03 March 2021 05:16 AM

Statement by President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi in the Second Meeting of AU, Regional Economic Communities (RECs)

Friday، 23 October 2020 - 05:47 PM

His Excellency President Cyril Ramaphosa, President of South Africa and Chairperson of the African Union,

Your Excellencies, Presidents, Heads of State of the Bureau of the Chairperson of the African Union Commission, and Heads of Regional Economic Commissions,

His Excellency Chairperson of the African Union Commission Mr. Moussa Faki,

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Allow me at the outset to extend to you my warm greetings and to His Excellency President Ramaphosa my sincere congratulations for his chairmanship of the Second Coordination Meeting. It has been more than one year since holding our First Meeting in the brotherly Republic of Niger hosted by His Excellency President Mahamadou Issoufou that I had the honor to chair during the year of the Egyptian presidency to the AU.

Your Highness and Excellencies,

The challenges caused by coronavirus pandemic on the international community, especially on the African system and its different executive bodies and their ability to develop continental and regional integration, had prompted us to promote the joint African Solidarity. This is done in order to harness our energies to find effective and innovative solutions that allow us to overcome the current circumstances.

Conceivably, the best example of this is the available opportunities that we took up to discover and develop the potential of the continent to enhance public health capabilities and epidemic response. This is achieved by a number of initiatives and activities; salient of which are the foundation of the African Union (AU) Covid-19 Response Fund, and the exchange of information, data, learnt lessons and best practices regarding pandemic containment. Moreover, among salient initiatives is the development of a unified platform for the procurement of medicine and medical supplies.

Egypt has been keen to be at the forefront of this African effort by contributing medical aid and laboratory equipment, as well as transferring technical expertise in support of fraternal African countries. Furthermore, Egypt contributes to support the AU Covid-19 Response Fund and Africa Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (Africa CDC).

Mr. President, Your Excellencies,

I have attentively listened to the presentation made by my brother, the Chairperson of the African Union Commission (AUC), of the report on the integration state in Africa. I welcome the valuable information, conclusions and important recommendations contained therein. In this regard, I would like to refer to the following issues:

First: It was striking that the report indicated that there was a discrepancy in the performance of the regional economic communities in connection with realizing the objectives of the Abuja Agreement to establish the African Economic Community and implement the Lagos Plan of Action for the Economic Development of Africa, in addition to the variation in the progress realized over the pivots  of financial and commercial integration and linkage in the field of infrastructure. thereupon, here comes the role of the African Union (AU) in supporting all the communities to address the deficiencies in their performance in implementing the axes of continental integration, in transmitting the positive experiences of one community or another to the rest of the regional counterparts, and in working to achieve the required harmony in the performance of the regional communities so as to move in a balanced pace towards the implementation of the continental integration agenda.

Second: I would like to reiterate the pivotal and leadership role of the African Union Development Agency (AUDA-NEPAD) in mobilizing the financial resources that enable the implementation of the pilot continental projects of African Union’s Agenda 2063.

Third: I call for seriously continuing the negotiations of the Continental Free Trade Agreement to fully activate it in order to realize the common African dream of promoting economic integration, as this project represents the cornerstone for achieving the rest of the continental integration goals.

Fourth: Regional integration efforts cannot be dealt with in isolation from the advancement of the infrastructure and energy networks at the continental level, in light of their importance in managing the movement of goods, services and people, in addition to enhancing communication channels and transfer data and information, in order to provide an enabling environment for achieving higher levels of productive and economic integration.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

In this context, Egypt welcomes the exerted efforts to follow up the First Coordination Summit outcomes. At the forefront, continuing the action plan to formulate the matrix for sharing work among the African Union (AU), the Regional Economic Communities (RECs), and the member states with the necessity to set a road map for expanded and in-depth consultations that take place on the level of the Union, communities, and governments. Accordingly, Egypt aspires to adopt the matrix after completing it in the coming Coordination Summit in July 2021 in N’djamena. We must also work together to raise the efficiency of the AU Commission and the Secretariats of the regional economic communities so they can fully shoulder their tasks in the framework of division of labor. Moreover, all this will be connected with the efforts of the institutional, financial, and administrative reform in the framework of the AU Commission.

In conclusion, there is no doubt that the rich discussion and constructive deliberations our meeting will witness today will contribute in developing the process of continental integration and the relationship between the African Union and the branches of regional communities. I assure that it will produce positive results which will be presented in the next African Summit in February 2021, so that we can follow its implementation, when we will be guests of my brother, His Excellency President Idris Deby, next summer.

Thank You for Listening

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