9 other African leaders including Nigeria’s Dr Akinwumi Adesina, President, African Development Bank (AfDB).
The awards were presented by the African Union in a virtual event held at the Union Headquarters in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia on Friday.
The African leaders that received awards include Muhammadu Buhari of Nigeria, Akufo-Addo of Ghana, Felix Tshekedi of Congo, Ahmed Fattah Al-Sisi of Egypt, Mahamadou Issoufou of Niger, President Alpha Conde of Guinea, Cyril Ramaphosa of South Africa and Chairperson of the AU, and Paul Kagame of Rwanda.
King Mswati III, Ngwenyama of Eswatini and Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed of Ethiopia were also awarded alongside Nigeria’s former President, Olusegun Obasanjo.
The awards were received by ambassadors on behalf of the leaders for their contributions to the African free trade deal.
Mrs Saratu Aliyu, President, Federation of West Africa Chambers of Commerce, Industries, Mines and Agriculture (FEWACCI) thanked African leaders and private stakeholders for making the AfCFTA implementation possible and expressed hopes that the agreement would boost e-commerce and e-business infrastructure, and develop a roadmap for the development of a digital economy to support the growth in member states.
What you should know
- The African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) is expected to open up Nigerian businesses to a market of over 1.2 billion people and a GDP of $2.5 trillion.
- Nigeria was the 34th African country to fully ratify and submit its Instrument of Ratification of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA).
- Mr. Bismarck Rewane, Chief Executive of Financial Derivatives Company Limited said that the African Continental Free Trade Area would create the desired impetus to stimulate the economic growth of Nigeria in 2021.
- The full implementation of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) will be a long journey as Africa needs the right equipment for customs authorities at the border to facilitate the fast and efficient trade which went into effect on January 1 according to Wamkele Mene, Secretary-General of the AfCFTA Secretariat.