EGYPTIAN President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi says Africa is a continent of promising opportunities.
Addressing the UN General Assembly in New York on Tuesday, he said respecting the principle of national ownership of solutions to national problems was imperative to ensuring the effectiveness of the multilateral system.
President Al-Sisi said Egypt as the current African Union chair was working to consolidate the principle of “African solutions to African problems”.
“This aims to formulate a comprehensive approach, which lays the foundations for development through a continent-wide vision that is based on our common history, unity of destiny and confidence in our ability to achieve progress towards integration and uphold the interests of our peoples,” he said. “To this end, a new mechanism has been launched in Cairo, which will focus on post-conflict reconstruction, namely the African Union Center for Reconstruction and Development.”
President Al-Sisi said African countries were fully cognizant of the importance of formulating genuine and effective partnerships to address political and economic challenges they faced, gain access to knowledge and technology, develop African human resources and mobilise the necessary financing and political support.
He said those aspects were all essential to achieving the AU’s development agenda 2063.
President Al-Sisi called upon international, continental and regional financing institutions to assume their role in financing development in Africa under the most favourable terms.
“Indeed, Africa is a continent of promising opportunities, which could become a new engine of growth for the entire global economy, especially after launching the continental free trade area, strengthening regional integration arrangements, and developing an ambitious strategy for infrastructure,” he said. “I would like to refer in this regard to the recent initiative launched by Egypt to convene the first edition of the Aswan Forum on Sustainable Peace and Development, which is slated to be held in December this year. It will serve as a platform for dialogue between international and regional actors, including political leaders, financing institutions, civil society and the private sector, to implement international and regional initiatives and mechanisms targeting Africa.”
President Al-Sisi called for resolution of the Palestine crisis.
“The persistence of this issue, without a just solution based on international resolutions calling for the establishment of an independent Palestine state with East Jerusalem as its capital, does not only mean the continuation of the plight of the Palestinian people but it also entails the continued depletion of the resources of the peoples of the Middle East,” he said. “Arabs are open to the realization of a just and comprehensive peace, the Arab Peace Initiative is still on the table, and there remains an opportunity to begin a new phase in the Middle East. However, we are in need of bold decisions that restore the rights of the Palestinians and pave the way for a major change in the reality of this region, and I say this without exaggeration, the entire world. Such decisions would lead to the establishment of a security and economic system in the Middle East that is based on peace, security, cooperation and common interests.”
President Al-Sisi also called for ending the armed conflict in Libya.
“This conflict needs to be stopped. It is time to take a decisive stance to address the root causes of the Libyan crisis comprehensively,” said President Al-Sisi.