Egypt and Côte d’Ivoire
Sunday، 16 December 2012 12:00 AM
The diplomatic relations between the two countries were established in 1960, Egypt recognized the Republic of Côte d'Ivoire during the same year of independence, and established a representation at the level of chargé d'affaires in 1963.
This representation was later raised to the ambassadorial level in 1967 the same year Côte d'Ivoire opened its embassy in Cairo. It was the time for higher level of cooperation in bilateral relations between the two States.
Egypt and Cote d’Ivoire enjoy friendly relations, which have never witnessed any sharp political or diplomatic fluctuations. In general, the voting system of Cote d'Ivoire has always been characterized by supporting Egyptian positions and nominations, especially when it comes to a unified African position. It can be said that neither of the two countries has taken anti-political positions towards the other party throughout these years.
Both Egypt and Côte d'Ivoire are member states of the United Nations and its specialized organs, as well as the Non-Aligned Movement, in addition to a number of other regional and international organizations and groups such as the Islamic Conference, the African Union and the Community of Sahel-Saharan States. This gives the political relations an institutional dimension and allows the officials of the two countries to meet, frequently.
Egypt participates in the United Nations Operation in Côte d'Ivoire (UNOCI), which is a UN-NATO peacekeeping mission, by deploying a military engineer company.
Côte d'Ivoire has always shown a clear appreciation of the Egyptian role in supporting peace and restoring stability in Côte d'Ivoire away from the exploitation of the suffering of the Ivorian people. This was embodied in Egypt's support to the Ouagadougou Peace Agreement in Côte d'Ivoire, which was signed on March 4, 2007.
Heads of State Visits
On April 11, 2019, President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi visited Côte d'Ivoire, where he was received by El Hassan Ouattara, President of Cote d'Ivoire. The two heads of state discussed ways to develop bilateral relations at various levels whether political, economic or security. They, also, exchanged views on many regional and international issues.
Mutual Delegation Visits
On March 20, 2015, Eng. Ibrahim Mahlab, the Presidential Assistant for strategic & National Projects, visited Côte d'Ivoire, where he was received by El Hassan Ouattara, President of Cote d'Ivoire. They discussed ways to enhance bilateral relations and the Ivorian President asserted his country's welcome to Egyptian businessmen to participate in its development projects, noting that it was agreed to activate the joint committee. Also, Mahlab and his accompanying delegation visited the Egyptian Military Engineer company affiliated to the United Nations Peacekeeping Forces in the political capital Yamoussoukro, accompanied by the Ivorian Prime Minister.
On April 17, 2017, Soro Kigabafuri Geum, Speaker of the Ivorian parliament and his accompanying delegation, visited Egypt, where he was received by Sameh Shoukry, Minister of Foreign Affairs. The two sides discussed bilateral cooperation and joint coordination in international forums between the two countries.
On May 4, 2017, Colonel General Sidqi Sobhi, the Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces and Minister of Defense and Military Production, visited Côte d'Ivoire to head the Egyptian delegation participating in the activities of the sixth meeting of the defense ministers of the Community of Sahel-Saharan States (CEN-SAD).
Subhi handed over a written message from President El-Sisi to the Ivorian President El Hassan Ouattara, in which El-Sisi confirmed the deep relations between the two countries and expressed Egypt's readiness to develop cooperation in all fields to serve the interests of both countries. Sobhi, also, held a meeting with the military officials in Cote d'Ivoire, where the two sides discussed aspects of joint cooperation between the two countries.
On July 9, 2017, Sameh Shoukry, the Minister of Foreign Affairs, visited Côte d'Ivoire to participate in the forty-fourth session of the Council of Foreign Ministers of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC).
On December 12, 2018, President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi received the Vice President of the Republic of Cote d'Ivoire Daniel Kablan Duncan at the head of a delegation that included the Minister of Trade and Industry, the Minister of Economy and Finance, and the Director of the Office of the President of the Republic of Cote d'Ivoire.
