Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi received African Development Bank (AfDB) President Akinwumi Adesina during the “Africa 2016” forum held in Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt.
The Minister for International Cooperation, Sahar Nasr, attended the meeting, as did a number of Senior Bank officials.
President Sisi took the opportunity to welcome the participation of the AfDB President to the Africa 2016 conference, on the theme “Business for Africa, Egypt and the World”, praising the level of cooperation between Egypt and the Bank. He also said that he was looking forward to broadening the scope of this cooperation to the agriculture and food security sectors, in addition to support for small and medium-sized enterprises.
President Sisi also referred to the importance of following up on what was discussed during the recent visit to Cairo by a delegation of Executive Directors of the Bank on the possibility of the Bank providing finance for joint projects implemented by Egypt and other African countries. He also said that Egypt was ready to offer its expertise in various areas of development to these countries, with a view to relaunching economic and social development efforts in the African continent.
Adesina thanked Egypt for organising the Forum on investment in Africa, stressing that this was a reflection of the country’s pioneering role in the continent, and its willingness to relaunch the development process and efforts towards African integration. He hailed Egypt’s economic progress, noting in particular the economic reform measures taken by the Egyptian Government. He confirmed the desire of the Bank to support the Egyptian budget and several economic sectors.
The AfDB President praised the vision of the Egyptian President to empower young people and harness their energy. He added that it was the Bank’s intention to launch a youth employment initiative in Africa bringing with it funding to be made available for a number of projects for young people in Egypt.
Adesina also emphasised the multiple areas of cooperation between Egypt and the Bank with regard to the implementation of regional projects on the African continent, including the shipping link between Lake Victoria and the Mediterranean, a project of great importance for the promotion of regional integration and the growth of trade between African countries. He highlighted the importance of completing the feasibility studies for the project in preparation for commencing its implementation. He also took the opportunity to underline the importance of studying a number of joint projects between Egypt, Sudan and Ethiopia, in particular in different areas of transport to increase links between the three countries and facilitate the movement of people and goods.
The meeting also covered ways to develop the agricultural sector in Egypt, an area where the AfDB President was impressed by president Sisi’s vision for the project to improve one and half million acres of land which, while having an economic impact, would be aimed at creating an integrated urban environment providing new job opportunities.