As of Wednesday, 15 February, Egypt has become president of the steering committee of the New Partnership for Africa’s Development Agency (NEPAD), as announced during a virtual meeting between Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi and Egyptian Presidential Spokesperson Ahmed Fahmy.
Rwanda’s President, Paul Kagame, has handed over the two-year presidency to al-Sisi in a video conference earlier in the week, enabling Egypt to govern the committee into 2025. The conference saw several African heads of state attend, according to Fahmy, as well as members of the steering committee.
As part of the African Union (AU), NEPAD is in charge of financing and developing programmes in favor of the Union’s sustainability goals. The NEPAD strategic framework was developed in 2001, with input taken from five initiating states: Algeria, Egypt, Nigeria, Senegal, and South Africa. The document was a reactive composition, made to adhere to a mandate by the Summit of the Organisation of African Unity (OAU), predecessor of the AU.
During his acceptance speech, al-Sisi was keen to review Egypt’s priorities as new president of the NEPAD steering committee. This included new and non-traditional financing resources, as a measure to mitigate Africa’s current continent-wide economic crisis. Additionally, he stressed the need to settle Africa’s debt crisis, in order to aid the continent’s economic recovery.
Al-Sisi outlined several measures and projects Egypt will pursue in order to achieve the goals of the African Development Agenda 2063. With a total of 69 projects, the implementation phase will extend from 2021 into 2030.
Cairo has also stressed the importance of contributing to infrastructure development, industrial transformation, and sharing African expertise across the board. In a similar vein, al-Sisi called for intensifying cooperation between global and international financial institutions in order ro facilitate sustainable development and reduce debt burdens.
Concluding, al-Sisi claimed to “look forward” to hearing proposals and suggestions from heads of state and the NEPAD, moving forward.