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"Businessmen" sets a plan to explore export opportunities for energy and contracting projects in Africa

The committees: Energy, Banks and Stock Exchanges, and the Development of Relations with Africa at the Egyptian Businessmen Association held a joint meeting at the initiative of the Energy Committee of the Association, through video conference technology, to discuss mechanisms for promoting Egyptian investment opportunities in the energy sector abroad, especially in the African continent, and to shed light on the financing of investments. Egyptian abroad.


Engineer Osama Junaidi, head of the Energy Committee of the Egyptian Businessmen Association, said that national companies are now more ready to reap the fruits of economic reform and the achievements made by the state during the era of President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi in the past seven years, pointing out that there is an initial action plan to start moving in studying markets and exploiting opportunities And the distinguished relations of the Egyptian Businessmen Association at the local and international levels, in order to put positive and tangible steps in the file of exporting the contracting sector specialized in energy projects in the African continent.


Junaidi added that Egyptian contracting companies have the desire, incentive, capabilities and experience that qualify them to export their services to Africa and to reconstruction projects as general contracting companies or in energy production, transmission, distribution and energy efficiency projects, whether BOOT franchise system or PPP in partnership between the private and government sectors.


The head of the Energy Committee explained that the action plan focuses on studying energy and infrastructure projects in a number of African countries, in coordination with the Egyptian commercial representation, explaining that the plan aims to focus on a number of neighboring and African countries that enjoy security stability and financing for projects such as Libya, Sudan and South Africa. Sudan and Djibouti as a first stage.


He pointed out that the plan depends on preparing a group of exploratory work trips for investment opportunities, starting in Djibouti during the coming period, followed by other visits to Libya and South Sudan, then Tanzania, Kenya, Zambia and Burundi, as well as Nigeria and Ghana as a next stage.


He pointed to the importance of encouraging the establishment of alliances between Egyptian companies working in the field of energy and contracting companies specialized in the implementation of energy projects in general, to enter into strong alliances, in addition to setting an action plan for each African country separately with the aim of facilitating the export of services and competition for infrastructure projects in the fields of electricity and energy.


Junaidi stressed that investing in energy in Africa requires studying each country separately and collecting and providing information on the market needs of energy projects in Libya, Sudan, Morocco and Ghana as a start for expansion in Africa, in addition to reviewing the provisions of the Continental Free Trade Agreement and raising the necessary awareness for Egyptian companies in All terms of an agreement in coordination between the Egyptian Businessmen Association and the Trade Agreements Sector at the Ministry of Trade and Industry.


For his part, Dr. Sherif El-Gabaly, member of the board of directors and head of the Africa Committee of the Egyptian Businessmen Association, said that all projects in the fields of energy in Africa represent huge opportunities for the growth of Egyptian companies and the export of their services and expertise, whether in the contracting sector or energy production, as all African countries face problems in the production of energy. Energy and electricity.


El-Gabaly added, and the Continental Free Trade Agreement, which has been adopted so far by 38 African countries, gives greater opportunities and many advantages to Egyptian companies, whether in exporting goods or services, including contracting and consulting work without customs, as it includes 54 African countries, pointing to the importance of identifying priority countries for investment. In energy and trade, which enjoys security stability and ease of movement and movement.


He stressed that, based on his experience in the African market, Libya and Sudan are among the most important neighboring countries that can start exporting energy contracting services as a result of providing huge funding for infrastructure work, especially Sudan after the Paris conference.


He pointed out that the Libyan market is in need of large infrastructure projects such as sewage, water, energy and other projects. It also gives priority to Egypt over the rest of the countries and Libya and prefers to work with the BOT system of franchise.

El-Gabali indicated that Tanzania, Djibouti and Kenya have great job opportunities for energy contracting companies and service projects in the fields of hydroelectricity, in addition to improving efficiency, transmission and distribution, pointing to the importance of focusing on East African countries such as Zambia and Burundi and West Africa such as Nigeria and Ghana.


He pointed to the importance of strengthening cooperation between the Egyptian Businessmen Association and some African institutions that donate investment guarantees in infrastructure projects, such as the African Export and Import Bank (Afreximbank) as a source of information and financing for infrastructure projects, including energy, noting that choosing politically stable countries is an important issue in Energy projects, as well as exporting services in Africa, as they are tax-exempt in accordance with the African Continental Free Trade Agreement, which was activated in 2019.