On February 13, 2019, Abdourahmane Cissé, Minister of Petroleum and Renewable Energy of Côte d'Ivoire and his accompanying delegation visited Egypt to participate in EGYPS 2019 Conference. They were received by Tariq Al Mulla, Minister of Petroleum and Mineral Resources. The two sides discussed ways to support bilateral relations between the two countries.
The Nasr Company for Import and Export has a branch in Abidjan that goes back to the mid-sixties of the last century. It is regarded as one of the first companies that worked in Côte d'Ivoire after independence. The company, also, owns a residential and an administrative building bearing its name in the center of Abidjan. And despite the economic changes internationally and regionally, besides the strong competition of European and Chinese products, the company still plays an important role in concluding trade deals between the two countries and in bringing businessmen together. The value of deals concluded by the company in 2009 amounted to about four million dollars in Egyptian exports, salient of which are cement, Glucose, household appliances (cookers, air conditioners, refrigerators), food oils, and car glass.
The Egyptian "Arab Contractors" company implemented the "Jacques Ville" bridge project, which President Bajbo laid its foundation stone on July 8, 2009, in the presence of the Egyptian ambassador and president of the "Arab Contractors" company. This is considered as one of the most important strategic projects in Côte d'Ivoire, to which the Ivorian side gives great importance. It has been a dream for the region's people for generations since it is expected to achieve a development boom in the region it passes through, as it links between the city of Jacques Ville and the economic capital of Abidjan, with a length of 571 meters, at an estimated cost of sixteen billion CFA francs (about 37 million dollars). The project is funded by several entities, namely the Arab Development Bank in Africa by 33.88%, the West African Development Bank by 33.35%, the OPEC Fund by 27.38% and the Ivorian government by 5.84%. The project will take twenty-four months to be completed by July 2011, as scheduled.
In July 2009, a memorandum of understanding was signed with the Ivorian Ministry of Energy and Mining to establish several projects in Cote d'Ivoire.
In June 2010, Egypt Air made final arrangements to resume its direct line between Cairo and Abidjan, after its flights had been suspended in 2004 due to the repercussions of the internal crisis in Côte d'Ivoire at the time.
In December 10, 2017, Egyptian exporters and businessmen met with the Vice-President of Côte d'Ivoire to enhance trade exchange.
On March 13, 2018, Hisham El-Demiri, the Egyptian Tourism Promotion Authority, had a meeting with Esiolo Kwa, Assistant Minister of Tourism of the Republic of Cote d'Ivoire to discuss ways of joint cooperation, exchange of visions, evaluating tourism relations and working to strengthen their ties.
On May 23, 2018, Eugène ALLOU-ALLOU, Ambassador of Cote d'Ivoire in Cairo confirmed that the two presidents, Abdel Fattah El-Sisi El-Hassan Ouattara, are keen to boost cooperation relations between Cairo and Abidjan to broader horizons, praising the deep relations between Egypt and Cote d'Ivoire in various fields, which he described as at its best levels in recent years.
On October 16, 2018, Luxor International Airport won first place award in airport safety by the Airports Council International (ACI). The award came during the ACI’s annual meeting in Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire, which was attended by 51 countries representing more than 270 international airports in Africa.
On October 19, 2018, Dr. Ezz El Din Abu Steit, Egypt’s Minister of Agriculture & Land Reclamation received Alain-Richard DONWAHI, Minister of Water and Forests of the Republic of Côte d'Ivoire to discuss ways of cooperation between the two countries in fields related to the agricultural sector, including training, establishing forests, and concluding an agreement for joint cooperation between the two sides.
The volume of trade exchange between Egypt and Côte d'Ivoire increased to reach 64.6 million dollars during 2018, compared to 49.3 million dollars during 2017 according to a report issued according to a report issued by the Bureau of African Affairs and the COMESA unit of the commercial representation office.
