Egypt in Africa
Doaa El-Bey lists the achievements of the Egyptian Agency of Partnership for Development in Africa
Ever heard of medical convoys being dispatched by Egypt to neighbouring African countries? There have been many in the past few years, to Equatorial Guinea, Ethiopia, South Sudan, Eritrea and Ghana. They are part of the work of the Egyptian Agency of Partnership for Development in Africa (EAPD), established three years ago.
Hazem Fahmi, the secretary-general of EAPD, says the agency seeks to enhance African cooperation as a key to greater integration between developing countries. “Such cooperation is based on the principles of respect for national sovereignty, non-interference in domestic affairs and mutual benefit,” Fahmi told a roundtable meeting last week.
The agency also supports countries in implementing the 2063 Agenda agreed by the continent’s leaders and the 2030 Sustainable Development goals adopted at the UN.
EAPD is collaborating with new partners on the national and international levels, elaborates Fahmi. They include the Supreme Constitutional Court where the agency organised a meeting of chief justices of constitutional and supreme courts attended by delegates from 25 African countries.
Medical aid and convoys form a central part of the agency’s work, complemented by the introduction of new frameworks for cooperation over capacity building in collaboration with medical centres such as the Magdy Yacoub Foundation for Cardiac Diseases and Research, the Mohamed Ghoneim Centre of Nephrology and Urology at the University of Mansoura and the Children’s Cancer Hospital 57357.
EAPD has provided assistance and equipment to several countries, developing hospitals and equipping medical centres in Ethiopia, Rwanda, Kenya, Uganda and Sudan.
So far 230 capacity-building programmes have been organised and attended by 6,877 trainees. The courses have covered security, renewable energy, fibre optics, civil aviation, anti-corruption campaigns, fish farming, marine navigation and media.
EAPD also oversees events supporting the Egyptian private sector in Africa. Africa 2016, the first African Forum for Investment and Trade, held in Sharm El-Sheikh in February 2016 and inaugurated by President Abdel-Fattah Al-Sisi, was attended by the presidents of Sudan, Nigeria, Gabon and Equatorial Guinea, the Ethiopian prime minister and the president of the African Development Bank.
A memorandum of understanding between the Social Fund for Development (SFD) and the EAPD promoting technical assistance was signed during the forum.
The EAPD — affiliated to the Foreign Ministry — was established as part of a wider political drive to strengthen Egypt’s African presence and to enable it to play a more active role on the continent. It has held workshops to develop the skills of Egyptian diplomats, promotes investment and export opportunities, dispatches Egyptian experts and technicians when requested by African states and has convened large events to foster greater cooperation among media professionals.
It has organised two visits for the editors-in-chief of English and French newspapers in Africa which, says Fahmi, “provided a good opportunity for the delegations to become familiar with Egypt’s plans to build cooperation with Africa”.
In March this year EAPD organised a capacity-building programme — the Future of the Media in Africa… and the Exchange of Expertise — in cooperation with the Chamber of Audiovisual Media Industries. The programme was attended by 37 representatives from 25 African countries.