On February 10, Cairo will begin its presidency of the African Union (AU) during 2019, and this will be the beginning of a phase for different work on the level of the African continent’s countries. We will notice that Africa has been witnessing a strong Chinese presence for a while, leading to an American trot behind it trying to parallel with the Chinese presence and precede it!
It is not a secret that China is the first big country in the world to be able to see in this continent what other great countries could not. It did so early and with great skill. When the United States was alerted, it came late, but acted with the logic of “better late than never”.
It therefore seemed very strange that Washington decided to devise an integrated strategy to counter the Chinese tide in the continent, a strategy announced by US National Security Advisor John Bolton, who does not show anything as much as his hatred for Arabs and Muslims!
It is also no secret that the elegant Sudanese presidential palace, where President Omar al-Bashir lives, was built by the Chinese and presented as a gift to the government in Khartoum!
When this is the case in Sudan, it should not be considered a unique case in this direction. We should expect the Chinese government to initiate more in its dealing with other African capitals than it initiated in its relationship with Khartoum.
Africa is very rich in natural resources in particular, and Beijing is very clever in discovering and exploiting these resources.
From the meeting that President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi called for Saturday morning, it turns out that the Egyptian state sees for itself a different African movement this time. You can read and conclude this by looking at the names of the officials whom the president invited to meet!
It has always been the case that the Foreign Ministry is present at the beginning of every step regarding Africa. This is its work, and that is one of its tasks.
When the Ministry of Investment called for the “Africa 2018” conference in Sharm el-Sheikh last December in the presence of a number of African heads of states, the conference signaled that our steps on the continent were no longer political only, but instead had begun to combine politics, economy and money!
But the remarkable thing was that the ministers of higher education, culture, health and religious endowments were also invited to the presidential meeting. The meaning was that Culture Ministry, for example, is expected to have an African role, as well as the health, higher education and endowments ministries!
This indicates that we are entering the continent this time with another kind of realization. And this is a source for hope!