The President’s Tour is Qualitative Addition to Egypt’s African Existence
Tuesday، 22 August 2017 - 01:03 PM
President Abdel Fattah El-Sis’s tour to four African countries: Tanzania, Rwanda, Gabon and Chad has achieved many positive results for the relations between Egypt and these countries and also for cooperation, security and stability issues in the region and the whole African continent.
This tour from 14-17 August highlighted seriousness of the current Egyptian orientation towards the African continent as a strategic option for the Egyptian foreign policy and one of the most important axes of the Egyptian diplomatic movement.
The geographical and political sphere of these countries include Tanzania in east Africa, Rwanda and Tanzania from Nile Basin countries in addition to Chad and Gabon from Central Africa. This tour highlighted Egypt’s participation with these countries in many various groupings and organizations such as (African Union, Organization of Islamic Cooperation, COMESA, Nile Basin Initiative, NEBAD Initiative, Sahel and Sahara Grouping). They all enhance diversity and multiplity of relations and cooperation bilaterally, regionally and globally especially in the African peace and security fields in addition to counter terrorism and sustainable development.
Out of these givens, SIS analysis asserted that the tour’s results represent a big addition to Egypt’s African existence and enhance Egypt’s national security and interests as well as opening a wide horizon for the Egyptian government and the four countries to invest it more broadly than before.
Cordial and Diplomatic Gestures:
Besides the strategic dimensions of the President’s tour, the friendly and diplomatic trend was clear in the cordial reception that President El-Sisi received in the four African capitals: Dar es-Salaam, Kigali, Libreville, N’Djamina with remarkable welcome suits the visitor’s status and the historical and brotherly status of Egypt felt by the African people. Therefore, President El-Sisi was keen to invite the Tanzanian President John Magufuli, Rwandan President Paul Kagami, Gabonese President Ali Bongo and Chadian President Idriss Deby to visit Egypt and participate in the international youth conference and investment forum in Africa 2017, due to be held in Sharm El-Sheikh next November and December.
In Tanzania, the Tanzanian President welcomed President El-Sisi’s visit which is considered the first by an Egyptian President since 1968, pointing to the deep-rooted relations between the two countries and their joint extended historical links.
In Rwanda, President Paul Kagame said that Egypt is very important in the positive change in the African continent. President Sisi replied: “I would like to seize this opportunity to congratulate President Kagame for his victory in the recent presidential elections and lauded the achievements made throughout the past years concerning stability or boosting the socio-economic development remarkably”.
The president visited the Genocide Museum and laid a wreath of flowers on the memorial of the victims in a gesture that expresses the human solidarity with the Rwandan people, who lost about one million persons in 1994 genocide. The President wrote in the visitors book that he felt sorry for the innocent victims, expressing hope that these atrocities should not be repeated and peace prevails in the world.
In Gabon, the Gabonese President welcomed President Sisi’s visit that coincided with the National Day of Gabon. President Sisi hailed the national dialogue, President Ali Bongo launched, which achieved positive outcomes and took part in enhancing stability in Gabon.
In Chad, President Idriss Deby hailed President Sisi’s visit, saying it is the first visit paid by an Egyptian President to his country. He praised the President’s African tour that confirms Egypt’s affiliation to Africa and President’s Sisi interest to regain Egypt’s role on the African arena.
Economy and Trade on the Top
Regional cooperation, joint projects, trade exchange, economic integrity, sustainable development and boosting human resources represent common targets for Egypt and the African countries. They also represent important aspects of Egypt’s message to the African people. This is the way of progress and improving the standard of living of the continent’s people.
In the President’s visit to Tanzania, the Tanzanian President praised the bilateral relations between Egypt and Tanzania and highlighted his keenness to enhance and develop these relations, especially the economic cooperation, trade exchange and encouraging the mutual investments between the two countries. He expressed also his appreciation for the technical support that Egypt presents for his country in the fields of building capabilities, training, digging wells projects and other developmental support aspects. He expressed that he looked forward to benefit from the Egyptian experience in different fields like tourism, medicine manufacture and enhancing cooperation in the field of live stock between the two countries.
The President refers to the agreement between Egypt and Rwanda to take all necessary procedures to encourage the increase of the trade exchange, establish joint projects in the different economic sectors to realize the benefit for the two brotherly people. Moreover, the President assured in the light of the importance of the strategic relations between the two countries that Egypt is keen to develop the cooperation with Rwanda in the fields of building capabilities, exchange of experiences in the different developmental fields. This is through the programs and technical support sessions offered by the Egyptian Agency of Partnership for Development and the Egyptian Initiative for the Development of the Nile Basin Countries. They also agreed on the importance of holding the Joint Committee in the nearest future to discuss ways to develop the cooperation in fields of priority.
In Gabon, the Gabonese President praised the close relations between the two countries. He also assured that Egypt is a great economic power in Africa and praised the President’s openness to the African continent and regaining Egypt’s role. He also praised the Egyptian companies and its good reputation in Africa and expressed his aspiration to increase their businesses in Gabon”.
President El-Sisi praised the distinguished relations between the two countries, pointing to a variety in their cooperation. He also assured Egypt’s determination to develop the cooperation in all political, economic, security and military fields.
