Egypt: A Country with an African Identity and Inclination
Monday، 20 July 2009 - 12:00 AM
In a world plagued with conflicts and wars, where the believers of one and the same cause are seen fighting against each other, the African Football Confederation (Confederation Africain de Football) and the African Society in Egypt are celebrating their Golden Anniversary. The two events spark off a glimmer of hope that there still exist entities that cherish common action and that seek to reclaim their roots.
In Egypt’s eyes, the African connection is the result of neither geography nor inclination, but rather the end-product of the same genes, and of the oneness of destiny and fate.
The Egyptian experiment marked an incentive for African countries in their fight against imperialism and colonialism. The African Association was established in Cairo in 1955 to provide assistance to the representatives of African movements.
Since the outbreak of the July 1952 Revolution, Egypt has adopted African issues in the UN. Former President Gamal Abdel-Nasser was able to set up a front on the international scene for the purpose of defending liberation movements on the continent.
The creation in 1958 of the Organization of African Unity crowned Egypt’s efforts in that context. That Cairo should be chosen as the venue for the OAU’s first conference was a clear sign of the importance attached to Egypt’s role in settling African disputes and overcoming break-up attempts. Egypt also hosted the first Arab-African summit in 1977, and joined the COMESA (1998), the Nile Basin Initiative (1999), the Sahel and Sahara group (2001), the African Union (2001) and NEPAD (2001).
Egyptian assistance has continued through numerous mechanisms, the most significant of which is the Egyptian Fund for Technical Cooperation with Africa.
Egyptian efforts has been unrelenting in pursuit of solutions to African problems, the most important at present being the Darfur issue and the peace process in Sudan. In June 2005, Egypt hosted a conference attended by the Khartoum government and the Sudanese Opposition Alliance.
The meeting culminated in the Cairo Declaration of Reconciliation.
Egypt also exerts its ultimate to achieve national reconciliation in Somalia. The country further attaches great importance to fighting terror and to confronting extremists in Africa. It has participated in peace-keeping forces under the umbrella of the AU and UN and has been sending Azhar scholar to African countries to explain the teachings of Islam. In 2006, Cairo also hosted the North African Brigade, as part of the AU’s ready-to-be-deployed troops which seek to achieve security and stability on the continent.