Transport Minister: Egypt keen on developing Africa

Transport Minister Hisham Arafat said Egypt is keen on developing Africa through joint projects with countries in the continent.

Addressing the African Affairs Committee of parliament on Sunday 3/2/2019, Arafat cited a project to establish a land road between Cairo and Cape Town as part of a plan to develop Africa.

The road would be about 10,300-km long and would start from the Alexandria Port on the Mediterranean Sea then Cairo, Sudan, Southern Sudan, Ethiopia, Tanzania, Kenya, Zambia and finally South Africa.

Egypt’s part of the road, until the border with Sudan, has been completed and is ready to operate, the minister told the MPs.

He touched upon a security challenge facing Africa with the presence of Daesh terrorist group in Libya, Boko Haram in Nigeria and al Qaeda in southern Algeria.

According to him, this entails further expansion of the road network.

Egypt has achieved a quantum leap where road quality and efficiency is concerned, moving up from the 115th position in 2014 to the 74th last year, said a proud Arafat.

Egypt, he added, is leading efforts to develop Africa and has the potentials to do so, the most important of which is water, the minister noted.

Arafat said his Ministry is acting to restore the river transport system, which was worst harmed by oil subsidies.

He pointed to a river connection project between Alexandria and Lake Victoria, which should make Egypt a gate of river transport to Central Africa through the Nile River.

The project should cost about 18 billion dollars, the minister said.

Arafat told the parliamentary committee that international finance institutions are willing to bankroll road connection projects in Africa.

Revenues from road projects are quick and guaranteed, the minister noted.

He talked about other projects to link railways with Africa at a total length of 8,715 kilometers.

The railway sector in Egypt is tangibly improving, Arafat said, pointing to projects to upgrade train crossings, as well as carriages and tractors.

Source: State Information Service Egypt