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  • Wednesday, 05 June 2024

Dr. Rania Al-Mashat, Minister of International Cooperation, Delivers Egypt's Speech at the Korean-African Summit

• The Minister of International Cooperation conveys the regards of His Excellency President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi to the President of the Republic of Korea and the participating leaders at the summit.

• "Al-Mashat" emphasizes the depth of Egyptian-Korean relations over decades and their diversity in the fields of trade, investment, and development cooperation.

• Egypt plays a pivotal role in addressing the challenges facing the continent to enhance stability and development.

• The Korean-African Summit convenes at a time when the continent faces significant challenges due to global crises

• There is a necessity to strengthen Korean-African partnership to support the continent's efforts in achieving the African Union's 2063 development agenda.

 We hope that the summit will work towards finding innovative financing resources to bridge the financial gap on the continent amid calls for reforming the global financial system.

• South-South Cooperation: A Broad Framework for Collaboration Among Developing Countries to Bridge the Technological Gap and Enhance Integration in Development Efforts

• Egypt is committed to continuing the exchange of expertise and experiences with African countries and enhancing the role of the Egyptian private sector in developing the continent's infrastructure.

Dr. Rania Al-Mashat, Minister of International Cooperation, delivered Egypt's speech during the Korean-African Summit held in the capital, Seoul. Al-Mashat represented H.E. President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi as the head of the Egyptian delegation. The summit was chaired by South Korean President H.E. Yoon Suk Yeol and President Mohamed Ould Ghazouani, President of the Islamic Republic of Mauritania, with the participation of 48 African countries represented by heads of state and government.

At the outset of her speech, the Minister of International Cooperation conveyed the greetings of H.E. President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi, President of the Arab Republic of Egypt, to the participating leaders and dignitaries at the summit. Dr. Al-Mashat also extended sincere thanks to the government of the Republic of Korea for the warm reception and congratulated them on the successful organization of this summit, which the Arab Republic of Egypt welcomes as an important step towards enhancing Korean-African cooperation.

The Minister of International Cooperation explained that the relations between Egypt and South Korea are an exemplary model of strength and durability in bilateral ties that extend over time. South Korea has played a prominent role in implementing numerous successful projects in Egypt, particularly after the Korean government classified Egypt as a priority partner in development cooperation and injected additional diverse funding to enhance economic, developmental, and investment cooperation between the two countries. The total economic cooperation portfolio between the two countries has reached $1.3 billion dollars, affirming Egypt's aspirations to explore new horizons to expand and enhance our strategic partnership, contributing to achieving progress and shared prosperity for our peoples.

The Minister of International Cooperation noted that the first Korean-African Summit comes at a crucial juncture in African affairs, both in terms of achievements made and challenges faced by the continent. While the continent has taken significant steps towards activating the African Continental Free Trade Area and completing the first ten-year plan for implementing the 2063 Development Agenda during the current year, focusing on accelerating the implementation rates of the continent's strategic vision to address development priorities, it still faces numerous political and security challenges such as internal conflicts, terrorism, illegal migration, as well as economic and developmental challenges, notably the impacts of the Russian-Ukrainian war on its economies, climate change repercussions, desertification, and water scarcity affecting food and economic security in many African countries.

Dr. Al-Mashat emphasized that Egypt is keen on playing a pivotal role in addressing the challenges facing the African continent on various fronts, whether economic and trade-related, or political and security-related, particularly concerning the axis of achieving development, stability, and reconstruction. This is reflected in the policies pursued by Egypt under the leadership of H.E.President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi, who chairs the Committee of Heads of State and Government of the African Union Development Agency (AUD-AEPAD) and leads the dossier of reconstruction in the African continent.

The Minister affirmed Egypt's interest in economic cooperation among Southern countries in general, and Africa in particular, based on a strong belief that countries with similar economic and social conditions are better equipped to enhance cooperation by sharing successful policies and practices proven effective in facing challenges, foremost among them climate change and its repercussions, and the decline of arable land. This underscores the necessity of working together to support mechanisms of cooperation to achieve food security, provide modern irrigation and agricultural technology, which is considered a vital area for joint cooperation between the Korean and African sides.

