April 15, 2019
On Monday Admiral Mohab Mameesh, Chairman of the Suez Canal Authority and the General Authority of the Canal, met a high-ranking delegation of ambassadors from 20 African countries, accompanied by representatives of the diplomatic team of the different embassies in Cairo. The delegation was under the chairmanship of Ambassador Mamadou Lebrange, Ambassador of the State of Cameroon, Dean of the African Diplomatic Corps, and Ambassador Maher Al-Adawi, Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs, and in the presence of a number of leaders of the Authority. The meeting was held in order to strengthen the bonds of mutual cooperation and to get acquainted with the latest developments in the Suez Canal Economic Zone. It was held at the Aurhority’s Simulation and Maritime Training Center in Ismailia.
A statement by the Suez Canal Authority stated that the delegation is comprised of ambassadors from Cameroon, Mozambique, Sierra Leone, Tanzania, Ethiopia, Zambia, Rwanda, Namibia, Gabon, Congo and ten other African countries.
At the beginning of the meeting, the Admiral welcomed the delegation and stressed his happiness and pride in belonging to the African continent. He also praised the special relations with the African countries, as Egypt and Africa join together in the unity of geography and common interests. He stressed that Egypt will continue to be an extension of the Continent and its beating heart. The Admiral hopes that Egypt’s efforts during its presidency of the African Union will lead to further cooperation in all fields, especially with the recent development in Africa.
The Chairman of the Authority stressed that maintaining the leading position of the Suez Canal, which absorbs 10% of the volume of world trade, was the main motive behind President Abdel Fattah Al Sisi’s support for the new Suez Canal project. The project also gained the support of the Egyptian people to finance the project in an inspirational national movement. The Suez Canal Project was a serious step to support the national economy through integration with a large scale project for the development of the canal area and the Suez Canal through the Belt and Road initiative. The initiative aims to serve the trade movement between South East Asia and Europe and help the Suez Canal remain the most economic, fastest and the safest channel.
Admiral Mohab stressed that the Suez Canal Economic Zone is a new platform provided by the Egypt to serve the world trade movement, and deepen cooperative ties with partners. This will be done by providing integrated industrial and logistic services, and applying the concept of value added and logistic distribution to goods transported through the Suez Canal, which exceed one billion tons annually.
Mameesh noted that Egypt under the leadership of President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, has achieved great success in infrastructure projects during the past period by establishing a number of large scale national projects, including the Suez Canal Development Project. The project includes six ports, industrial and logistic zones surrounded by new urban communities such as the New city of Ismailia, supported by the new tunnels under the Suez Canal as well as a number of floating bridges. All of which contribute to the development of Sinai and link it to the homeland to tackle terrorism with reconstruction and development.
The Chairman of the Authority reviewed the development plan of the Suez Canal Economic Zone, explaining the most prominent industries available, highlighting the investment incentives and facilities provided by the region to all investors.
For his part, Ambassador Mamadou Labrange, Ambassador of the State of Cameroon, Dean of the African Diplomatic Service, paid tribute to the Egyptian leadership and the Egyptian people for the large scale national projects witnessed by Egypt in the current period. He stressed that the completion of the project of the new Suez Canal Project in one year is something worth praise but an achievement of such scale is not new to the Egyptian people. The Dean pointed out the importance of the visit in the desire of the ambassadors of African countries to get acquainted with the development projects in the canal area and to see the positive impact of the new Suez Canal project. He states that the Canal serves the international trade movement and the Egyptian development efforts in the fields of infrastructure, which is a great example throughout the African continent inspired by the Egyptian experience of determination, teamwork and conscious leadership.
The Admiral then gave the new Suez Canal shield to Ambassador Mamadou Labrange, Ambassador of the State of Cameroon, Dean of the African Diplomatic Service, and Ambassador Maher Al-Adawi, Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs.
Mameesh accompanied the guests in a tour of the Suez Canal to see the achievements on the ground. They tour included a cruise in the New Suez Canal and an inspection of the tunnel site below the Suez Canal. Later they visited a fish farming project at El-Qantara el-Sharqiya.
Ambassador Mamadou Labrange expressed his confidence in the ability of President Abdel-Fattah Al-Sisi to lead the African Union at this serious stage. He praised the Egyptian President’s keenness to communicate with the African leaders through the exchange of official visits to a number of African countries, which assures that the new Egyptian vision is interested in the issues of the African Continent. Ambassador Mamadou Labrange hopes that President Abdel-Fattah Al-Sisi efforts to promote development in Egypt and Africa will succeed.
During the visit, the audience listened to a presentation on the Suez Canal project and the development project in the canal area, which included watching a series of documentaries that tell the history of the channel and explain its leading position in the service of the global trade movement.