Egyptian-Cameroonian Relations
Egyptian-Cameroonian Relations
Egyptian-Cameroonian Relations

Intro

Egypt has been one of the top countries that established diplomatic relations with Cameroon after the latter gained independence in 1960. Egypt maintains a strong presence in Cameroon thanks to the Egyptian companies operating there in the fields of infrastructure, energy and trade. Also, 35 of the Al-Azhar scholars are stationed in 22 towns and villages in Cameroon. The two countries are bound by good bilateral relations that improved in the last four years, within the strategy of President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi to revitalize Egypt’s relations with the African continent.

Mutual visits    

  • In April 2017, the Cameroonian Minister of Industry and Mining visited Cairo and held constructive talks with the Egyptian ministers of trade, industry and mineral wealth. In November 2016, the Undersecretary of Egypt’s Administrative Control Authority (ACA) visited Yaoundé, the capital of Cameroon, and signed with the Cameroonian officials a Memo of Understanding on combating corruption.
  • In October 2017, Ambassador Hamdy Louza, Deputy Foreign Minister for African Affairs visited Cameroon and conveyed a message from President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi to President of Cameroon Paul Biya on promoting bilateral relations at all levels and on Egypt’s vision concerning regional and international issues.
  • In May 2017, Cameroonian Minister of Defense Joseph Beti Assomo visited Egypt and held talks with his then Egyptian counterpart Sedky Sobhy. The two parties discussed issues of mutual interest in light of cooperation between Egypt and Cameroon in all fields and they also discussed recent developments in Africa.
  • In April 2017, Ernest Gabu Abobo, Cameroon’s Minister of Minerals, Industry and Technological Development visited Egypt and held talks with Egyptian Minister of Petroleum and Mineral Wealth Tarek el-Mulla. The ministers discussed means of enhancing bilateral relations in the fields of petroleum and mining and the exchange of expertise to better invest mineral wealth in both countries.
  • In May 2005, the Foreign Minister of Cameroon visited Egypt and heaped praise on technical assistance Egypt provided to the Cameroonian side, expressing his country’s satisfaction on the overall bilateral relations between the two sides.

Economic Relations  

  • Egyptian agricultural experts have visited Cameroon to work with their counterparts on establishing a model farm there. The project includes raising cattle and establishing abattoirs for meat export.
  • The Egyptian construction giant “the Arab Contractors” has won two tenders for infrastructure projects: Yaoundé-Kribi road project and the northern road project of the capital city. The company also works on establishing a network of roads connecting Douala, the major port in Cameroon, with the capital cities of Cameroon’s neighboring countries.
  • The Egyptian El-Swedey Cables works on establishing three power plants in the cities of Bamenda, Blofa, and Balmayu with a total capacity of 40 megawatts at a cost of USD 40 million.
  • On 17/3/2022, Cameroonian Minister of Economy, Planning and Regional Development Alamine Ousmane Mey said his country is interested in establishing an Egyptian-Cameroonian business council to discuss horizons of economic and technological cooperation between the two countries. This came during the minister's meeting with Minister of International Cooperation Dr Rania A. Al-Mashat as part of Mey's visit to Egypt to participate in the “3rd Meeting of Governance Council of Arab Africa Trade Bridges Program”. A statement issued by the ministry said the meeting comes within the framework of strengthening economic relations with African countries, in light of the country’s 2030 development vision, where both ministers addressed ways to enhance bilateral cooperation across different sectors. Al-Mashat explained that the Ministry of International Cooperation is working to promote joint development between Egypt and the African continent by pushing for regional integration, and by enhancing expertise and knowledge-sharing while spotlighting Egypt’s own development experiences with other African countries. This is in light of the political leadership’s commitment to strengthening relations and supporting areas of development across the continent, added the statement. The Minister also discussed the first edition of the Egypt - International Cooperation Forum (Egypt - ICF), held under the patronage of Abdel Fattah El-Sisi, which looked into strengthening multilateral cooperation post-pandemic. The event witnessed the participation of decision-makers at the local, regional and international levels, including ministers and representatives from several countries: Senegal, Rwanda, South Africa, Kenya, Nigeria, Ghana, and Cameroon, as well as representatives from multilateral and bilateral development partners, and from the private sector. The forum also addressed promoting triangular cooperation, and south-south cooperation. Al-Mashat also reviewed several agreements that were concluded in terms of promoting development in Africa. This includes the navigation line project between Lake Victoria and the Mediterranean Sea, the railway line project between Egypt and Sudan, and Cairo-Cape Town road project, which facilitates transportation and trade. This particular project is operating, reflecting opportunities for international and regional financing institutions to contribute, as well as stimulating the participation of the private sector in developing the road to advance integrated development in the continent.

