Outgoing UNCTAD Secretary-General Mukhisa Kituyi has been awarded for his “tremendous contribution to the conceptualization, development and launch of the African Continental Free Trade Area”, under which trading commenced on January 1.
Kituyi, who has announced that he will step down on February 15 was recognised for his contribution to the AfCFTA process – from supporting negotiations to offering technical advice.
He was awarded during a ceremony at the African Union Commission headquarters in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.
“I’m humbled by the recognition of our tireless efforts to unleash the continent’s immense potential through closer trade,” Dr. Kituyi said.
“The work has only begun. We’ll only ensure economic prosperity for all in Africa if we use the opportunity offered by the AfCFTA to enhance productive capacities across the continent.”
The AfCFTA created the world’s largest free trade area, a $3.4 trillion market that will ease trade across borders for the continent’s 1.3 billion people. It will also promote industrialization, create jobs and improve the competitiveness of African industries on the global stage.Several African heads of state and heads of institutions were also awarded for their prominent role in bringing the AfCFTA into fruition.
The event was organized by the African E-Trade 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.
Kituyi is already in Kenya and has declared interest in the p[residency ahead of the 2022 General Election.
He has served and a lawmaker in 1992-2007and Trade minister between 2002-07.
As minister, Kituyi chaired for two years the Council of Ministers of the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa and the African Trade Ministers’ Council.
He also served as chairman of the Council of Ministers of the African, Caribbean and Pacific Group of States, and was lead negotiator for Eastern and Southern African ministers during the EU-ACP Economic Partnership Agreement negotiations.
He was convenor of the agriculture negotiations at the World Trade Organization’s Sixth Ministerial Conference in Hong Kong, China in 2005.
From 2008-12, Kituyi was a member of a team of experts advising the presidents of the nations of the EAC on how to establish more effective regional economic links.
From 2011-12, he was a consultant for the African Union Commission,where he helped to develop the structure for a pan-African free trade area.
Prior to becoming UNCTAD Secretary-General, Kituyi was Chief Executive of the Kenya Institute of Governance, based in Nairobi, a think tank and advocacy organization that focuses on linking academic research and the development of public policy.