Egypt’s President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi begins an African tour on Tuesday to Angola, Zambia, and Mozambique.
“The tour comes in the framework of Egypt’s keenness to intensify communication and coordination with its African brothers, as well as to continue strengthening its relations with the countries of the continent in various fields,” Ahmed Fahmy, the official spokesperson for the presidency, said.
Fahmy pointed out that the visit aims to strengthen mutual cooperation on the economic levels, trade and investment, in addition to the advanced priority accorded to African issues in Egyptian foreign policy.
During the tour, Al-Sisi is expected to hold a series of bilateral talks with the leaders of the three African countries, with the aim of discussing mechanisms for enhancing aspects of bilateral cooperation with Egypt, and how to deal with the concerns of the African continent.
The visits will also address developments in regional issues and files of common concern, as well as ways of cooperation to crystallize joint African action frameworks with the aim of advancing the development process and promoting economic integration in the continent.
Fahmy added that President Al-Sisi will participate, during his visit to Zambia in the 22nd summit of the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA), which will witness the handover of the rotating presidency of the assembly from Egypt to Zambia.
The relationship between the two countries dates back to before Zambia’s independence, as Egypt played an important role in supporting Zambia’s independence movement.
Cairo was one of the first capitals to recognize Zambia’s independence from the British on 24 October 1964, and one of the first to establish an embassy in Lusaka, the capital of Zambia.
Nevertheless, the Egyptian-Angolan relationship between Angola and Egypt began in 1965, when the Popular Movement for the Liberation of Angola (MPLA) opened its first regional office in Cairo to support the movement against Portuguese colonialism.
Angolan President Jose Eduardo dos Santos has expressed his gratitude to Egypt multiple times for their support during the period of Portuguese colonialism and the Angolan civil war, which lasted over 27 years.
Egypt-Mozambique relations began prior to Mozambique’s independence in the late 1950s and early 1960s. Egypt hosted some of Mozambique’s independence movements and provided political and technical support to prepare them for the struggle against colonialism.
Egypt was one of the first countries to recognize Mozambique’s independence in 1975. In September of the same year, Egypt opened an embassy, becoming the sixth country to do so after declaring independence.