In recognition of President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi’s efforts to launch the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) earlier this month, the African Union (AU) organised a ceremony honouring the Egyptian President.
The ceremony took place in coordination with a large number of African businessmen and private sector organisations, and also honoured a number of African heads of state. Ambassador Osama Abdel Khalek, Egypt’s ambassador in Addis Ababa and the Permanent Representative to the AU, received the African Private Sector Award on behalf of the President.
Abdel Khalek emphasised President Al-Sisi’s attention and vigorous follow-up to the procedures for launching the agreement during his assumption of the AU presidency. This comes in light of the pivotal role the agreement plays in supporting development efforts in Africa, by linking African markets with each other. It aims to do so by reviving Africa’s industrial and agricultural sectors, and todevelop the economic systems across the continent.
It is noteworthy that the executive phase of the AfCFTA agreement was announced during Egypt’s tenure as AU President. The launch was made during the AU’s extraordinary summit in July 2019, as negotiations for the region continued over the past year and a half, leading to the official launch of the region in early January.