The President expressed Egypt’s interest to enhance the cooperation with Gabon in the health field in the light of the Egyptian hospital in Gabon that offers medical services for the Gabonese people. He asserted Egypt’s keenness to continue providing Gabon by technical support in the field of building capabilities through the training sessions provided by the Egyptian Agency of Partnership for Developing to the Gabonese cadres in the civil and military fields.
The talks also tackled a number of African files, as the Gabonese president chaired the Economic Community of Central Africa. They discussed ways to find solutions to the crises in the region, particularly with Egypt’s membership in the Security Council and the important role played to support efforts to reach compromises particularly in Central Africa. In addition, the talks also tackled environmental issues, as the Gabonese President is responsible for the coordination of the works of Committee of African Heads of State and Government on climate change, following President El-Sisi. Moreover, the presidency of the conference of African Ministers of Environment moved from Egypt to Gabon in last June. The two sides asserted the importance of continuing coordination between the two countries regarding these issues and supporting the unified African position in climate change negotiations.
In Chad, President El-Sisi affirmed that “Egypt is keen to provide all the necessary assistance to Chad as it is a landlocked country, noting that Egypt is committed to finding real solutions to facilitate transportation between the two countries. He also stated that “there are broad prospects for the development of economic cooperation as well as increasing trade exchange between Egypt and Chad in the fields of livestock, health, agriculture, irrigation, infrastructure and energy”. President El-Sisi stressed Egypt’s interest in pursuing cooperation with brothers in Chad in the fields of building of capacities, through training courses provided by the Egyptian Agency of Partnership for Development in various civil and military specializations.
The Chadian president affirmed that his country is keen to encourage the Egyptian investments in Chad, referring to the decision of his government to exempt the Egyptian businessmen from getting entry visa to Chad, so as to attract the Egyptian investors and provide the necessary facilities for them”. President Deby referred to the activities of the Egyptian companies operating in Chad, stressing that the Chadian government is keen to overcome all obstacles that face the Arab Contractors and EgyptAir companies. He expressed appreciation for the programs provided by Egypt in the civil and military fields, particularly in the field of education.
Nile Water…A common Interest
Nile water and cooperation between the Nile Basin countries were important topics in the agenda of the president’s tour in Africa, particularly in the Nile Basin countries; Tanzania and Rwanda.
During his visit to Tanzania, President El-Sisi affirmed that “Nile water is Egypt’s lifeline and Egypt is keen to guarantee benefits for the Nile Basin countries without affecting Egypt’s water interests. Besides, the talks between the two presidents tackled various subjects including, efforts to achieve development in Nile Basin countries. El-Sisi pinpointed that Egypt provides Nile Basin countries with Egyptian experts to achieve development in these countries.
The Tanzanian president expressed his country’s full understanding of the importance of River Nile for the Egyptians as it is the main source of water in Egypt. He expressed his confidence that the Nile Basin countries are able to reach a consensus”.
During his visit to Rwanda, he pinpointed the importance of cooperation between the two countries within the Egyptian initiative for Nile Basin countries development.
Security and Combating Terrorism… a Challenge for Everyone
Egypt, along with the other African countries that had been lately been visited by President El-Sisi pay due attention to the issue of cooperation in the field of regional security and combating terrorism that had become a trans-continental universal phenomenon. Thereupon, achieving development and progress definitely needs realizing certain levels of regional security along with regional and international counter terrorism actions.
In Tanzania, both presidents asserted the importance of activating the security and military cooperation for facing the mutual challenges, especially in light of the hazards of terrorism on the security and stability of all states.
In Rwanda, President El-Sisi said that he exchanged points of view with the Rwandan President over the hazards of terrorism, the growing extremist ideology and the spread of the terrorist organizations, thus necessitating an effective international cooperation for fighting terrorism and draining its resources.”
In Gabon, discussions had been held over activating the security and military cooperation and coordinating the efforts in fighting terrorism that threatens the security and stability of the countries in Africa and worldwide.”
During El-Sisi’s visit to Chad, the issue of combating terrorism topped his discussions due to the geographic location of Chad that possess wide borders with Libya and neighbors Nigeria; the hub of Boko Haram.
Thereupon, both presidents had identical points of view over various regional and international issues. They condemned all terrorist actions worldwide; the last of which was that in Burkina Faso that led to the fall of several causalities.
In the same context, President Deby had praised El-Sisi’s efforts and decisive stances against terrorism and extremism. Similarly, President El-Sisi had praised Chad’s efforts in fighting terrorism in the African Coast area, expressing his appreciation of the huge sacrifices that Chad offers in this respect.
Both presidents had agreed on the importance of intensifying their efforts on both the regional and international levels to face the terrorism and the organized crime organizations. They also discussed the situation in Libya , and asserted the importance of supporting dialogue among the Libyan parties so as to reach a political settlement for their crisis; thus providing a change for the consolidation of the state institutions and the fulfillment of the aspirations of the Libyans in a decent and stable life. Within this framework, the Chadian president praised El-Sisi’s efforts for reaching a peaceful settlement for the Libyan crisis.
According to the SIS analysis, the President’s African tour is a qualitative addition to Egypt’s role and common interests with the African peoples. Such a tour had also opened new vistas for a wider cooperation in various fields that will have its positive impact on everyone in the coming period.