Nine other presidents, including those of Egypt, Niger, Nigeria and Rwanda, have been given awards for similar contributions to the continental body.
Representatives from the ten countries took part in the virtual ceremony at the African Union’s head office in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.
The event was also used to honour a number of African private-sector organisations in partnership with the African Union Commission.
Two former heads of state, selected heads of African institutions and other prominent individuals were also given awards for their contribution to the AfCFTA process.
Background of AfCFTA
AfCFTA, the world’s largest free trade area, has the potential to transform the African continent, with its market 1.3 billion people and combined gross domestic product of roughly US$3.4 trillion across the AU’s 55 member states.
Trading under AfCFTA commenced on 1 January 2021.
AfCFTA aims to create a single market for goods and services, with free movement of business actors and investment, to promote intra-continental trade.
The agreement has so far been signed by 54 African countries (Eritrea is the only exception). Thirty-four countries have deposited their instruments of ratification. The enactment of the agreement makes Africa the largest free trade area in the world.
The AfCFTA agreement was signed in Kigali, Rwanda, on 21 March 2018 and entered into force on 30 May 2019 when 22 countries, the minimum required, deposited their instruments of ratification with the chairman of the African Union.