Egypt’s southernmost governorate of Aswan recenlty hosted the Africa Day celebration, which was held to commemorate 60 years on the establishment of the African Union (AU), formerly known as the Organisation of African Unity.
Aswan Governor Ashraf Attiya received a high-level diplomatic delegation of the Cairo ambassadors of 18 African, as well as the head of the permanent delegation of the African Union to the Arab League, Abdel Hamid Bouzaher.
Governor Attiya highlighted Egypt’s role in supporting and advocating the efforts of African countries to achieve economic development. Among them, Mr Attiya pointed out, are projects that start at Aswan and go on to link Egypt and Africa, prominently in the fields of transport and power; he especially mentioned the power lines between Egypt and the COMESA (Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa) countries.
Mr Attiya spotlighted the global logistics zone currently being established in Karkar, south of Aswan. The logistics zone, he said, spreads over some 600 feddans of land (1 feddan = 4,200 sq.m), with investments of some EGP1.8 billion. It is expected to become a commercial and touristic hub that connects Egypt with COMESA countries. Aswan Governor said that the new logistics centre will include commercial, industrial, agricultural and investment services that should integrate with the medical convoys departing from the Aswan University and the Arab Academy for Science Technology and Maritime Transport towards African countries.
Mr Attiya also highlighted Aswan’s momentous efforts in receiving incoming Sudanese refugees fleeing the devastating war in Sudan through the ports of Qastal and Arqeen.
For his part, Cameroon Ambassador to Cairo, Mohamadou Labarang, who is also dean of the African ambassadors to Egypt, thanked on behalf of the African delegation President Sisi and Aswan Governor for the role Egypt plays. He especially paid tribute to the warm welcome the African ambassadors received in Aswan. Mr Labarang said that Aswan was chosen to host the Africa Day celebration because Aswan is the natural link between Egypt and Africa. He pointed out that during Egypt’s presidency of the AU, President Sisi played a pivotal role to open up towards Africa.
The celebration closed with Aswan Governor offering Aswan shields to the African Ambassadors, with aspirations to visit new fronts of cooperation. Mr Labarang offered Governor Attiya the AU shield.
During their stay in Aswan, the African delegation was given a tour of Aswan’s landmarks including the High Dam and the African Cultural Centre, previously known as the Nile Museum, an outstanding tribute to Africa and the Nile.