Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed and Rwandan President Paul Kagame have been recognized by the African development bank for their efforts in bringing about the successful launch of the African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA).
The AfCFTA officially began operations on January 1st, 2021, after months of delay due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The two leaders were among 11 other African officials that were recognised for their indispensable role in the realisation of the agreement. President Kagame’s role was especially instrumental since the initial plans for the AfCFTA were designed back in 2018.
Kagame’s efforts as the then Chairperson of AU, saw the AfFCTA agreement penned in Kigali in March 2018 and taken up by majority of African countries including Africa’s economic giants South Africa and Nigeria. Experts were unsure as to whether the two essential countries would join the agreement and Kagama is considered the most influential factor in bringing them to the table.
The award ceremony held in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, was organised by AeTrade Group in collaboration with the African Union Commission, the African Business Council, the Pan African Chamber of Commerce and Industry, the Federation of West African Chambers of Commerce and Industry, and the East African Chamber of Commerce, Industry and Agriculture.