Wed, 25 Nov 2020

CAIRO, Oct. 22 (Xinhua) -- Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah al-Sisi highlighted on Thursday the necessity of achieving economic integration among African states through free trade and joint development projects.

Sisi's remarks came during his participation in the second coordination summit between the African Union (AU) and the Regional Economic Communities (RECs), which was held via a video conference, the Egyptian presidency said in a statement.

"The president stressed the need to continue earnest negotiations on the African Continental Free Trade Area agreement, with the aim of fully activating it in order to fulfill the common African dream of promoting economic integration," said the statement.

Sisi also called for maximizing the leading role of the African Union Development Agency in mobilizing the necessary financial resources for the implementation of the key projects included in the Agenda 2063 for Africa's development.

The virtual summit witnessed a review of the developments of the various initiatives on continental integration, the division of tasks between the AU and RECs, and the situation of the COVID-19 pandemic in Africa and the AU efforts to mobilize resources to combat it.

It also highlighted the contribution made by AU member states, including Egypt, to support Africa's Anti-COVID-19 Fund and the Africa Center for Disease Control and Prevention.

In this regard, Sisi emphasized that, despite the worldwide repercussions of the novel coronavirus, especially on Africa, the ongoing challenges prompted African leaders to strengthen cooperation to face the crisis.

Sisi chaired the first AU-RECs coordination summit held in Niger in July 2019, when he was chairperson of the AU.

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