Cairo-Arab Republic of Egypt President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi in mid-March called on African journalists to raise the bar when it comes to reporting on African stories mostly dominated by negative news.
Addressing close to 40 journalists from 25 African countries during the official visit at the presidential palace of Ittihadia, Al-Sisi stressed the important role the African media plays, in raising awareness among the continent’s citizens.
African journalists that included senior managers of television and radio stations were in the country to participate in a workshop organised by the Egyptian Agency of Partnership for Development [EAPA].
“Egypt is adopting open policies towards all African countries, based on non-interference in these states’ internal affairs and respecting their sovereignty,” the Egyptian president stated. He further said Egypt is keen on supporting the comprehensive development of African countries and fostering the societal and economic development of the continent’s people, according to the statement.
Further, Al-Sisi said the cooperation between Egypt and the Nile Basin countries, such as Tanzania, Uganda, Burundi, Ethiopia, South Sudan and Egypt should be based on turning the Nile River to a tool for development and construction.
Also addressing the group at a different occasion, Egyptian Parliamentary Speaker Ali Abdel Aal stressed the importance of forging closer ties with all African countries. He said his country is naturally part of the African continent and boosting cooperation with the continent countries is of paramount importance to achieve the sustainable development goals that Africa’s people aspire to.
“Your presence here to today is proof that this country wants to work closely with the rest of the African countries,” he said. According to Abdel Aal, Egypt has also established a Committee for African Affairs under parliament. “The constitution underlines Egypt as belonging to Africa,” he said.
Additionally, he called on the media to play its roll in spreading a culture of peace in Africa. “Africa is a rich continent. This is why everyone wants to have a share in Africa. Africa is rich in mineral resource and it is a young continent, let us protect this continent,” he said.
Egyptian Minister of Foreign Affairs Dr Moustafa El-Feky shared the same sentiments, saying the continent is their motherland and remains the first priority. “Egypt has always had close relationship with almost all African countries,” he said.
On his part, President of the Egyptian Chamber of Media Dr Mohammed Aboul Enein urged African journalists to report the African perspective, saying Africa is one of the most under-reported continents.
He said the reason many African countries are poor is because their raw materials are being taken and later returned as finished products and this pattern denies many Africans job opportunities. He said Egypt is ready to help other African countries overcome challenges in agriculture, health and security, among others.
During their two-week stay in Egypt the group of journalist visited, among others, the Media Production City Studios and undertook cultural tours that included the pyramids, the national museum, the historical and religious complex in old Cairo and also Luxor, a city on the east bank of the Nile River in southern Egypt.