On May 15, 2022, ECFA hosted a delegation of about 40 African media anchors, in coordination with the Egyptian Agency of Partnership for Development, which hosted the delegation; to discuss developments in the comprehensive development process that Egypt has been promoting for years, and its implications for cooperation opportunities with the countries of the continent, as well as the challenges of terrorism and efforts to counter it, as well as the Egyptian vision for water policies in Africa. The meeting was opened by Ambassador Dr. Mounir Zahran, ECFA Chairman, and attended by Ambassadors: Ezzat Saad, ECFA Director, Marwan Badr, Ali El-Hefny, Hisham Al-Zimaity, and Gilan Allam.
Ambassador Marwan Badr focused on the issue of the Nile waters, and the fairness of the Egyptian position towards it, refuting the allegations of some that Egypt seeks to monopolize the Nile waters, and that it prevents others from achieving development, indicating that Egypt has sought since the sixties of the last century to find a formula for joint cooperation among the Nile Basin countries through many initiatives, such as the Nile Basin Initiative… etc., as it is a final downstream country, it cannot control the water flows to any other country, and it receives the least percentage of the rainwater from which the river is formed by about 1.3 billion m3 only, and it supported the construction of many dams on the Nile River to achieve development for the relevant countries, and was even involved in the construction of some of them.
On his part, Ambassador Ali El-Hefny addressed the challenges of terrorism, means to counter it, and the development efforts that the Egyptian state witnessed for years, indicating that it waged a fierce war against terrorist organizations, adding that thanks to its victory in that war and the stability of the Egyptian interior, President El-Sisi called, during the Egyptian family breakfast ceremony on April 26, for holding a comprehensive political dialogue for all Egyptian political forces, without exception. This is in conjunction with the positive economic leaps that Egypt has achieved, which sought to address many of the imbalances in the administrative apparatus and the economic system of the state, which enabled it to confront and cope with the repercussions of the Covid-19 pandemic, as well as the effects of the Ukrainian crisis to a greater extent than before taking the economic reform measures.
In response to an inquiry about the claims of Western human rights organizations regarding women’s rights, work and persecution in Egypt, Ambassador El-Hefny replied that these organizations, which are Western in general, do not have today the arguments that existed in the past, but rather, Egyptian women have witnessed a golden age in the era of President El-Sisi, and obtained many privileges and rights, in addition, unemployment rates have decreased thanks to the mega-projects carried out by the state, in addition to the release of hundreds under the presidential amnesty mechanism, which has witnessed great activation over the past years.
On the other hand, the guests raised questions about the tasks and work of the Council, the extent of its communication with the Sudanese Council for Foreign Affairs, and the extent of its similarity with the work of the Egyptian Agency of Partnership for Development; while ECFA members answered their questions.