H.E. pointed out that the Egyptian government is determined to continue exchanging experiences with African countries in the field of infrastructure through the private sector. Egypt has been engaged in a pioneering development experience in building modern infrastructure over the past eight years. The most prominent example in this regard is the Julius Nyerere Hydropower Station in Tanzania, which serves as a model for African countries' cooperation in the development field and is being implemented with Egyptian and Tanzanian hands.

In addition to expanding the establishment of programs and workshops for high-level African officials and executives, aimed at exchanging knowledge and expertise among African countries in vital areas such as policy formulation and economic strategies geared towards green transformation and enhancing innovation of technologies to combat climate change.

South-South Cooperation

Dr. Al-Mashat emphasized that South-South cooperation serves as a broad framework for collaboration among developing countries in various economic, social, cultural, environmental, and technological fields. It reflects the ability and aspiration of developing countries to move beyond the traditional pattern of receiving official development assistance from advanced countries. However, it does not serve as a substitute for North-South cooperation but rather complements it, which is essential to bridge the technological and knowledge gap between North and South countries.

The Minister highlighted that international partnerships, whether among South-South countries or through triangular cooperation between South and North countries, are among the most important mechanisms for global economic recovery, particularly within the context of the global shift towards green recovery.

In her speech, Dr. Al-Mashat addressed the efforts of the Ministry of International Cooperation through its partnership with NEPAD in launching the "Strategy for Cooperation between South Countries and Triangular Cooperation to Enhance Economic Integration" in May 2023 on the sidelines of the annual meetings of the African Development Bank.

In her speech, the Minister of International Cooperation emphasized Egypt's commitment to the following within the framework of the Korean-African partnership:

Firstly: The importance of supporting the efforts of the African continent in implementing the

Second Ten-Year Plan and achieving the goals of the African Union's Agenda 2063, enhancing resource mobilization efforts to achieve comprehensive development in Africa, and supporting the African Union Development Agency - NEPAD in assisting African countries in achieving development and enhancing cooperation in priority areas on the African continent.

Secondly: Collaboration to find new and non-traditional financing resources amidst the ongoing global economic crisis affecting development efforts, as well as working towards comprehensive reform of the global financial system to assist developing countries in bridging the financing gap and meeting their needs for sustainable development, seeking solutions to the accumulated debt crisis in Africa, enabling the continent to regain economic momentum, including debt-for-development and green transformation programs.

Third: Supporting financing for developmental projects on the continent, and the importance of continuing to develop infrastructure projects in Africa as the main driver towards achieving economic and trade continental integration, benefiting from the activation of the African Continental Free Trade Area Agreement to boost intra-African trade. In this context, there is a look forward to designing more knowledge-sharing programs between Korea and African countries for their positive impact on enhancing technical capacities of recipient countries' employees for these programs.

Fourth: The importance of supporting the health sector on the continent and devising mechanisms for collective action to improve access to vaccines and achieve health security in Africa, working on localizing medical industries in Africa and stimulating research fields.

Fifth: Creating the necessary climate to attract more investments in Africa to achieve economic and social development and provide sustainable employment opportunities, and working on increasing growth rates in African countries.

Sixth: Regarding peace and security issues, it is imperative to work on enhancing and activating the link between peace and development and supporting the African Union Reconstruction Center, with the necessity of containing any negative effects resulting from tensions and international conflicts on the African continent, and mitigating the negative economic impacts, including inflation rates and rising prices in the energy sector and the negative effects on the food security system.

Seventh: Providing support for continental centers of expertise and excellence to assist African countries in overcoming relevant obstacles related to combating terrorism and the expansion of extremist groups.

Eight: Working on transferring modern technology to the continent, especially in advanced industries, transitioning to clean energy, space sciences, and addressing the impacts of climate change, which have security, economic, and social repercussions, and developing the education system in African countries.

Lastly: The importance of providing a mechanism for monitoring the implementation of summit outcomes, as well as providing the necessary resources to implement priority outputs for both parties.