At African Union Summit, Egypt says it welcomes Chinese investments

At African Union Summit, Egypt says it welcomes Chinese investments

CAIRO: Egypt continued its push to get China to invest in the country, this time at the 14th African Union Summit in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. The Egyptian Minister of Communication and Information Technology Tarek Kamel told reporters on the sidelines of the event that Cairo is hopeful and welcomes a greater role from China in helping to develop the country’s infrastructure.

“We have seen several companies from China, such as ZTE and others, investing in Egypt,” Kamel said at the summit, which opened Sunday under the title “Information and Communication in Africa: Challenges and Prospects for Development.”

“Chinese companies are not only helping us to build our infrastructure, but they are also establishing the regional centers for GSM operations as well as technical support,” said the minister.

According to the minister, the continent faces a great number of challenges in the ICT development sector and believes China could help resolve many of these issues. He pointed to inadequate infrastructure, which is inhibiting penetration of mobile phones and broadband Internet, something the Chinese market does not lack.

For this, Kamel emphasized the inconsistencies in ICT infrastructure development between north, South Africa and the sub- Sahara region.

Another tough challenge for Africa is human resource development, Kamel said, adding that Egypt is taking the lead in this field, in a separate interview with the Chinese news agency Xinhua.

“We have seen immense interest in our African neighbors in helping us the establishment of the smart village and technology parks and business parks,” he said.

The three-day AU summit gathered heads of state and government of more than 50 AU members to assess the achievements and challenges of Africa’s ICTs sector, and map out relevant development strategies.

The leaders will also discuss issues of major concern in the continent, including regional conflicts, Africa’s political and economic integration, climate change and Africa’s stance on UN reforms, among others.