African court representative praises Egypt's Supreme Constitutional Court for protecting rights    ERA-Egypt aims for EGP 1.5bn in sales in developers' commercial projects for 2019    Cityscape Egypt focuses on energising real estate market, re-instating confidence    Orange Egypt launches new sports service as 2019 AFCON approaches    At least three people killed in Alexandria building collapse    World Bank to participate in AfricaSan5, FSM5    People You May Know: exhibition daringly reflects Egyptian society's relationships    Egypt retrieves ancient Egyptian gilded coffin smuggled in 2011    Masurian Song and Dance Ensemble EŁK: From Poland to Egypt    Uber Egypt to pay value added tax    Abe mum on reports he nominated Trump for Nobel Peace Prize    India says two masterminds of Kashmir bombing killed in clash    Saudi Arabia denies crown prince seeks to buy Manchester United    Olympics 2020 Games can be springboard to transform Tokyo: Governor    Sanchez's Man United form will improve with a goal, says Solskjaer    Liverpool favourites against inconsistent Bayern, says Kimmich    Egypt praises US military assistance in fighting extremism: Madbouly    Shoukry heads to Ireland to attend meeting on Palestinian issue    Iran seeks good, brotherly relations with Muslim countries: Rouhani    Hearing sessions to discuss constitutional amendments will be held within two weeks    Armed forces arrest 2,770 individuals over illegal migration attempts    Yields on Egypt's T-Bills down by 0.34 - 0.83% after CBE interest-rate cut    Mastercard incorporates sound as new dimension to customer experience: Beatrice Cornacchia    The untold story of public debt    Egyptian journalist Hassanein Heikal's personal library donated to Bibliotheca Alexandrina    Fiascos and fumbles: Oscar organizers stumble to restore glory    UAE announces $1.1 bln of military deals with international companies: IDEX    (AP) Women filmmakers have record showing at Berlin Film Festival    Amid controversy: nasal spray for depression wins FDA panel backing    Bundesliga: Bayern have Dortmund in their sights, but Liverpool have Bayern in theirs    Colin Kaepernick reaches settlement on NFL collusion suit    7 extremists killed in gunfight with security forces in North Sinai    FAO warns of desert locust raids in Egypt, Sudan, Saudi Arabia, Yemen    Press Syndicate's electoral commission receives no candidacy appeals    Egypt in the heart of Africa    Egypt's police foil bomb attack in Giza: Ministry    Proposed constitutional amendments to be discussed over next two months: Egypt's house speaker    All hands on deck    AUC president to stay    Newsreel    Ismaili are back    Homegrown solutions for Africa    Reporting on change    An interest rate cut on the horizon?    The fallacy of an Arab NATO    Egypt-Africa: More agreements than trade    Open-air museum at Dendera    Colossus to be restored    







Thank you for reporting!
This image will be automatically disabled when it gets reported by several people.





Egypt's presidency of the African Union
Published in Ahram Online on 18 - 01 - 2019

In a few days, Egypt will take up the presidency of the African Union (AU) for 2019, signalling the trust of the African countries in the credibility and transparency of Egyptian leadership.
The AU Assembly of heads of state and government has already elected Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah Al-Sisi for a one-year term succeeding Rwandan President Paul Kagame.
The AU is one of the most effective continental organisations consisting of 55 African countries and launched in 2002 to replace the Organisation of African Unity (OAU), established in 1963.
The AU aims at accelerating the process of integration on the continent to make it a complete actor in the global economy while preserving the peace and stability of the African countries.
Accordingly, Egypt seeks to promote the AU's 2063 Vision and to accomplish its objectives through addressing the political, economic and social challenges that may hinder the integration of the continent.
Egypt is now reaping the fruit of the soft power it has accumulated over the previous four years through which it retained its leading positions in the international order.
Egypt plays a pivotal role as an effective actor on the African continent through boosting preventive diplomacy, promoting strategies of peace-keeping and peace-building in collaboration with the United Nations, countering international terrorism, preserving the sustainability of economic development emphasising the prosperity of the African peoples and placing the continent as a top priority on Egypt's agenda.
During Egypt's presidency of the AU's Peace and Security Council in January 2018, and its membership of the African Council from April 2016 to April 2019, it focused on preventing conflicts, maintaining peace and security on the African continent and promoting coordination between the efforts of the UN and AU in preventive diplomacy.
Building on these remarkable efforts, Egypt's chairmanship of the Group of 77 plus China (G-77/China) organisation also contributed to supporting the economic development of developing countries and boosting South-South cooperation.
Egypt's presidency of the AU this year will contribute effectively to consolidating ties with the African countries that will result in mutual economic gains, widening Egyptian and foreign investments in infrastructure projects, human resources, renewable energies projects and facilitating trade exchange, domestic industries, increased employment rates, the improved quality of education and better skills in manpower.
Economic cooperation can be a catalyst for reforming the economies of the African countries to create more competitive ones capable of achieving economic regional integration and being part of the international economic order.
One of the main objectives of the AU since its establishment has been to achieve regional economic integration that encompasses seven main stages across the continent, among them preferential trade agreements, free-trade areas, a customs union, a common market, economic and monetary union and finally complete integration.
In this context, Egypt initiated the establishment of the Tripartite Free Trade Area (TFTA) in 2015 with the three biggest economic blocs on the continent, the Southern African Development Community (SADC), the East African Community (EAC) and the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA).
Building on such achievements, Egypt supported the AU's accession to the Continental Free Trade Area (CFTA) through ensuring the enforcement of the African Free Trade Agreement that set out main steps towards achieving regional integration.
Egypt seeks to promote new investments in Africa, establishing joint infrastructure projects to support investment and trade, enhancing the role of the African private sector to increase investment rates, executing programmes to encourage entrepreneurship and advancing the economic empowerment of youth and women.
Egypt seeks to launch a presidential leadership programme for African youth and encourage Egyptian businessmen to establish services and facilities in the African countries.
Furthermore, Egypt's presidency of the AU will assist in the development of China's Belt and Road Initiative, as Egypt was one of the earliest countries that supported the Initiative from its launch in 2013.
The Initiative aims to promote economic growth and development regionally and internationally as it builds a trade and infrastructure network connecting Asia with Europe and Africa along the ancient trade routes of the Silk Road.
Egypt participated in the Third Summit of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC) intended to consolidate ties between China and the African continent. It hosted the Africa Economic Forum in December 2018 for the second time and the Intra-African Trade Fair with the participation of private-sector leaders in order to identify potential opportunities for investments in the African countries and provide recommendations for promoting economic development.
Egyptian soft and hard power can also assist effectively in countering terrorism on the continent through eradicating its main sources, boosting the capabilities of African armed forces and peace-keeping forces, and mediating in the conflicts in Sudan.
It can help to solve the Nile Basin crisis by emphasising the rights of the Nile Basin countries to fair development without harming the rights of others and preserving adequate shares of Nile water.
The international order encourages dynamic international policies as well as the multi-polarity that can push forward and boost the unity of developing countries through deepening South-South cooperation.
It is by strengthening cooperation at all levels that comprehensive peace and sustainable economic development across the African continent can be achieved. *The writer is an economist at the Faculty of Economics and Political Science at Cairo University. *A version of this article appears in print in the 17 January, 2019 edition of Al-Ahram Weekly under the headline: Egypt's presidency of the African Union


Clic here to read the story from its source.