SADC leaders hailed for AfCFTA role

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The African Union has hailed several continental leaders – three of them from SADC – for their steering roles in making the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) a reality.

The AfCFTA became operational on January 1, 2021, creating a market of 1,2 billion people and a GDP of US$2,5 trillion, making it the world’s largest trade pact.

At a virtual ceremony at the AU Headquarters in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia last Friday, the continental bloc hailed several leaders for their efforts towards operationalising the AfCFTA.

Among those honoured were AU Chairperson President Cyril Ramaphosa of South Africa, King Mswati III of eSwatini and President Felix Tshisekedi of the DRC.

Also honoured were presidents Ahmed Fattah Al-Sisi (Egypt), Akufo-Addo (Ghana), Alpha Conde (Guinea), Mahamadou Issoufou (Niger), Muhammadu Buhari (Nigeria) , and Paul Kagame (Rwanda); as well as Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed of Ethiopia, former President of Nigeria Olusegun Obasanjo, and African Development Bank president Dr Dr Akinwumi Adesina.

The awards were received by ambassadors on behalf of the leaders.

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