COTU Secretary General Francis Atwoli has been awarded the National Order of Merit by Algeria President Abdelaziz Bouteflika.
'The National Order of Merit Award was instituted on 2nd January, 1984 and is awarded to eminent civil, military or public service of Algeria and for exceptional service in the cause of the revolution,"President Bouteflika said.
The ceremony, which took place in Algiers, Algeria and conducted by President Bouteflika's Personal aid Akka Mohammed Salah was witnessed by among the Algerian Minister for Labour, Employment and Social Security Mohamed Ghazi, Representative of Kenya' s Ambassador in Algiers Bonface Munzala, Algerian Trade Union Organization UGTA Secretary General Sid Said among others.
The President in his speech said the distinction was being Awarded in recognition of Atwoli's exemplary efforts in the fight for the rights of the African workers, improvement of their living standards as well as his selfless efforts towards uniting the African labour movement.
'Algeria recognizes our big Brother Atwoli for his efforts and the pain he has to go through everyday fighting for workers on this continent', Said the President.
It is the highest Award to be ever bestowed upon a non Algerian citizen and the first ever to be awarded to a trade union leaders both in Algeria or elsewhere.