Egypt spares no efforts to help African countries counter COVID-19 impacts: Foreign minister

Ahram Online , MENA , Tuesday 7 Dec 2021

Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry stressed that Egypt will spare no efforts to support African countries in overcoming the impacts of the coronavirus and realise the aspirations of their peoples for a better future.

Sameh Shoukry
Egypt s Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry speaks during the 7th Dakar International Forum on Peace and Security in Senegal, 6 December 2021. Egyptian Ministry of Foreign Affairs

The minister’s remarks came on Monday during the 7th edition of the Dakar International Forum on Peace and Security, which aims to discuss stability in a post-COVID-world, specifically in Africa, Ministry of Foreign Affairs Spokesman Ahmed Hafez said.

The minister explained that the pandemic hindered efforts to achieve peace and stability in Africa and contributed to deteriorating human crises to the extent that negatively affected all political, security, social, and economic domains.

Shoukry called for developing a common vision to address deficiencies related to medical infrastructure in Africa and achieve a quick economic boom to restore pre-pandemic economic growth rates.

The minister also underlined the need to eradicate the causes of terrorism and armed conflicts in Africa, Hafez added.

In September, Egypt’s President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi called for debt relief for developing countries, especially African and middle-income states, in light of the economic repercussions of the pandemic.

In a recorded speech to the 76th session of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA), El-Sisi also called for a quick and effective response to the needs of the African continent regarding coronavirus vaccines, saying Africa has become the most affected by the coronavirus.

The Egyptian president added that Egypt has also been keen to localise coronavirus vaccine manufacturing to meet the needs of its citizens as well as for export to Africa, which according to the World Health Organisation has only 7.5 percent of its population fully vaccinated so far.

The annual Dakar forum will run till Tuesday 7 December under the theme ‘The Challenges of Stability and Emergence in Africa in a post-COVID-19 World.’

The forum is held under the auspices of Senegalese President Macky Sall and with the participation of a number of ministers and key officials from around the world.

Representatives of regional and international organisations and partners are also in attendance.

The Dakar forum was first held in 2014, a year after it was launched during France’s Élysée Summit, to gather decision makers in Africa as well as African heads of states, international partners, and advocators of peace and security.

The forum seeks to contribute to fostering peace and security in the African continent through improved understanding of relevant challenges and dialogue among parties.

Meeting with President Sall

On the sidelines of the meeting, Shoukry met on the same day with Senegalese President Sall and handed him a message from El-Sisi.

The message stressed El-Sisi’s keenness to boost Egyptian-Senegalese relations as well as address issues and topics of mutual concern and ways to enhance coordination between the two countries over the coming period, the foreign ministry said.

Shoukry also congratulated Sall for being selected to chair the African Union (AU) next year.

In July, Sall pledged to encourage Egypt, Sudan, and Ethiopia to find a radical solution to the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) crisis, affirming that the matter will be at the top of the AU’s priorities in 2022, according to an Egyptian government statement.

In a meeting with Egypt’s Minister of Trade and Industry Nevine Gamea in Dakar, Sall noted that said radical solution should preserve the historic rights of the Egyptian people to the Nile River’s water, affirming that this is the right approach that all parties should adhere to.

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