There is a necessity and utmost importance to enhance cooperation between Egypt and its brothers in the African continent in all fields, especially economy and development. This is to complete its active role in its regional environment, achieve African integration, revitalize trade between the countries of the brown continent, and integrate it into the global trade system.
Egypt seeks to become the locomotive of the African economy. It operates on two levels; the first is to localize and develop basic industries, and the second is expanding into new markets. Therefore, Egypt currently seeks to expand its exports into the African market, through the application of a package of logistical facilities and shipping procedures, especially with the promising opportunities that the African market enjoys.
President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi always called for achieving economic integration with the countries of the African continent, including exchanging experiences and benefiting from the Egyptian experience in the areas of infrastructure such as roads and energy. The president also aspires to achieve maximum benefit for the Egyptian side from the available resources and investment opportunities in the African countries and focuses on enhancing the role of women in the trade as well as payment settlement mechanisms. Therefore, he always stresses the importance of efforts to enhance the benefit of joint small and medium enterprises between Egypt and African countries.
Without any compliment, Egypt is highly advanced in the sectors of renewable energy, manufacturing, textiles, and tourism. This is reflected in the volume of projects undertaken by Egyptian companies in many African countries. Africa is also rich in its natural resources, especially minerals such as gold, iron, and chromium, and it has the second-largest reserves of platinum in the world. However, much of this wealth is still untapped, and there are promising investment opportunities in the sectors of agriculture, tourism, and education.
The time has come for African countries to shift from a source for supplying raw materials to manufacturing them locally to increase their added value. I sincerely call on Egyptian businessmen to expand their investments in Africa and open new areas there to identify available investment opportunities, stressing the importance of the African Free Trade Agreement in promoting trade between the countries of the continent and increasing production capacities. It is a great opportunity and every country should take advantage of it and not impose obstacles that prevent the full implementation of the agreement. Indeed, priority must be given to the enormous opportunities enjoyed by the huge African market of more than one billion people rather than focusing on narrow interests at the local level.
Dr. Hatem Sadek: Professor at Helwan University