President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi kicks off Friday a visit to four countries in the Dark Continent, four months after Egypt assumed the chairmanship of the African Union.
Sisi seeks to enhance cooperation with African countries during his scheduled visits to Zambia, South Africa, Angola and the Democratic Republic of the Congo.
The Egyptian leader was elected chair of the 55-member pan- African body after Rwandan President Paul Kagame stepped aside in February.
Informed sources said that “Sisi will hold bilateral summits with the African leaders to discuss means for enhancing relations and joint cooperation.”
In South Africa’s Pretoria, Sisi plans to join 15 other leaders to attend the swearing-in ceremony of President Cyril Ramaphosa at the “Loftus” Stadium under the theme “Together We Celebrate Democracy: Renewal and Growth in the Service of Africa.”
Egypt’s State Information Services said in a report, published Thursday by MENA, that Sisi’s African tour sets the stage for wider and more advanced economic cooperation and for increasing the size of commercial exchange and investments between Cairo and Cape Town.
The report, prepared by the media office of the Egyptian embassy in Pretoria, said Egypt and South Africa have strong economic ties since 1994, when the Egyptian Foreign Ministry announced that full diplomatic relations would be resumed between the two countries following the April general elections in South Africa that year.
The two states have also signed several economic agreements and memorandums.
Meanwhile, Sisi on Thursday gave his directives to officials to continue developing the tourism sector through structural reforms in order to increase competitiveness.
The President met with Prime Minister Moustafa Madbouli and Tourism Minister Rania el Mashaat.
According to Presidential Spokesman Bassam Rady, the meeting discussed the restoration of Montaza district in Alexandria to revive tourism in the coastal city.