    The Minister discussed the joint committee with countries in Africa, which is an important area of focus for the Ministry of International Cooperation’s work in strengthening economic cooperation between Egypt and the rest of the continent.

    Moreover, Al-Mashat expressed that as Egypt is hosting CO27 this year in Sharm El-Sheikh, this enhances the country’s position internationally and regionally in leading the green transformation efforts. This is especially after launching the National Climate Change Strategy 2050, which opens the door for more opportunities in cooperation, and in coordinating with development partners and International Financial Institutions (IFIs).

    The Minister added that the Government of Egypt is progressing in combating climate change, by shifting towards a green and sustainable economy, and by preserving environmental and natural resources. Al-Mashat pointed to coordination with the Ministry of Environment, alongside relevant national entities, in strengthening cooperation with development partners regarding efforts to address climate change, and to prepare national reports on progress being made.

    Al-Mashat said that there are various opportunities for cooperation, especially within the African continent, and via partnerships with international banks, multilateral institutions, government entities, and the private sector in Egypt to promote climate finance, and to advance the country’s efforts in achieving sustainable development through adaptation and mitigation projects, coupled with utilizing innovative and blended finance mechanisms to promote a green economy.

    The Minister also emphasized the role of international cooperation in light of the challenges being faced by the world, especially with the Russian-Ukrainian crisis, and previously with the COVID-19 pandemic, noting that the impact of these situations on development and emerging markets decreases the amount of available financing worldwide.

    Al-Mashat indicated that at the beginning of the pandemic, the international community utilized financial and monetary tools to overcome its repercussions, and now it is necessary to unify efforts and to work together in light of the current challenges, especially with regard to increased energy prices and raw materials, such as food.

    The challenges the world is facing impacts all development efforts, including investments made by the private sector, so contributions by the international financial institutions should be doubled to enhance private sector investments.

    For his part, the Cameroonian minister stressed the importance of enhancing the prospects for trade exchange between both countries, and in achieving integration between the Arab and African regions, which has become urgent in light of the health crisis and geopolitical challenges faced by the world.

    Mey also expressed his interest in starting an Egyptian-Cameroonian business forum to discuss prospects for economic and technological cooperation, and to increase the exchange of information and expertise, and to ensure capacity building, while also paving the way for joint manufacturing.

    With enhanced cooperation and inter-trade between both countries, particularly in new and renewable energy, health, food security, and agriculture, he also referred to unlocking great potential for Egypt and Cameroon.

    Al-Mashat thanked Ousmane Mey for his role in the first edition of Egypt - ICF, held last September in Cairo, and also invited him to participate in this year’s second edition.

    Al-Mashat gave the Cameroonian minister a copy of the Ministry’s 2021 Annual Report “Engaging For Impact Towards Our Common Future” which includes sections on strengthening cooperation with Africa, as well as a chapter on environmental sustainability and the Government of Egypt’s plans for climate action.

    The Minister also provided Mey with a copy of one of the main publications released for the Egypt - ICF on Egypt’s national plans for the transition to a green economy.

Educational, cultural and technical relations      

  • Al-Azhar plays a distinguished cultural role in Cameroon as it signed an agreement with the Cameroonian Ministry of Education to dispatch 20 teachers to the primary schools to teach the Arabic Language. Also, 35 scholars from Al-Azhar are stationed in different Cameroonian regions to spread the moderate teachings of Islam, in addition to providing scholarships for the Cameroonian students to study at Al-Azhar.
  • The Egyptian Nubian Drums Band visited Cameroon in 2008 to participate in the anniversary of Cameroon’s National Day. Egypt has also agreed to host the Cameroonian Ballet Band to perform shows in Egypt.
  • The Egyptian Agency of Partnership for Development (EAPD) has provided logistical and technical support to the Cameroonian International School of Security. The EAPD has organized several training courses to the Cameroonian side in the fields of diplomacy, security, defense, nursing and motherhood, and tourism. It has also financed the digging of four wells in the country and provided medication to enhance Cameroon’s efforts towards combating the outbreak of malaria.