The two leaders held a one-on-one meeting at the Presidential Palace before they were joined by respective delegations for more extensive talks, according to a statement released by the Spokesman of the Egyptian Presidency Ahmed Fahmy.
The Egyptian president had arrived in Luanda on Tuesday night on the start of an African tour that will see two more stops in Zambia and Mozambique.
During the meetings, President El-Sisi stressed to Lourenço that Egypt is keen to maximise coordination and consultation with Angola on ways to strengthen joint African action mechanisms - on the institutional, political or development levels - in order to achieve growth and stability in the continent.
The two leaders also discussed a number of pertinent continental issues, including developments in the conflict in Sudan, noted Fahmy.
They also discussed ways to coordinate efforts in combating terrorism and extremist ideology in Africa, he added.
The Angolan president expressed to El-Sisi his appreciation for the “active role of the Egyptian president in addressing African issues, especially within the framework of efforts to advance development and maintain peace and security,” according to Fahmy.
President Lourenço stressed that Angola is keen on strengthening cooperation with Egypt to address many challenges facing the continent within the framework of the African Union.
The Egyptian and Angolan leaders also agreed on the need to reach a legally binding agreement in the dispute over the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) between Egypt, Sudan and Ethiopia – in line with international law and taking into account the concerns of all parties, according to Fahmy.
Bolstering economic cooperation
President El-Sisi also praised the pace of economic growth in Angola, stressing Cairo’s keenness on increasing the volume of trade exchange and investments between the two countries, as well as strengthening the role of the Egyptian business sector in the Angolan market, Fahmy noted.
For his part, the Angolan president praised historical and expansive relations between the two countries, saying Angola looks forward to bolstering economic and trade cooperation with Egypt, Fahmy added.
On this note, President Lourenço said Angola is keen on "benefiting from the broad Egyptian experience and capabilities in various fields, including infrastructure development, construction of new cities, pharmaceutical manufacturing, construction of bridge and road projects, and tourism."
Following the meeting, the two leaders witnessed the signing of two memorandums of understanding for cooperation between the two countries in the fields of security cooperation and utilization of groundwater, according to Fahmy.
Egypt and Angola: An old friendship
President El-Sisi's two-day visit to Angola is the first by an Egyptian head of state to the southern African country.
However, the strong relationship between Angola and Egypt dates back decades to the support of late President Gamal Abdel-Nasser to the Angolan liberation movement in the 1960s.
In 1965, the first regional office of the People's Movement for the Liberation of Angola (MPLA) was established in Cairo.
Following its independence, Angola opened an embassy in Cairo in 1976.
Egyptian-Angolan trade exchange witnessed a 13.1 percent increase in 2022 to a record $23 million, up from $20.4 million in 2021, according to the Central Agency for Public Mobilization and Statistics (CAPMAS).
Sisi to Zambia
President El-Sisi will travel from Angola to Zambia to participate in the 22nd Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA) Heads of State and Governments Summit, which will be held on Thursday in the Zambian capital of Lusaka.
The 22nd COMESA is set to discuss critical regional issues and explore avenues for collaboration on a continental level.
Zambia will assume the chairmanship of the bloc at the event.
As the chair of COMESA since 2021, Egypt has played a pivotal role in advancing regional integration on the continental level, particularly through the development of intra-regional trade in Africa.
President El-Sisi is expected to advocate for stronger economic integration between COMESA member states in Lusaka.
He will also advocate for the effective implementation of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) to boost economic growth and development across the continent.
Egypt-COMESA: Growing trade ties
The total volume of trade exchange between Egypt and the COMESA countries amounted to $4.2 billion in 2021, a whopping 100 percent increase over the $2 billion figure recorded in 2020, according to a recent report by Minister of Trade and Industry Ahmed Samir.
In 2021, Egypt exported $2.8 billion and imported $1.4 billion in goods within the bloc.
Egypt's trade with COMESA countries constituted 22.5 percent of the total intra-bloc trade volume in 2021, according to Samir.