Cairo -

Despite its historical and civilizational weight and its strategic geographical location in the African continent, the volume of trade exchange between Egypt and its African neighbors does not reflect its true weight compared to other regional players from outside the continent.

The volume of trade exchange between Egypt on the one hand and Turkey on the other hand with African countries reveals the great superiority of the Turkish entrant over his Egyptian counterpart, who is rooted in the brown continent, where the economic power plays its role in increasing the political and diplomatic weight of the countries.

This comparison is imposed by Turkey's celebration of the figures it has achieved in its economic relations with African countries during the visit of Turkish Trade Minister Mehmet Muş to the Nigerian capital Abuja, a few days ago, to attend the activities of the Turkish-Nigerian Business Forum.

In just less than two decades, Turkey replaced its historical, cultural and geographic ties with the strategy of developing economic and trade relations with African countries.

Mosh revealed that his country raised the volume of trade exchange with African countries from $5.4 billion in 2003 to $25.3 billion in 2020, as its exports increased from $2 billion to $15 billion, and its imports increased from $3 billion to 10 billion.

The volume of Turkish investments in the African continent after 10 years (since 2003) exceeded 6 billion dollars, while the projects implemented by Turkish construction companies amounted to 77 billion dollars, according to the Turkish minister.

Trade between Egypt and Africa

But what about Egypt?

The gateway to Africa and the link between it and the outside world since the dawn of history, which is linked to its African neighbors by the Nile River, which is the umbilical cord, and its main source of water for life.

According to the Economic Bulletin of Egyptian Exports and Imports for the year 2020, the numbers seem meager, and do not reflect Egypt's ambition as a regional player. billions of dollars.

The volume of Egyptian investments in the African continent amounts to about 10 billion dollars, according to statements by Egyptian officials and economic experts.

Egypt's share does not exceed 1% of Africa's imports, which exceed $700 billion annually, according to the Minister Plenipotentiary of Trade, Dr. Abdulaziz Al-Sharif, Director of the Department of African Countries and Organizations.

The road to Africa is hard

The expert on African affairs, and deputy editor-in-chief of Al-Ahram newspaper, Dr. Asma Al-Husseini, said that "this shortcoming in strengthening economic cooperation was recently realized by the Egyptian state at the presidential and foreign levels, and it began to redraw the map of relations economically, politically and diplomatically with African countries."

She stressed - in statements to Al Jazeera Net - that there is no future for Egypt without going to its natural surroundings on the African continent, noting that the matter does not depend on the efforts of the presidency and foreign affairs, but rather it should direct all its economic and cultural forces to deepen its presence.

But she described reaching this point as a difficult path that requires concerted efforts from everyone, including civil society, the community of businessmen, religion and art, and the injection of strong investments with real support from the state.

Because there is a fierce struggle of global and regional powers on the African continent.

The Renaissance Dam crisis revealed a large political and diplomatic gap between Egypt and its African neighbors due to its weak economic strength and the absence of its investment arms. In an attempt to bridge this gap, Cairo developed a plan, at the end of last year, to increase its exports to the continent to about $30 billion within 3 years.

Egypt has a number of trade agreements with African countries, including the Common Market for Eastern and Southern African Countries (COMESA), which includes 21 countries, and the African Free Trade Agreement, which entered into force at the beginning of this year. The agreement is expected to include 55 African countries with a population exceeding 1.2 billion people.

A modest Egyptian presence

The economic expert, Dr. Ahmed Zikrallah, revealed the reasons for the absence of the Egyptian economic presence in the African continent, saying, "One of the most important reasons is the weakness of Egyptian production, and the country suffers from a large production gap, whether at the level of food or industrial commodities, and is unable to penetrate the African market."

However, he said in statements to Al-Jazeera Net, "But this does not mean that Egypt does not have production surpluses that can be exploited, but rather there is a shortcoming in the work of commercial representation of diplomatic missions, and it does not play its role, even though Egypt has a wide diplomatic representation in the world."

He believed that Egypt's failure to realize the importance of economic, commercial, and other soft powers that it enjoys (religiously, culturally, and technically) lost it a lot of influence during its long course in the Renaissance Dam negotiations, and all statements about its return to the African embrace were not adequately or sufficiently translated on the ground, But for media consumption.

One of the most important reasons for the absence of the Egyptian presence in Africa is the weak production (communication sites)

Password to hack Turkey

On the other hand, the key word for Turkish supremacy in Africa is that Ankara follows the rule of "partnership and everyone is a winner". There is no exploitation, colonialism, or plunder of wealth, according to Yusuf Kateboglu, a Turkish economist and member of the Turkish Businessmen Association.

He added to Al Jazeera Net that Turkey is the second largest foreign investor in Africa after China, and there are several reasons related to Turkish success, including opening channels of communication with as many African countries as possible, whether through diplomatic missions or airlines.

Oglu pointed out that Turkey has developed long-term plans since 2003 to increase economic and trade cooperation in the African continent, exploit all its production capacity to open new markets, invest in many industrial, agricultural and other sectors, and grant great facilities in order to reach the goals it set.