Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el Sisi grants an exclusive interview in the February 2016 edition of New African magazine.
Egypt will play host to over 800 high level delegates, including seven Heads of States and Government, as well as Africa’s top business leaders at the Africa 2016 Forum in Sharm el Sheikh from 20 to 21 February 2016.
This forum aims to highlight the African opportunity, accelerating private sector engagement and investment within Africa.
In the interview, President el Sisi highlights the strategic importance of Africa 2016 for his country.
“Egypt’s future lies in Africa. Our vision is deeply rooted in a strong belief in the need to build and strengthen investment and business ties with African countries.”
He further affirms that the launch of the Tripartite Free Trade Area (TFTA) between COMESA, EAC and SADC, the biggest free trade area on the continent that was launched in Egypt last June, demonstrates the commitment of Egypt to enhance intra-African trade and investment.
In this in-depth piece, el Sisi addresses candidly a wide range of issues. He is confident that Africa’s potential for investment is immense and that the difficulties that African countries face in attracting foreign direct investment can be overcome. “As well as other African countries” he says, “Egypt has already embarked on serious processes of regulatory reforms in order to stimulate investment in infrastructure sectors.” The Suez Canal, which was widened last year, is a great example of a mega-project that serves as a vital engine for economic growth and development, not only for Egypt but for the African continent.
Among the key factors of Africa’s development, President el Sisi stresses the necessity to develop trans-continental road networks and railways in order to strengthen intra-African business as well as the opportunities provided by the China-Africa relations.
Despite the post revolution instability in Egypt, El Sisi emphasises his confidence in the ability of the Egyptian people to overcome the challenges, considering the resilience they have shown over the last few years.
This interview reveals el Sisi’s views on the opportunities and threats to Africa development plans. He warns about the dangers of terrorism calling for greater collaboration but he is confident that the future is positive for Egypt and Africa as a whole.