Egypt signs deal with Euroclear to boost domestic debt management    Erdogan says Turkey to resume Syria offensive if truce deal falters    Spanish government dismisses call for Catalan talks; police brace for more unrest    Egypt's Cooperative Insurance Society to cover NGOs clients' loans    Angry over Brexit, thousands gather in London demanding new referendum    After a young pupil dies of meningitis in Egypt, tips to help prevention    Live score: Zamalek v Arab Contractors (Egyptian Premier League)    Irish clubs set to meet to discuss a new cross-border league    Bulgaria coach Balakov resigns following racism fallout    Wide protests in Lebanon against ruling elite over economic corruption    U.S.-China trade deal will be signed by middle of November: Trump    Egypt's PM urges US's ADTRAN Inc. to invest in communications equipment    World Bank launches human capital investment plan in MENA, North Africa    French President Macron receives Egypt's Coptic Pope Tawadros II at Elysee    Oil prices drop as China slowdown weighs    Egypt urges its citizens in Lebanon to exercise caution as protests continue    Egypt says strategic wheat reserves enough to cover its needs until February    Egypt keen to support DR Congo: Ambassador    Cairo metro back to normal operations following hours-long power disruption    Egypt's Pope Tawadros opens Saint Mary, Mar Youhanna Church in Belgium    Egypt's Irrigation minister reviews latest developments of Ethiopia's Renaissance Dam in Budapest    'Passports should be valid for six months,' Egypt's foreign ministry advises citizens planning travel abroad    Unpaid work hits 35% of Egypt's GPD, but still not included in economic calculations: IMF    Grand Nile Tower Arts & Cultural Centre launches second round    Egypt's coach Hossam El-Badry satisfied with winning start despite technical problems    Hundreds released    Luxor's new discoveries    Moroccan film Nomades scoops awards in Alexandria Film Festival    Toshiba's JV with Egyptian Elaraby opens regional HQ in South Africa    Six authors vie for Booker prize 2019, Atwood in the lead    In Photos: A sneak peek into rehearsals for the Cleopatra ballet world premiere    Sisi, Ethiopia's PM to meet in Moscow to discuss GERD issue    Sisi: army engaged in attrition phase against terrorism in Sinai since 2013    10K fans to attend Egypt's friendly against Botswana in Alexandria: EFA    Sisi, Ethiopia's PM agree to overcome obstacles in Nile dam talks    Farwell to Egyptian comic actor Talaat Zakaria    Court sentences six to death, 41 to lifetime imprisonment violence related case    Trump says he would release Mideast peace plan after Israeli elections    ACWA Power compares 3 bids to supply production units for Luxor power station    What do you know about gold alloying?    NBE announces EGP 2.5m prizes for handball youth teams for their world achievements    Jennifer Lopez evokes Egyptian outrage post her North Coast performance    Al-Sisi honours Egypt's scholars on Science Day    IS claims responsibility for suicide bombing killing 63 in Afghan wedding    Political parties gear up for parliamentary, senate, local elections    Unprecedented Glory: Egypt win Men's U-19 World Handball Championship    12th National Egyptian Theatre Festival fuel up public theatre art scene    Ministry of Environment has a plan for "black clouds season"    

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.