HE. Mr. Ahmed Elfadly and Mrs. Habiba Abdelrazekof Egypt welcomed Minister Ronny Lamula to The House of Egypt on the 20 July 2023 to join in the celebrations of the 71st National Day of the Arab Republic of Egypt of the 1952 revolution.
H.E Mr. Elfadly welcomed High Commissioner’s, Ambassadors, Dean of the Diplomatic Corp, religious leaders, business executives, members of the military and diplomatic corps, international and regional organizations, members of the South African government, the South African business and cultural community and fellow Egyptians.
Some may wonder why does Egypt celebrate this particular revolution as there were 5 multiple revolutions preceeding and succeeding it throughout the countries 7000 years of history. The 1952 revolution lead by the late president Gamal Abdel Nasser was a major catalyst in asserting the Arab identity of Egypt then enhancing her African identity in the 1950’s while leading a policy of non alignment amidst a cold war as of the 1960’s. In this context Egypt was a leading force behind the PAN Arab and African and non aligned movements supporting liberation movements throughout the Arab world and African continent.
As Egypt embarks on establishing a new republic of Egypt under the leadership of President El-Sisi, they are firmly reaserting their African identity consequently they are witnessing a renaisance of Egypts relations with her African brothers and sisters particularly in the areas of peace and security, economic integration and development assistance. The extensive diplomatic Egyptian presence in Africa has helped facilitate this recent renaisance, in several capitals Egypt is often the sole Arab and whole African voice by virtue of its extensive diplomatic representation.
H.E. Mr Elfadly stated “In this spirit agenda 2063 remains central to our common vision for the Africa we want ”
Integrating the continent is key in achieving this.
President Adbel Fattah El-Sisi and President Cyril Ramaphosa see eye to eye on many continental challenges and opportunities, testimony to that is the smooth transition of the chairmanship of the African Union from Egypt to South Africa in February 2020. Then South Africa supported Egypts membership and the new development bank of BRICS and hopefully beyond.
The Cape to Cairo road is another case in point as the development project is championed by President Ramaphosa and strongly supported by President El-Sisi. It connects 9 countries amounting to one third of the continents population it is therefore a rare opportunity to redefy Africa according to its own interests accelerating economic integration while boosting trade, investment and tourism and bringing Africans closer together
President Ramaphosa and President El-Sisi worked together to formulate the African leaders East initiative with four other African leaders of Congo, Uganda , Zambia and Sengegal as well as the African Union President bringing as President Ramaphosa said ” an African perspective and a peace process to the liberations that are underway in various parts of the world and within different formations of nations on how to address the conflict in Ukraine and Russia ”
Egypt continues to play an instrumental role in peace keeping operations in the world, particularly in Africa. Deploying more than thirty thousand uniformed peace keepers to 38 UN operations in 24 countries over the past 60 years to protect civilians and rebuild peace despite numerous problems. This year Egypt became the 6th largest troop to UN peace keeping missions with more than 2800 men and women deployed.
In the words of Madiba ” after a climbing a great hill one only finds that there are many more hills to climb ”
Some hills that have been climbed with the bilateral relations between Egypt and South Africa over the past year where trade and investment have been at the core of these developments. Egypt intends to trebble their exports to Africa by 2025 from approximately 5 Billion to 15 Billion dollars, like wise Egypt is the largest export market for South African goods and services in North Africa. Despite global challenges the volume of trade between both countries has increased 61% in 2021 and exports to South Africa increased by 10 % over the last year.
A memorandum of understanding on anti monopoly Co operation was signed last August in Johannesburg between the Egyptian competion authority and competition commission of South Africa.
Last December the Vodacom group completed its acquisition for the controlling 55% stake in Vodacom Egypt to 48 Billion Rands. This transaction furthers the groups ambition of becoming one of Africa’s leading networks.
Egypt announced more than a year ago that South African nationals are eligible to obtain a visa upon arrival. Ever since Egypt air flights have been flying 4 times a week between Cairo and Johannesburg.
Minister Lamula congregated H.E. Elfadly on this momentous occasion and commented on how the continent has achieved significant strides towards achieving its goals. The African continental free trade area agreement clearly indicates South Africa’s commitment to an integrated continental economical area agenda 2063.
Minister Lemula said ” The Africa we want is a testament of aspiration for a better future ”
South Africa has been at the forefront of promoting peace and stability and will continue to do so.
The hope is that the relationships between both countries will be sustained and extended.
Guests enjoyed a performance by the SAPS police band while tasting freshly prepared Egyptian food.
Happy National Day Egypt!
by Marion Kate