Egypt: SA, Egypt Strengthen Relations

10 December 2019

President Cyril Ramaphosa is on an official working visit to Egypt.

While in Egypt, President Ramaphosa will participate in the inaugural session of the "Aswan Forum for Sustainable Peace and Development" on 11 December 2019 in Aswan.

South Africa and Egypt enjoy cordial bilateral relations underpinned by strong historical and fraternal bonds dating back to the era of the liberation struggle. South Africa considers Egypt a strategic partner which supported the liberation struggle.

Egypt is the largest export market for South African goods and services in North Africa.

It is also the only country in that region from where there is a direct flight to South Africa through the Egyptian national carrier, Egypt Air, which has a code-sharing agreement with South African Airways.

Economic relations between South Africa and Egypt have strengthened steadily since the establishment of formal diplomatic relations in April 1994. Trade data indicates that bilateral trade flow between South Africa and Egypt over a 5-year period (2014 - 2018) has been on a growth trajectory throughout this period.

The official visit will provide President Ramaphosa an opportunity to engage with President Fatah El-Sisi on further strengthening and deepening the good bilateral political and economic relations between South Africa and Egypt. The two leaders will also explore new possible areas of economic, trade and investment cooperation in sectors such as infrastructure, manufacturing and agro-processing.

In addition, the official visit will provide an opportunity for the two Heads of State to enhance strategic cooperation on the continent in order to amplify Africa's voice and the call for the reform of the institutions of global governance, especially the United Nations Security Council.

Furthermore, the two leaders will exchange views on continental issues relating to peace, stability, security and continental integration and development in order to advance the African Union's Agenda 2063.

President Ramaphosa will take over as Chair of the African Union in 2020 from President El-Sisi.

South Africa has prioritised regional and continental peace, stability, security, integration and development, which will contribute towards the African Union's stated goals of silencing the guns by 2020.

President Ramaphosa will then travel to Aswan where he will participate in the Inaugural Session of the "Aswan Forum for Sustainable Peace and Development.

The Forum is being held under the theme: "An Agenda for Sustainable Peace, Security and Development". The Forum will host African and world leaders, policymakers; regional and international business, civil society and academia to exchange views on challenges to peace, security and development as well as opportunities.

The President will be accompanied by the Ministers of International Relations and Cooperation, Naledi Pandor, Defence and Military Veterans, Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula, Trade and Industry Minister Ebrahim Patel, State Security Minister Ayanda Dlodlo and Tourism Minister Mmamoloko Kubayi-Ngubane.

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