Sudanese president Omar al-Bashir reveals that an economic free zone will be developed between the two Nile basin countries in a bid to improve cooperation and tackle growing food security concerns

  • Free trade zone between Egypt – Sudan
  • Egyptian-African cooperation on the agenda

African leaders from Somalia, Mali, Ethiopia and Tanzania also spoke at the Economic development conference as Egypt looks to improve its economic relationship with Africa.

Gateway to Africa

Tanzanian president, Jakaya Kikwete hailed Al-Sisi’s efforts and further committed his country’s cooperation with Egypt across a number of sectors. “We [Tanzania] and Egypt already work together across a number of sectors including, defense, ICT, water and healthcare, and we plan to continue,” said Kikwete.

Ethiopian president, Mulatu Teshome, also spoke as relations between the two countries continue to improve following a politically fueled dispute surrounding the Renaissance Dam.

Al-Sisi has been keen to improve relations between the two countries, which reached a low in 2013 when deposed President Mohamed al-Mursi was heard threatening to bomb Ethiopia over the dam.

Egyptians are concerned the 63-billion-cubic-metre dam will reduce the Nile River’s water flow through Sudan and Egypt. This would affect the capacity of Egypt’s dams, especially the Aswan High dam and threaten the country’s water security.

The capacity of the Grand Renaissance Dam is equivalent to about a year’s worth of water flow on the Nile. The dam will give Ethiopia a high degree of control over the river.

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