‘Egypt's President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi stressed the need for formulating a clear-cut political and strategic vision to streamline and harmonize the work of the pan-African organization and the plethora of African economic blocs’, Egypt's Presidential Spokesperson Bassam Rady said in a statement. This follows the mini coordinating summit between the African Union (AU) and the regional economic blocs, which President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi chaired in Niger on Monday.
Rady described the summit as a landmark for the history of the African continent’s integration efforts and structural reform process.
The convocation of the summit comes in line with Egypt’s stance in supporting efforts aiming at serving Africa’s development and prosperity, he said, the event focused on determining the future work and tasks of the AU and each and every one of the African regional economic blocs.
El-Sisi also affirmed, according to the spokesman, that this vision must be drawn up by the African nations solely through a continental mechanism that brings the AU together with the regional economic blocs and all other competent continental institutions and groupings.
'The president emphasized the vital role played by the regional economic blocs as a cornerstone of the joint regional integration project that aims at the establishment of an all-African economic group to press ahead with the continent’s development plans', Radi said.
The Egyptian Presidential Spokesperson pointed out that the summit witnessed the exchange of views regarding consolidated cohesion among and within the African blocs and the African Union through adopting a comprehensive and realistic action plan to push forward the African integration process and implementing the key principles and core objectives of 2063 Agenda for African development.
The president's comments came during a meeting on Monday between leaders of African countries and heads of major regional economic groups in the continent as part of the African Union's summit in Niger, calling on the international community to provide support for Africa.
In his capacity as the president of the AU for 2019, President El-Sisi announced on Sunday that the launch of the long-awaited-African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) has come into force to enhance the inter-African trade.
El-Sisi affirmed during the summit's opening ceremony that the agreement will reinforce African countries' negotiating position on the international stage.
Around 4,500 delegates and guests – including 32 heads of state and more than 100 ministers – attended the AU 12th summit in Niamey on 7-8 July.