26 May 2024 07:08 PM

Egypt and African Union

Saturday، 18 March 2023 - 01:24 AM

Egypt is one of the founding Member States of the Organization of African Unity (OAU) in May, 1963. Egypt considered the OAU as the organization that defends Africa's unity, embraces its solidarity and expresses its voice at the international arena. Egypt's role in preserving the spirit of the OAU Charter was prominent from the first African summit hosted on its land in July, 1964.

Egypt participated in all the OAU meetings and played prominent roles in calling for Namibia's independence, opposing racial discrimination, making mediation efforts, settling disputes, solving economic problems and settling the accumulated debts of the developing countries.

The need for activating the OAU appeared to face the political, economic and global developments. Therefore, in September 1999, the leaders of the OAU Member States issued a joint declaration in their summit in Sirte, Libya, which was known as "Sirte Declaration". In that declaration, they called for establishing the African Union (AU), which replaced the OAU, to enable Africa to play an influential role in the global economy which only recognizes major blocs. 

 
 
 

Egypt's Role as Founder of African Union

 

Egypt contributed to founding the African Union (AU) through the suggestion of the Egyptian delegation which participated in Lomé Summit in 2000 – the constitutive summit of the AU – to make some amendments to the draft document as follows:

 

 

1- Amending Article (4) to restrict the right of the AU to intervene in the Member States' affairs in three particular cases: genocides, crimes against humanity and war crimes.
2- Amending Article (5) to add the Arabic language to the languages used in the AU.

 

Through founding the AU, Egypt has been working to create an inclusive entity for all the African countries through which they can achieve their political, economic and social interests. This entity will also enable the African countries to study all their problems and deepen their relations with each others.
 
 Egypt and African Security and Stability

Egypt supports the principle of collective security of Africa to stress the importance of Africa as its strategic depth. Therefore, Egypt's keenness and actions at all levels to settle political crises in Africa appeared as follows:

Supporting Namibia's Independence

Egypt played a prominent role in the African Peace Talks concerning Namibia till it got its independence during Egypt's presidency of the 25th round of the Organization of African Unity (OAU) 1989-1990. Moreover, Egypt participated in the international peacekeeping forces which were supervising the elections there. Egypt was also on top of the African countries which established diplomatic representation in Namibia after its independence.

Egypt and South Africa

Egypt participated in issuing Harare Declaration in August 1989 during its presidency of the South African Commission, which emanated from the OAU in 1985 and comprised 13 African countries, including Egypt. The declaration included a strategy for eliminating the policy of apartheid in South Africa to lift the penalties imposed on it, establish a democratic society and support the unity that opposes the apartheid. The declaration also included the call of the world's peace-loving powers for releasing all political detainees and prisoners; on top of them was Nelson Mandela, who was released in February 1990.

 

Egypt participated in supporting the Common Market of Eastern and Southern Africa Dialogue in Johannesburg in May (1991-1992) which called for achieving democracy in South Africa.
In November 1993, Egypt hosted the most important political figures of South Africa to achieve the accord among African leaders in the country as an initial step towards establishing an apartheid-free State.
In April 1994, Egypt called for the unity and safety of the South African lands, achieving democracy and holding public elections.

Egypt participated with a special team of 50 supervisors to supervise the elections. President Nelson Mandela – the first president of South Africa after eliminating the apartheid – expressed his appreciation of Egypt and its role in supporting the democratic experience in South Africa.

 
Egyptian Initiatives for African Union

- June 1993: The creation of an Egypt-proposed African Dispute-Resolving Mechanism.

 

- June 1994: Egypt established a center to train African cadres to manage African disputes and carry out peacekeeping operations in the African continent.
- In the 32nd African Summit, Egypt proposed allowing the African Member States in the United Nations Security Council to get an automatic membership in the African dispute-resolving mechanism.
- In the 34th African Summit, Egypt proposed developing the African Dispute-Resolving Mechanism and activating its role to provide financial or technical resources.
- In January 2005, Egypt floated 3 initiatives for the African cooperation which are:

 

1. The establishment of the Endemic and Communicable Diseases and AIDS Center.
2. The creation of the Council for African Ministers of Power and Electricity.
3. Egypt says it is willing to host the African Union Satellite Channel.

Concerning Drought and Desertification

Within the framework of its commitment to the OAU's decisions, Egypt announced its readiness to receive a number of African missions to train them in the agricultural, irrigational and industrial fields. Meanwhile, Egypt expressed its readiness to send Egyptian missions in the same fields to the African countries that suffer food shortage to develop their agriculture.

During the 34th African Summit in Zimbabwe in 1997, Egypt announced that it will donate $ 100.000 to the fund of fighting drought and famine in Africa.