The report pointed out that the Egyptian exports to Côte d'Ivoire rose to $ 62.2 million in 2018, compared to $ 47.2 million in 2017. Also, the Egyptian imports increased to record $ 2.4 million during 2018, compared to $ 2.2 million during 2017.
Egypt participated by a tripartite delegation, "Government, business owners and workers", headed by Minister of Manpower Mohamed Saafan in the fourteenth regional meeting of the International Labor Organization (ILO).
At the conclusion of its work in Côte d'Ivoire, "Abidjan Declaration" was issued The declaration focuses on making decent work a reality for Africa's youth as well as developing skills, technological pathways, and productivity for a brighter future in Africa, in addition to transforming Africa's informal and rural economy for decent work, respecting international labour standards, promoting social dialogue and ensuring gender equality.
On February 29, 2020, Egypt's minister of communications and information technology Amr Talaat has discussed with the Ivorian Ambassador in Cairo Timothy Ezouan means of boosting bilateral ties in the field of digital transformation.
The meeting asserted the deep bilateral relations between Egypt and Côte d'Ivoire at all levels, especially in the field of communications and information technology. The two sides mulled activating a memorandum of understanding signed between the two countries, which was witnessed by the Presidents of both countries during the visit of President Abdel Fattah El Sisi to Abidjan in April, 2020.
This Memorandum of Understanding stated on fostering cooperation and the exchange of experiences between Egypt and Côte d'Ivoire in the different areas of communications and information technology, including digital transformation, cyber security, as well as the establishment of technological zones.
The meeting, also, mulled ways to strengthen bilateral cooperation in the domains of technological innovation and entrepreneurship, as well as building capacities of teams tasked with the management of incubators and technology startups, in addition to cooperation in developing digital skills of young people in advanced technologies, salient of which are artificial intelligence, virtual reality, blockchain, internet of things, and fifth generation.
Moreover, the meeting called for the participation of Ivorian youth in Africa Games and Digital Applications Initiative (AGDA) launched by President Abel Fattah el-Sisi, which aim to qualify 10,000 young Egyptian and African people to develop games and digital applications using the latest technologies, and to encourage the establishment of 100 start-ups in the field.
The meeting, also, discussed mechanisms to support bilateral cooperation between the two countries in the field of digital transformation through knowledge transfer and exchange of best practices in the field of digital identity, in addition to supporting the communications infrastructure of the Republic of Cote d'Ivoire and cooperation in facilitating the provision of digital services to citizens, as well as enhancing financial inclusion and electronic payments.
There is a cooperation agreement in the cultural, scientific and technical fields signed between the two countries in June 1985. In this respect, the two sides are currently studying the signing of a protocol for the implementation of this agreement as a framework to enhance relations in these areas.
Al-Azhar provides, annually, five scholarships to Ivorian students.
Communications between the two sides are, currently, taking place to return al-Azhar mission, which was suspended in Cote d'Ivoire, in 2004 due to the security situation at the time.
A Coptic Orthodox Church has been established in Abidjan since 2001, which is affiliated to the Egyptian Coptic Church. The Ivorian government has provided the land of the church and its agricultural rehabilitation center as a gift.
Côte d'Ivoire benefits from most of the training courses organized by the Egyptian Fund for Technical Cooperation with Africa (EFTCA). In 2009, the number of beneficiaries reached about 30 trainees the fields of agriculture, media, communications, information technology, nursing, diplomacy training and others.
The Egyptian Fund for Technical Cooperation with Africa (EFTCA) sent three and a half tons of medicines as a gift, which the embassy delivered to the Ivorian side at a grand ceremony held in the central pharmacy in Abidjan on August 11, 2010, which was attended by the Ivorian Minister of Health, AKA-AOUÉLÉ and a number of senior officials of the Ivorian Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
Egypt, regularly, offers Islamic libraries to Islamic centers and institutions in Côte d'Ivoire.