Development of Relations between Egypt and Angola
The political developments after the World War II, the emergence of liberation movements in the African continent in the 1950s and 1960s, and the escalation of conflicts between those movements on one hand and the colonial or racist governments on the other were all key international and regional factors that were clearly visible to the late President Gamal Abdel Nasser when he looked into Egypt’s foreign policy in his book the Philosophy of the Revolution. Nasser identified three circles that Egypt falls within: Arab, African, and Islamic. With regard to the African circle, Nasser stressed that "We cannot ignore what is going on in Africa and pretend that it does not touch or concern us".
Under the leadership of Nasser, Egypt's political orientation towards Africa was to support the issues of African national liberation and the struggle against colonialism and racism. Egypt had a prominent role in putting forward the diplomacy of national liberation since July 1952 revolution and continued throughout the 1960s, although some African countries remained under colonialism until the end of the Portuguese colonization in the mid-1970s after the Revolution in Portugal in April 1974, which overthrow the dictator Salazar and led to the liberation of Angola, Mozambique, Guinea-Bissau and Cape Verde. The independence of those countries represented the latest wave of African liberation that began in 1960.
In this context, the relations between Egypt and Angola were reinforced through the opening of the first regional office of the People's Movement for the Liberation of Angola (MPLA) in Cairo to support the Angolan liberation movements against Portuguese colonization. The relations were also enhanced in 1976 with the opening of the Angolan Embassy in Cairo.
For its part, the leadership of Angola expressed the Angolan people’s deep gratitude for Egypt's support for their country during the Portuguese colonization and the civil war in Angola that lasted over 27 years (1975-2002).
Egypt and Angola shared the same views relevant to international developments and issues. Also, the two countries cooperate at the regional level in many aspects among them the fight against terrorism and extremist ideologies. Besides, both countries support efforts to achieve sustainable development in the African continent.
At the political level, the Egyptian-Angolan relations are currently witnessing remarkable progress and development. There are also continued consultations and joint coordination at the level of the leaderships and officials of the two countries through the African Union Summits, other international forums and events and the frequent mutual visits.
During his visit to Addis Ababa to participate in the African Summit, President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi met with the Angolan President João Lourenço at his residence on 28/1/2018, where President Sisi stressed Egypt's interest in developing bilateral relations with Angola in all fields. He also confirmed Egypt’s keenness to continue cooperation with Angola in the field of capacity building through the training programs offered by the Egyptian Agency of Partnership for Development (EAPD) in various fields.
In the meeting, the Angolan President expressed his country's appreciation of the deep relations with Egypt and expressed his keeness to work with President Sisi through advancing and developing cooperation between the two countries in various fields, pointing out his aspiration to benefit from Egypt's experience and to enhance aspects of bilateral cooperation, especially in the fields of the fight against terrorism and the security cooperation.
In September 2017, President Sisi sent a congratulatory letter to the Angolan President João Lourenço after his election, in which he expressed Egypt's welcome for the democratic and peaceful elections in Angola, August 2017 and praised the high voter turnout.
Moreover, President Sisi expressed his sincere wishes for the success of the Angolan President in his endeavors to achieve the hopes of the brotherly Angolan people and stressed Egypt's interest in developing the solid bilateral relations between the two countries and coordinating in all international and regional issues, especially under the umbrella of the African Union.
Meetings between officials of the two countries also confirm the keenness of the two sides to support regional cooperation on African issues, especially with regard to means of achieving development in the African continent. Meanwhile, discussions between officials of the two countries emphasize that the two sides share the same vision on the importance of the development of the African continent and the peaceful resolution of disputes to give more attention to the development process. Also, the meetings of the Joint Committee between Egypt and Angola tackled means to activate aspects of bilateral cooperation between the two countries in all political, economic, commercial, social and sport fields. Besides, they dealt with ways to utilize the Egyptian expertise in the field of infrastructure in Angola through the private sector companies that constructed three power plants with the capacity of 150 MW in Luanda, the capital of Angola and in the city of Huambo.
Moreover, the meetings between the Egyptian and Angolan officials focus on exploring investment opportunities in Angola for Egyptian businessmen and shedding the light upon the government's efforts to strengthen the role of Egypt in Africa in all aspects in order to develop the Egyptian-Angolan economic relations on several levels, including the signing of cooperation agreements. It is projected that the two sides are going to develop mechanisms to boost relations between the Egyptian General Authority for Investment and its Angolan counterpart, and to cooperate regularly on exploring available investment opportunities and highlighting Egypt's efforts to transferring expertise and technical support to Angola.
The Foreign Minister of Angola Georges Chicoti visited Egypt on June 8, 2014, heading a delegation to attend the inauguration ceremony of President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi.
On February 25, 2017, the Angolan Foreign Minister Georges Chicoti visited Egypt to participate in the high-level meetings on the Great Lakes and discussed ways to develop bilateral relations in all fields.
