Egypt’s President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi headed on Monday to Tanzania as part of a four-day tour to four African countries, also including Rwanda, Gabon, and Chad, as part of Egypt’s keenness on boosting its relations with the other African countries, according to a statement from the presidency.
Al-Sisi is to hold bilateral discussion meetings with leaders and officials in the four countries in order to discuss bilateral cooperation, combat the challenges that the continent faces, and discuss the updates of the regional issues of common interest, especially issues related to security and peace in the continent in light of Egypt’s membership in the UN Security Council, the statement read.
One of the top issues on Al-Sisi’s agenda is the issue of the River Nile Basin and Egypt’s historic share of the Nile waters, amid diplomatic tensions between Egypt and Ethiopia after the beginning of construction of the GERD dam in April 2011. However, Egypt has expressed concerns that the dam could negatively affect Egypt’s share of the Nile.
Meanwhile, Minister of Water Resources and Irrigation Mohamed Abdel Aty told state-owned Al-Ahram that Al-Sisi’s visit comes as a proof of Egypt’s keenness on boosting relations with the African countries. Abdel Aty added that cooperation between Egypt, Tanzania, and Rwanda includes a great regional navigational project.
Abdel Aty added that the project of linking the Mediterranean Sea with Victoria Lake is considered as one of the promising regional projects, which will link the Nile Basin countries with the Mediterranean Sea, and will improve trade between these countries.
Regarding bilateral cooperation between Egypt and Tanzania, in 2009, Egypt dug 30 wells in the Nile Basin country, in addition to the second round of the project, which included 70 wells. In December 2016, Egypt’s Minister of Water Resources and Irrigation Mohamed Abdel Aty visited Tanzania to discuss boosting the bilateral cooperation between the two countries.
In July 2016, President Al-Sisi visited Rwanda to attend the African summit. Egypt also received several Rwandan ministers to attend regional and bilateral meetings.
Regarding bilateral relations between Egypt and Chad, in December 2014, Egypt and Chad signed a memorandum of understanding, in which Chad would receive Egyptian medical missions and Egypt would receive the patients from Chad in its hospitals, in addition to holding trainings for Chadian medical staff.
Then-Egyptian Prime Minister Ibrahim Mahlab and the Chadian President witnessed the signing of the medical protocol, and the Chadian president expressed his hope to benefit from Egyptian expertise in all fields, especially in cultivation and establishing farms for agricultural products, as well as sending Egyptian teachers to teach in Chadian schools.
Cooperation between Egypt and Chad reached its height in December 2014, when Al-Sisi received his Chadian counterpart, Idriss Déby, in Cairo, asserting that Egypt is keen on helping to train Chadian calipers in accordance with Chad’s needs and priorities, through Al-Azhar or the Egyptian Agency of Partnership for Development (EAPD).
In February 2016, Gabonese President Ali Bongo Ondimba visited Egypt, saying that his country is interested in Egyptian investments in all fields.