President Abdel Fattah El Sisi’s address to High Level Africa-Europe Forum
Wednesday، 19 December 2018 - 01:23 PM
Ladies and Gentlemen,
Your Excellency President of the Republic of Rwanda Paul Kagane,
Your Excellency Chancellor of the Federal Republic of Austria Sebastian Kurz,
Your Excellencies Heads of State and Government,
At the beginning, I wish to extend my thanks and appreciation to Mr. President of the Republic of Austria Alexander Van der Bellen, Mr. Chancellor of the Republic of Austria Sebastian Kurz and the friendly Austrian people for the hospitality we have received.
We meet today after passage of a year since convocation of the 5th African Union – European Union in Abidjan. Despite our appreciation to the summit’s momentum to the two continents’ cooperation, however we still have a long way to achieve our common targets to benefit from the opportunities of the economic integration and increase trade exchange and investments in a way that fulfills the sustainable development 2030 and Africa development agenda.
Today, we seek to find realistic and lasting solutions for a number of issues that constitute the priority of the common African action, on top of which comes updating and developing the role of the continent and eliminating poverty through increasing youths and women community participation, exploiting their energies and increasing their contributions. Moreover, it is necessary to link the African countries via infrastructure projects in the fields of transportation, energy and information technology (IT), accelerate economic growth and manufacturing, upgrade the agriculture sector in Africa. The eruption of conflicts and disputes for a long decades, and absence of economic and developmental horizons are considered examples of the radical causes of illegal immigration in pursuance of a decent life and a better future. Besides, these challenges are considered among the main pillars that attract our youths to terrorism and extremism. Thus, , in an early stage, Egypt has paid due attention to confronting this phenomena and adopted a national and ambitious comprehensive social and economic reform program, through which efforts of the government and the Egyptian people combine to make it successful despite all difficulties. Giant infrastructure projects of the governmental investment have topped the Egyptian work agenda during the past five years. It gives me honor to declare to you that these efforts have been rewarded as manifested in improving the Egyptian economic indicators, accelerating growth rates and decreasing unemployment rates.
In this context, Egypt understands the importance of bringing the sustainable development to reality through creation of more jobs to the African peoples, upgrading the infrastructure in the continent, boosting free trade within the Free Trade Area Agreement, building an industrial system and laying down new strategies to lure investments to the African countries in addition to providing a proper environment to the entrepreneurs. Egypt puts these aims among its priorities when taking the presidency of the African Union in 2019.
Europe is a strategic partner to Africa, as the two continents have strong historical ties at the security, political and socio-economic levels. We realize that the challenges facing the two sides, mainly the illegal immigration and terrorism, necessitate a joint coordination and wok to reach effective solutions to these challenges through a joint vision that achieves our peoples’ ambitions.
Moreover, it is necessary to correct bases of cooperation with Africa and give up the policies of conditions and dictation.
In this context, I welcome the initiative launched by President of the European Commission Mr.Jean-Claude Juncker on strengthening partnership with Africa that focuses on development, investment and jobs in the digitalized field.
Egypt believes that the African continent is the continent of the future and it shoulders pushing the African joint action to vast horizons and enhancing the continental integration steps.
Egypt will work during its coming presidency of the African Union on cementing these principles. It will continue harnessing its potentials and experiences to meet the urgent needs of the African countries and peoples and complete the comprehensive sustainable development agenda.
In this framework, Egypt hosts during the last period many regional and international events that highlighted the potential investment power and the available opportunities in Africa.
I am looking forward to the success of this forum, its objective discussions and outcomes of its round tables, so I have to renew my thanks to everyone participating in preparation for this event. I am all confidant that our efforts shall pave the way to work together and take practical and serious steps to achieve prosperity and welfare to our peoples through a genuine development that provides security, stability and gives an opportunity for more participation and giving.
May Allah’s Peace and Mercy Be Upon You