 

Egypt and Evolution of African Union

As a founding member of the African Union, Egypt has requested that an amendment be introduced to Article 4 of the AU Constitutive Act, whereby intervention by the AU in a Member State shall be  pursuant to a decision of the Assembly in respect of grave circumstances, namely: war crimes, genocide and crimes against humanity.

Egypt has moreover introduced an amendment to Article 25, whereby Arabic is used as working language.

Egypt has ratified more than 20 AU-related treaties and conventions, in addition to the African Youth Charter (16 October, 2008); the Inter-African Convention Establishing an African Technical Co-Operation Programme (23 September, 2004); the Charter for African Cultural Renaissance (2 November, 2009); Treaty on the African Nuclear-Weapon-Free Zone (Treaty of Pelindaba) (11 April, 1996); the Agreement for the Establishment of the African Rehabilitation Institute; and the Protocol to the African Charter on Human and Peoples' Rights on the Establishment of the African Court on Human and Peoples' Rights.

Egypt, together with South Africa, Libya, Algeria and Nigeria, Egypt the most part of AU budget, namely 15%.

AU Peace and Security Council

 

Egypt signed the Protocol Relating to the African Union’s Peace and Security Council in March 2004, deposited its ratification in March 2005 and was elected PSC Member for the North Region for a stint of two years from 2006 to 2008. In December 2006, Egypt launched an initiative for a consultation mechanism between the AU Peace and Security Council and the United Nations Security Council.
 
New Partnership for Africa's Development (NEPAD)
Egypt is one of five founding members of NEPAD and is currently responsible for promoting agriculture and accessing the global market.
African Union “Authority”
Egypt is a catalyst to achieving consensus regarding an AU “Authority”. The proposed Authority could play a vital role (in coordination, implementation and advocacy and as an institutional driver) in the integration process, provided its technical and political capacity is improved and some changes are made to the institutional configuration of the AU.
Pan-African Parliament (PAP)
Egypt has several members in PAP.

Economic, Social and Cultural Council (ESCC)

 

The Society of the Egyptian Red Crescent and the Association of Egyptian Business Women are members of the ESCC.
 
Events hosted by Egypt
 11th African Summit, Sharm al-Sheikh, 1 July, 2008
 42nd Meeting of the Economic Council for African Ministers of Finance and Planning, Sharm al-Sheikh, 2 to 7 June, 2009
 Meeting of African Ministers of Trade to Prepare the 7th World Trade Organization Conference (Cairo, 28 October, 2009)
 China-Africa Ministerial Forum (Sharm al-Sheikh, 6 November, 2009)
 Meeting of Arab and African Ministers of Agriculture (February 2010)
14th Meeting of Arab-African Cooperation Committee of 24 (4 March, 2010)
 Conference of African Ministers in charge of Border Issues (Sharm al-Sheikh, March 2010)

Source: Foreign Ministry


Egyptian Agency for Development Partnerships

The decision to establish the Egyptian Agency for Development Partnerships by the President of the Council of Ministers No. 959 for the year 2013 with the intent of merging "the Egyptian Fund for Technical Cooperation with the countries of the Commonwealth and Islamic countries and the Newly Independent States " and "the Egyptian Fund for Technical Cooperation with Africa" in a new entity called "the Egyptian Agency for Development Partnerships". And on Wednesday May 7th 2014, the Minister of Foreign Affairs appointed Ambassador, Hazem Fahmy as the Secretary General of the Egyptian Agency for Development Partnerships.

In this context, President Abdul Fattah Al-Sisi announced the launch of the Egyptian Agency for Development Partnerships in his speech, which he delivered at the twenty-third summit of the African Union (AU), in Malabo stating that the agency’s work will officially be starting on the first of July 2014.

This agency will operate according to the latest business rules of development agencies used by developed countries, and will act as an investment for the balance of the great achievements of Egypt in the field of technical cooperation and developmental support throughout the last three decades through the Egyptian Fund for Technical Cooperation with Africa and the Egyptian Fund for Technical Cooperation with the countries of the Commonwealth and will develop into an important aspect of Egyptian foreign policy .

 

The Egyptian Agency for Development Partnerships focuses largely on the support of major developmental projects in Africa and other developing states by focusing on key areas of development which Egypt has great experience in such as the fields of communication, transport, information technology, health services, agriculture and energy. The agency will look not only to provide technical aid but will also work in coordination with other ministries concerned in the state to establish a genuine partnership with the private, regional, and international funding institutions and develop a tripartite cooperation of mechanisms with other agencies and countries, allowing Egypt to become a leader in the field of providing experience and developing training courses and other programmes of cooperation.
 

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