Fri, 23 Oct 2020 - 12:49 GMT
President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi participates via video conference in the second Coordination Meeting of the African Union (AU) and the Regional Economic Communities (RECs) at the continental level.- press phto
CAIRO – 23 October 2020: At the conference of the second Coordination Meeting of the African Union (AU) and the Regional Economic Communities (RECs) at the continental level, President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi called for the need to coordinate regional integration efforts and advance the infrastructure and energy networks at the continental level amid the current crisis of coronavirus pandemic.
“The President affirmed the need to coordinate regional integration efforts and advance the infrastructure and energy networks at the continental level, in light of their importance in managing the movement of goods, services and individuals, strengthening communication channels, and transferring data and information in order to provide an environment conducive to achieving higher levels of productive and economic integration. The President affirmed that infrastructure, energy supplies and transportation are the basis of regional integration in Africa,” said Presidential spokesperson Bassam Radi in a statement on Thursday evening.
The summit discussed the challenges caused by the coronavirus pandemic on African countries, the efforts to develop continental and regional integration and means of strengthening joint African action in order to overcome the current circumstances, especially by supporting public health capacities, facing epidemics in Africa, and sharing lessons learned and best practices in containing the pandemic.
During the summit, the President welcomed the effort made to follow up the results of the first Coordination Meeting chaired by his Excellency in July 2019 in Niger, foremost of which is sharing the work between the African Union and the Regional Economic Communities. The President further highlighted strengthening the institutional, financial and administrative reform efforts within the framework of the African Union Commission.
The President also stressed the importance of achieving harmony in the performance of African Regional Communities to implement the continental integration agenda in a balanced manner.
Also, President El-Sisi shed light on the need to continue negotiations on the Continental Free Trade Agreement in a serious manner. These negotiations aim to fully activate the agreement in order to realize the common African dream: promoting economic integration, considering that this project is a fundamental axis for achieving the rest of the continental economic integration goals. His Excellency also emphasized the importance of maximizing the central and leading role of the African Union Development Agency (NEPAD) in mobilizing the financial resources that would enable the implementation of the pioneering continental projects of Africa 2063 Development Agenda.
The developments of the various initiatives on continental integration were discussed in the summit. Moreover, proposals for dividing work among the African Union, Regional Economic Communities and member states were showcased. Among the topics that have been presented during the meeting are: the current situation of the spread of the novel coronavirus in various regions of the continent, the efforts of the African Union to mobilize resources to confront this crisis, and the contributions of African countries in this regard. It was noted that Egypt topped the list of the countries that contributed to mitigating the impacts of coronavirus through providing medical aid, laboratory equipment and technical expertise in support of African countries. Egypt has also made contributions to the Covid-19 Action Fund for Africa and the Africa Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (Africa CDC).