On the sidelines of the preparatory meetings of the African Summit held in Addis Ababa on January 22 – 29, 2018, the Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry met with his Angolan counterpart Manuel Augusto on January 25, 2018, where the two Ministers discussed regional and African issues of common interest. The two sides also tackled coordination and cooperation between the two countries at the United Nations and the African Union, in addition to issue of the Angolan support for the Palestinian cause, and the importance of combating terrorism, which is one of the fiercest threats to the future of the African continent.
For his part, the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Angola expressed his country’s great appreciation to the Egyptian role, especially for Egypt's historic support to the independence and development of Angola and the importance of enhancing trade cooperation between the two countries.
On August 15, 2018, the Angolan Minister of Energy and Water João Baptista Borges visited Egypt to discuss means of boosting cooperation between the two countries in the field of electricity and renewable energy.
On December 13, 2018, the Angolan Minister of Trade Joffre Van-Dúnem Junior visited Egypt to attend the 7th African Trade Ministers Meeting, hosted by Egypt with the participation of 54 countries. During his participation, the Angolan Minister expressed his country's keenness to strengthen economic cooperation with Egypt, to build upon the distinguished political relations between the two countries and to interpret them into tangible commercial, industrial and investment projects serving the Egyptian and Angolan economies. Following his meeting with the Angolan Minister, the Egyptian Minister of Trade and Industry Amr Nassar announced the formation of an Egyptian-Angolan working group to identify areas of joint cooperation between Egypt and Angola and to start implementing a number of economic, commercial and industrial cooperation projects.
Besides, the Republic of Angola participated in the first African Intra-Trade Fair held in Cairo on December 13 -17, 2018 with a delegation headed by the Angolan Trade Minister. The IATF included over 100 exhibitors and businessmen, among them 22 Angolan companies that took advantage of the event to make contacts with companies from Egypt and other African countries. The Angolan Foreign Minister Manuel Augusto also visited Cairo, where he checked on the Pavilion of Angola and confirmed his country readiness to invest in African countries.
The Angolan Trade Minister Joffre Van-Dúnem Junior also participated in the Economic Forum "Africa 2018", held in Sharm El Sheikh on December 8 - 10, 2018.
On December 18, 2018, the Embassy of Egypt in Angola hosted the meeting of Ambassadors of African countries accredited to Luanda. The meeting looked into Egypt’s issues of interest in the African continent and tackled the promotion of Egyptian products in the Angolan market as well as the industrial and economic progress in Egypt.
The Deputy Foreign Minister for African Affairs Ambassador Hamdi Loza represented Egypt at the inauguration ceremony of the current Angolan President João Lourenço on September 26, 2017. The representation of Egypt in the inauguration ceremony was an affirmation of the solid historic relations between the two countries and an emphasis on the prominent role of Egypt on the African and international arenas.
Based on the aforementioned, the cooperation between Egypt and Angola, on the political level in particular, is characterized by understanding at the highest level and is envisaged to witness further progress in the coming period.
During Egypt's presidency of the African Union in 2019, Angola emphasized its interest in benefiting from Egypt's expertise and enhancing cooperation in several fields, as well as coordinating with Egypt on issues of the African continent, especially the development of intra-African trade and the fight against corruption, organized crimes and terrorism.
Furthermore, there is coordination and consultation between President Sisi and President Joao Lorenzo on all issues of mutual interest at the African level.
Angola is also keen to benefit from the Egyptian experience in achieving sustainable development, infrastructure development and means to diversify the economy.
Egypt and Angola are keen to enhance bilateral economic cooperation and to build upon the distinguished political relations between the two countries and interpret these relations into tangible commercial, industrial and investment projects serving the Egyptian and Angolan economies. Egypt supports its investments in Africa and endeavors to develop and address the continent's issues through brotherly and constructive communication and to put forward the economic development in Africa.
A number of Egyptian private sector companies carry out several projects in Angola, such as El-Sewedy Electric Company which implemented three 150 MW power plants using six portable turbines. There are two plants in Luanda, the capital of Angola and the third in the city of Huambo. El-Sewedy has been in Angola since October 2015 until now, as the company continues to operate and maintain the three power plants that are among the latest technology used in Angola.
There are great opportunities for cooperation between the two countries in the fields of electricity, infrastructure projects, information technology and fish farms, as well as in the field of oil industries, due to the need of Angola for oil refinery. Moreover, there are great opportunities for Egyptian exports in the Angolan market.
Angola is keen to bolster cooperation with Egypt in the oil sector which would contribute significantly to the achievement of sustainable development in the two countries.
Angola participated in the Intra- African Trade Fair held in Cairo in December 2018, where 24 Angolan exhibitors and 60 businessmen attended the Fair. Angola's participation in the African Intra-Trade Fair has witnessed a new phase of distinguished economic relations with Egypt.
The Angolan companies raised $ 450 million at the IATF-2018 as the result of the projects submitted by the Angolan companies and the agreements signed by the Angolan businessmen during the first ever intra- African trade fair. The Angolan delegation, led by the Minister of Trade, included over 100 participants, among them 22 companies that took advantage of the event to make contacts with their counterparts from Egypt and other African countries.
