Egypt, Sudan to boost cooperation in electrical connectivity, infrastructure, health sectors

Ahram Online , Saturday 15 Aug 2020

Egypt's PM reiterated that Cairo backs the transitional period in Sudan and supports the aspirations of Sudanese people to achieve prosperity, development and the goals of Sudan's 2018 Revolution

Egypt, Sudan
Egypt's Prime Minister Mostafa Mabdouly (left) during a joint press conference with his Sudanese counterpart Abdalla Hamdok (right) in Khartoum on Saturday (Photo courtesy of Egyptian Cabinet)

During his one-day visit to Khartoum, Egypt's Prime Minister Mostafa Madbouly discussed with his Sudanese counterpart Abdalla Hamdok on Saturday several issues of mutual interest, including electrical connectivity, infrastructure, and cooperation in the fields of health, education and trade.

A statement by the Egyptian cabinet said that the two prime ministers agreed during the talks on the importance of moving forward in increasing the capacity of the electrical connectivity project between the two countries from 70 megawatts to 300 megawatts.

It was agreed upon to abide by the timeframe set by the technicians to finish the necessary equipment for the Sudanese network, which the Egyptian side is working to provide, the statement said.

In April, Egypt and Sudan’s electricity grids were officially linked at a voltage of 220 KV, with operations beginning upon Khartoum’s request. At the time, the Egyptian cabinet said work was underway to install necessary equipment at Sudanese plants, which would then be followed with the second phase of the linkage, which would target supplying Sudan with a capacity of up to 300 megawatts instead of the first-phase capacity of 70 megawatts.

Saturday's statement by the cabinet said that cooperation in the field of health between the two countries was discussed by the two prime ministers.

The Sudanese side expressed appreciation for the good and close cooperation with Egypt, especially with the recent Egyptian assistance to confront the coronavirus pandemic, the cabinet statement noted.

In a separate statement by the Egyptian health ministry on Saturday, ministry spokesperson Khaled Megahed said that a shipment of aid was sent on Friday to Sudan under the directives of President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi, which included 21 tons of baby formula loaded on two military aircraft.

Megahed added that another shipment was sent on Saturday, accompanied by the ministerial delegation headed by Madbouly, which included 1,325 tons of essential children’s medicines as a gift from Egypt to support the health system in Sudan.

The spokesperson pointed out that a medical team comprising a number of medical consultants, pharmacists and lab specialists is scheduled to arrive in Sudan next Monday within the framework of El-Sisi's initiative to treat 1 million Africans from hepatitis C.

Along with the medical team, Megahed says, Egypt will send two PCR testing devices, a shipment of medicines that are enough to provide hepatitis C treatments to 150,000 people, in addition to 10,000 detectors for the virus.

The Egyptian medical team will stay in Khartoum for 15 days to provide diagnostic services and medical treatment for free at five vital medical centres in the Sudanese capital: Ibna Sina Hospital, the Police Medical Complex, Suba Medical Centre, Um Dorman Medical Centre, and El-Aliaa Medical Centre.

The Egyptian and Sudanese PMs also renewed their commitment to strengthening trade exchange, the cabinet statement said, and it was agreed upon to develop an action plan to overcome the obstacles that hinder the flow of commercial traffic, especially with regards to transport routes leading to land ports. 

In this regard, developing cooperation in the field of transport was discussed and it was agreed upon to restructure the Nile Valley Authority for River Navigation, which was established in 1975 as a joint Sudanese-Egyptian commission, so as to raise its competitiveness, develop its fleet, activate the permanent Sudanese-Egyptian joint technical committee, and call for a meeting of the committee in Sudan in the coming days, the cabinet statement said.

The two sides also discussed a project to link railways between the two countries in a way that would contribute to opening wider horizons for economic and commercial cooperation.

The statement added that Saturday's talks touched upon developing cooperation in the fields of maritime navigation and benefiting from the ports of the two countries on the Red Sea. The two sides also talked about updating the cooperation agreement on land transport signed between the two countries and adding necessary amendments in order to improve services, the statement noted.

The two premiers also tackled the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) issue and stressed the necessity of negotiations in order to reach a binding agreement on filling and operating it.

Madbouly arrived at the Sudanese capital earlier on Saturday for a one-day visit, where he was accompanied by the ministers of irrigation, electricity, heath, and industry and trade, as well as high-level officials from the transport and education ministries.

During a joint press conference, Madbouly reiterated on Saturday Egypt's backing of the transitional period in Sudan and its support for the aspirations of Sudanese people to realise prosperity and development and achieve the goals of the Sudanese Revolution of 2018.

Madbouly invited Hamdok to visit Cairo in order to build on the outcomes of today's visit and the Sudanese premier welcomed the invitation and promised to meet it as soon as possible, the statement said.

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