Tendai H. Manzvanzvike Group Foreign Editor
AS Egypt prepared to take up the rotational chairmanship of the African Union, the country, through its State Information Service (SIC) last week published a book chronicling its role in the continental body, since the formation of Organisation of African Unity (OAU) in 1963 to date.
Yesterday, President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi was elected to take over the rotational chairmanship of the African Union, predecessor to the OAU, at the Heads of State and Government Summit in the Ethiopian capital, Addis Ababa.
Titled “Egypt in Africa: From Nasser to El-Sisi” and authored by Abdel-Moati Abu-Zeid, Ramadan Korani and Samar Ibrahim, the book was published in several languages including Arabic, English and French.
According to Ahram Online, Abdel-Moati Abu-Zeid is the head of the foreign media department at the SIC, while Ramadan Korani is the managing editor of the African Horizons periodical and, Samar Ibrahim is the managing editor of the Asian Horizons periodical.
The book reportedly takes an in-depth look at Egypt’s policies in Africa from 1952 to date.
Although the book aims to educate Egyptian people about Africa as well as explain Egypt’s policies and vision regarding the continent, it will be an important educational tool across the continent, considering the important role that Egypt has played.
Reports say that the book is currently being “distributed to Egyptian embassies in Africa as well as to foreign correspondents and Egyptian diplomatic missions all over the world. It is also being sent to the Egyptian parliament and research and media institutions”.
Gamal Abdel Nasser was Egypt’s second president, and was among the leaders of the 32 African states that founded the OAU on May 25, 1963 in Addis Ababa.
Other leaders who took up the cause of advancing the pan-African ideals included Ethiopia’s Emperor Haile Selassie, Kwame Nkrumah of Ghana, Julius Nyerere of Tanzania, Jomo Kenyatta of Kenya, Sékou Touré of Guinea and Kenneth Kaunda of Zambia.
According to historical sources, the OAU’s primary aims were to:
l Co-ordinate and intensify the co-operation of African states in order to achieve a better life for the people of Africa.
l Defend the sovereignty, territorial integrity and independence of African states.
l Eradication of all forms of colonialism and white minority rule as, when it was established, there were several states that had not yet won their independence or were white minority-ruled.
“Through its eight chapters, the book covers all the dimensions of Egyptian-African relations, including security, economy, culture, politics and water issues, as well as highlights Egypt’s role in regional and continental bodies in Africa,” reports Ahram Online.
The 32nd Session of the African Union summit that started yesterday, will end today. President Mnangagwa is among the leaders attending the Summit.