Ambassador Ali al-Hafny is a participant in the first forum under the China Belt and Road Initiative
Representating the Egyptian Council for Foreign Affairs (ECFA), H.E. Ambassador Ali El-Hefny took part in the First Forum of the Non-Governmental Organizations (NGO) Network, held in the period between the 19th and 28th of November 2017, held within the context of China’s Belt and Road Initiative. The forum was attended by some 199 NGO participants, including 104 NGO representatives from Foreign States and International Organizations, and 95 Chinese NGOs. During the Forum, Egypt was represented by: Sharaf Foundation for Sustainable Development, represented by H.E. Dr. Essam Sharaf, Egypt’s Former Prime Minister and Chairman of the Foundation; Egyptian Council for Foreign Affairs (ECFA), and Afro-Asian Peoples Solidarity Organization, represented by Mr. Essam El-Deen Ahmad Shiha, Secretary-General of the Organization and Member of Egypt’s El-Wafd Political Party. Amongst the Public Figures who participated were: Romania’s Former Prime Minister, Bulgaria’s Former Prime Minister and Spouse of Tanzania’s Former President Jakaya Mrisho Kikwete.
Four parallel sub-meetings for NGOs participating in the Forum were held, and during the third sub-meeting, I delivered a speech, in which I addressed the need for the African Continent to promote the concepts of “self-reliance” and “self-sufficiency” at all levels, be it Continental, State or Local Unit Level. Therefore, Civil Society Organizations’ role is important and complementary to State’s role, and cooperation among these organizations and their Chinese counterparts is very important.
– I have touched on how significant Egypt’s geographical location is, to the Marine Route of Silk Road, as it connects two continents (Africa & Asia), acts as a Hub for three continents, including (Europe), and a priority corridor for China, with 11 percent of International Trade and a large part of Chinese Commerce going through it. I pointed out the current and future growing importance of this corridor, in view of the diversified facilitations to be offered by Egypt to International Navigation, and the Mega-Projects being carried out along the Suez Canal Region in addition to the New Industrial Zones being established within the context of the development plan of this region, as well as the benefits to be gained by African States in East and South of the Continent as a result of such plan.