25 November 2021

Egypt’s Ambassador to South Africa, H.E. Ahmed El Fadly, chaired a

session during the Egyptian Day component the Intra-African Trade Fair

IATF2021 that took place from the 15th to the 21st of this month in

Durban, entitled “Egypt’s Role in Achieving Integration in Africa:

The Africa We Want”, during which Egypt’s vision of how to achieve

integration on the African continent through industry and trade was

showcased. That vision put forth how African countries can move from a

stage of poverty management to one wealth creation.

At the beginning of the session, Ambassador El Fadly addressed the

importance of achieving integration on the continent within a new

framework that goes beyond the traditional geographical divisions

inherited from colonialism (North, South, East, West and Central). He

pointed to the Cairo-Cape road as one alternative framework for

integration, citing that the road links together nine African countries

from North to South, including two of Africa’s largest economic

powerhouses, Egypt and South Africa, and that these countries combined

represent a third of the continent’s population and half of its GDP.

He emphasized that were these nine countries to deepen the economic ties

between them, they would greatly elevate the state of economic

integration on the continent and create a model for others to follow.

This he said can only be achieved if the effort was led by both Egypt

and South Africa, and must start by the deepening of economic ties

between them. This he said would be greatly helped by the recent launch

of the African Continental Free Trade Area AfCFTA, which will increase

the exchange of trade and joint investments between African countries,

helping all Africans achieve “the Africa we want”.

Mr. Mohamed El-Masry, First Vice-President of the Federation of Egyptian

Chambers of Commerce, presented the economic reform steps taken by the

Egyptian government during the past six years and its contribution to

stabilizing markets and achieving economic development. He stressed the

importance of the African Continental Free Trade Area Agreement, and the

need for it to be supported by establishing networks of integrated

roads, ports and other means of connectivity and communication within

the continent, as well as by removing non-tariff barriers.

For his part Engineer Ahmed El Sewedy, Chairman of the Board of

Directors of El Sewedy Electric Company, also highlighted the projects

that the company is carrying out in a number of African countries,

including Uganda, Tanzania, Ethiopia and Zambia, as models of success in

terms of African cooperation. He stressed the importance of the fact

that these projects are being done in African countries, by African

companies, using African sources of finance.

Another key area the session focused on was Pharmaceuticals. Dr. Maged

George, Chairman of the Export Council for medical industries, laid out

Egypt’s experience in localizing the production of medical supplies,

and how this can be translated to the wider continent. He said that

there are still serious challenges to trade among African markets,

including logistical challenges such as transport, shipping and banking

transactions. He added that Egypt envisions overcoming those challenges

in the pharmaceutical sector by establishing Egyptian factories in 12

African countries, through an alliance between different Egyptian

pharmaceutical companies, to produce medicine in those countries, and

exporting medicines to neighboring countries.

Ms. Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma, Minister of Governance and Traditional

Affairs in the Presidency, participated in the session, and commented on

the proceedings saying “It’s very exciting for us to see how Egypt

is developing … and to see Egypt driving Agenda 2063: the Africa we

Want, is an inspiration to all of us”. She also highlighted the

importance of the “Cairo-Cape Town” road in achieving African

integration, noting the importance of the role of women and youth in

achieving the desired economic development in Africa.

Ambassador Ahmed El Fadly also emphasized that women and youth have a

pivotal role in all aspects of development, pointing out that there are

eight women ministers in the Egyptian government and two deputy

ministers that are working on issues related to development. He also

referred to the leadership of women and youth in the private sector and

particularly in the field of small and medium-sized enterprises, noting

the presence of a number of them at the exhibition. El Fadly also

highlighted a number of Egyptian initiatives to integrate women and

youth in decision-making in Egypt, pointing to the Egyptian President

Abdel Fattah El-Sisi’s adoption of the annual “World Youth

Conference” initiative, which is hosted annually in Egypt.

At the end of the session, a contract worth one billion dollars was

signed between El Sewedy Electric Company and the government of Malawi,

to implement a number of strategic projects, including hydropower

projects, solar power plants and e-government, funded by the African

Export-Import Bank (AFREXIMBANK). El Fadly described the contract as one

of the largest deals concluded during the exhibition and a tangible

example of Egypt’s commitment to achieving integration and reaching the

“Africa we want”.

By: Ayman Walash Counselor- Head of the Press & Information Office

Embassy of the Arab Republic of Egypt

The Diplomatic Informer
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