On the sidelines of the 7th African Trade Ministers Meeting closing ceremony, the Angolan Trade Minister Joffre Van-Dúnem Junior met with the then Minister of Trade and Industry Eng. Amr Nassar on December 13, 2018. Throughout the Meeting which was hosted by Egypt with the presence of 54 countries, the two sides stressed the need for all African countries to unite to create a leap in the field of industries to make use of the African resources and contribute to the export of manufactured goods instead of raw materials, contributing to the achievement of high growth rates for all African economies.
On 15/8/2018, Minister of Electricity and Renewable Energy Dr. Mohamed Shaker received Minister of Energy and Water of Angola João Baptista Borges and his accompanying delegation during their visit to Egypt, where the two sides discussed means of supporting and enhancing cooperation between the two countries in the field of electricity and renewable energy. A memorandum of understanding was signed between the two sides to bolster bilateral cooperation and to cover a number of fields including the provision of technical assistance by the Egyptian side to establish solar power plants with PV technology for remote villages using solar-diesel system to increase electricity supply. The memo also included the exchange of expertise, the provision of technical support in the fields of electricity and the generation, transportation and distribution of renewable energy and the preparation of feasibility studies for power plants projects, especially for renewable energy.
Moreover, the memorandum of understanding looked into the organization of administrative and technical programs as well as training courses in the fields of loss reduction, rationalization and efficiency of energy, the restructure of electricity price and means to support the Angola’s Regulatory Authority in the sector of electricity. The programs also included the fields of pre-paid meters and smart networks, in addition to the planning, design and implementation of projects in the fields of electricity and renewable energy production, the transfer and distribution of electricity and the operation and maintenance of power plants, in addition to mechanisms of the engagement of the private sector in renewable energy projects, as well as the encouragement of the Egyptian and Angolan private sector to manufacture high quality equipment and appliances and to implement electricity projects.
The volume of trade exchange between the two countries reached about $ 45 million, over half of which is Egyptian exports. This amount is expected to increase in light of the interest of Egyptian investors and companies to explore export opportunities in Angola. It is worth mentioning that there are Egyptian food commodities (food and beverages) in the Angolan market, which are imported through Lebanese traders in Angola or directly through some Egyptian companies trying to explore the promising Angolan market.
Furthermore, Egypt and Angola have signed a number of agreements and memoranda of understanding, as follows: two bilateral cooperation agreements in the cultural, scientific and technical fields, an executive protocol for technical cooperation, and two memoranda of understanding. The first memorandum was signed between the Angolan Ministry of Health and the Egyptian Fund for Technical Cooperation with Africa and the second was between the Ministries of Agriculture in both countries. In addition to a memorandum of understanding between the Egyptian and the Angolan Civil Aviation Authorities.
Several memoranda of understanding and agreements between the two countries are still under consideration and are expected to contribute to the development of cooperation in the field of investment and other economic fields.
There are also significant opportunities for Egyptian exports in the Angolan market. Recently, the Arab Contractors Company visited Angola to explore opportunities for implementing infrastructure projects. Also, there will be an emphasis on future cooperation on electricity sector, infrastructure projects, information technology and fisheries.
Egypt and Angola have significant cultural relations in many fields, and Egypt is keen to enhance cultural interactions between the Egyptian and Angolan peoples.
In this context, a number of activities have been carried out, such as the launch of Egypt Film Week on October 19, 2017 through the coordination between the Ministries of Culture of Egypt and Angola to introduce the history of the Egyptian cinema.
Besides, the participation and winning of the Egyptian football team in the African Cup of Nations, hosted by Angola in January 2010, had a significant impact on reinforcing and furthering sport and cultural relations between the two countries, as the Angolan TV broadcasted programs about Egypt, its ancient civilization and the most outstanding Egyptian tourism destinations.
Furthermore, a number of Angolan football players joined Egyptian teams, the most famous of them were the two well-known players in Al-Ahly club; Sebastião Gilberto and Amado Flavio, in addition to the football player Avelino. Currently, Giraldo plays in Al-Ahly team, restoring the memories of Angolan football players in Egyptian clubs.
The Egyptian fans started to realize Angolan players in 2001 when Al-Ahly Club was playing in the CAF Champions League against the Angolan football team Petro Atlético. They were impressed by the performance of the Angolan players Flavio Amado and Sebastião Gilberto. Accordingly, the then coach of Al-Ahly Club Manuel Jose decided to import the two Angolan players.
Gilberto has evolved the perception of the left wing player by virtue of his excellent techniques and skills. He played nearly 300 games in Al-Ahly club, where he contributed to the successes of the team at the local, continental and global level, as the club won 21 championships when he was playing for the team.
The deal of Al-Ahly club with the Angolan football player Flavio Amado in 2005 was the most important one. During his professionally playing with Al-Ahly club, Flavio scored 52 goals in over 100 games in various championships, among them the Clubs World Cup as Al-Ahly team won the third place.