History does repeat itself. Good history reoccurred on June 30, 2013, as Egyptians exercised their will to get rid of extremism and hatred.
By Tarek Sallam
AFRICA - The July 23 1952 revolution is not only remembered by the Egyptian people, but also by all freedom fighters across Africa.
It is also remembered by those who pursued freedom and independence during the last century are now together with their children and grandchildren witnessing their countries liberated.
Sixty six years ago, young enthusiastic Egyptian officers, led by Gamal Abdel Nasser, decided on July 23, to rise up due to the frustration of the majority of Egyptians as a result of political, economic and social turmoil.
The movement of the Free Officers declared the republic and announced a new era in Egypt.
The movement inspired and helped many African countries to obtain their independence and uphold their African values, traditions and will of their people.
It is our pride to remember that leading figures in Africa such as Nelson Mandela, Nkwame Nkrumah and Milton Obote, among others, resided in Egypt as their second home and found back then the support to their noble endeavours.
It is true what they say: history does repeat itself. Good history reoccurred on June 30, 2013, as Egyptians exercised their will to get rid of extremism and hatred.
They reunited once again with its patriotic army demanding the protection of Egypt’s identity, the identity that has always incorporated tolerance and openness to all religions and cultures.
Since that date, Egypt has been witnessing crucial changes to build a strong, coherent society and to lay the foundations for a solid, diverse economy.
Guided by the legacy of the past, Egypt re-emphasised its African identity and is investing heavily in the development of its African neighbours.
It is no wonder that Uganda has a special position in such given the fact that such attention started 60 years ago, when Egypt collaborated in building the Owen Falls Dam, with the aim of supplying electricity to Uganda.
Egypt’s commitment to Uganda’s stability and prosperity is currently demonstrated in the significantly strong political ties between President Abdel Fatah El Sisi and his brother, President Yoweri Museveni, as the two presidents exchanged three visits during a time period of just one year, the latest of which was President Museveni’s visit to Cairo last may.
The two leaders are working closely together on achieving stability in the African continent with the devotion of bringing sustainable peace and prosperity to African people, as the two leaders share the concepts of “African solution for African problems,” supporting the unity and integrity of African nations.
In this regard, Egypt is keen to co-ordinate closely with Uganda during the term of its presidency of the African Union next year and enhance common African efforts to have a strong and capable African Union.
The economic relationship between Egypt and Uganda has promising potential and we are working together to achieve mutual benefits for our people.
The geographical proximity between our countries makes us, as almost neighbours, who should rely on one another.
Consequently, our governments are working on increasing bilateral trade and promoting Egyptian investments in Uganda.
Egypt believes in sharing its resources and expertise with its fellow African nations, in this regard, development co-operation has always been a priority of our friendly relations.
I am thus proud to mention the ongoing Egyptian project for eliminating floods risks in Kasese district, establishing a solar power plant in Busia district and the joint model farm, together with the efforts of the Egyptian Agency for Partnership for Development, which provided nearly 200 scholarships in different fields of capacity building for Ugandan government officials and students.
These are examples of Egypt’s keenness to provide as much of its capacity and experience with African nations, despite its economic challenges and austerity measures. Its Egypt’s commitment for Uganda that we rise together.
Egyptian investments in Uganda play an important role in the integration between the two friendly countries, such as Mantrac, Mac East Africa, Arab Contractors, Egypt-Uganda Food Security, Egypt Air, Cairo International Bank and Elsewedy Electric.
There is hope of increasing Egyptian investments in Uganda, as more and more Egyptian companies open and expand in Uganda and explore the enormous opportunities that the Pearl of Africa offers.
Egypt will continue supporting Uganda in implementation of developmental projects based on a true spirit of partnership and solidarity.
The writer is the Egyptian Ambassador to Uganda