Egypt and Africa: Oneness of interest, harmony of aspirations
By the Gazette Editorial Board
FOR many reasons, Egypt's active participation in the planning and steering of joint African action at all bilateral, sub-regional, regional and continental levels reflects a genuine orientation and comes also in harmony with our basic policies and national aspirations. A good case in point is the latest African Union (AU) summit that wound up its work in the Mauritanian capital of Nouakchott yesterday.
The advancement of security, gender equality and economic integration for development were the three major issues that apparently drew much of the summit's attention and emphasis. On each of these issues, Egypt's efforts at home and political and diplomatic contacts with fellow African countries have been noticeably fruitful. At home, security stability is now permeating the country in such a manner that drives the dynamism of the national economy and encourages the growth of investment opportunities as President Abdel Fattah El Sisi noted at a meeting with a visiting Chinese CP official last week. In parallel to the making of this achievement, Egypt has sought to develop co-operation with countries and groupings concerned with the fight against terrorism, organised and cross-border crimes and human trafficking. The latest case of this attitude of developing multiple-level co-operation to defeat terrorism was the setting up of a regional centre for combating terrorism for African Sahel-Saharan states (CEN-SAD). In appreciation of this move, the defence ministers of those states sent, at the conclusion of a meeting in the Nigerian capital of Abuja last week, a message to President Sisi thanking him for having honoured his pledge to establish the centre in record time.
As regards the AU engagement in the fight against corruption, Egypt's own record has been one of efficiency in promoting the transparency of administrative procedures and clamping down on all forms of corruption no matter how senior a public personality implicated in financial or administrative wrong-doing may be. With the enactment of a law for the Administrative Audit Agency, tracking down illegal gains has acquired additional effectiveness and expeditiousness. Showcasing the marked progress achieved in the fight against corruption is the chain of measures and campaigns initiated by the government bodies concerned to remove encroachments on public spaces and restore state-owned lands and properties.
Turning to the issue of gender equality and the empowerment of women, it suffices indeed to refer to the inclusion of as many eight female ministers in the recently sworn-in government of Dr Moustafa Madbouli. The number and the portfolios provide the strongest indication of the large extent of that the status of woman has gained politically, socially, economically and culturally.
It follows, therefore, that Egypt's contribution to the promotion of joint African action at bilateral, sub-continental and continental levels enjoys both credibility and efficiency particularly since such contribution comes in pursuance of the country's own and basic orientations.