A member of the Board of Directors and Chairman of the Africa Committee of the Egyptian Businessmen Association stressed that financing projects is a complex process and that the entry of Egyptian companies to Africa within a consortium gives a strong opportunity for the Egyptian presence through national alliances and partnerships that work collectively, in addition to the need to open offices and branches and pump investments for companies with the importance and necessity of having Legal and financial advisor to each consortium.


El-Gabaly also pointed out the need for a guarantee for investment in Africa, similar to the establishment of a company to guarantee exports with a capital of 600 million dollars by the Central Bank of Egypt.


He also pointed out the importance of the Egyptian Businessmen Association, in coordination with the Egyptian commercial representation, making business trips and commercial and exploratory visits to a number of African countries to discuss opportunities and study energy, contracting and electricity distribution projects, especially in West African countries.



Hassan Hussein, head of the Banking and Exchange Committee at the Egyptian Businessmen Association, said that financing projects in Africa represents a major challenge due to the low creditworthiness of the African countries in general.


Hussein added, that Egyptian companies usually think that small projects are easier to finance than large projects, but this is a false belief, as international financial institutions seek to finance large projects whose required funding exceeds $100 million, because they are more profitable and more profitable for them. Influencing the country in which the project is being held, and at the same time, financing small projects can be achieved, but not through international financial institutions, but through Financial Engineering, which is carried out by the financial advisor for the energy project between different international parties.


The head of the Banks and Exchanges Committee of the Egyptian Businessmen Association stressed that in terms of creditworthiness among East African countries, the country of Djibouti enjoys a strong economic position, with an annual growth rate of 5% and an expected growth rate of 6% for the next year, and its economy is based on the presence of a port that is It is one of the largest and most advanced ports in the world, and its economy is based on the system of free zones that store goods and then re-export them through the port, and therefore it is one of the most stable countries, hence the importance of focusing on the state of Djibouti from an economic point of view, which is confirmed by the visit of Mr. The President of the Republic recently visited the State of Djibouti, which will have a great impact on the development and development of relations between the two countries, especially the economic field.


He also confirmed his agreement with Dr. Sherif El-Gabaly in the great importance of forming a consortium for each project, in addition to the presence of a financial advisor and a legal advisor to study the financial and legal alternatives for the project, as project financing is one of the most complex finances that require great experience in the success of obtaining the project, as well as great experience on how to secure

The advanced group to obtain the required material return and how to obtain it, noting that often resorting to the barter system of barter deals to obtain the most important products produced by the state as an in-kind return for the payment of the project, such as oil and all primary products that have announced prices in global trading exchanges.


The Chairman of the Banking and Exchanges Committee of the Association also made it clear that for the sisterly State of Sudan, attention must be given to the north and the south alike, since after the division that took place during the era of former President Omar al-Bashir, most of the oil is now located in the south, not the north, pointing out that the Khartoum government has It recently obtained $2 billion in financing from the World Bank and is currently preparing for projects that will be launched in the near future, which requires us to move as quickly as possible to advance the projects we are targeting with the Khartoum government, provided that it is the first visit by the association to both Khartoum and Djibouti, This will be followed by a visit to Juba, capital of South Sudan, and Libya.


For his part, Hussein Lotfy, a member of the Egyptian Businessmen Association, pointed to the possibility of being present in Africa either directly as Egyptians or drawing on the experiences and expertise of trading partners, whether European or Gulf, through the establishment of joint manufacturing projects in Egypt for the purpose of exporting to Africa, which allows the exploitation of important trade agreements and in The same presence in all countries besides enjoying the guarantees of investment and trade risks that the foreign partner enjoys.


Engineer Medhat El-Kady, a member of the Egyptian Businessmen Association and a member of the Alexandria Businessmen's Association Board of Directors, stressed that Sudan represents a good opportunity for the presence of Egyptian companies, especially in energy projects, which are the most distinguished and performing, adding that Sudan will witness in the coming period large spending rates in infrastructure projects, Here, Mr. Hussein Hussein affirmed his complete readiness to transfer his great experience in dealing with the State of Sudan to him to open investments there.

Mohamed Youssef, Executive Director of the Egyptian Businessmen Association, said that recommendations will be made before the association’s specific committees to determine our priority in moving towards exporting services and contracting for energy and infrastructure projects, whether in Africa or reconstruction projects, noting that the state of Djibouti is very suitable for the beginning of the movement in organizing missions. commercial and exploratory opportunities for exporting services to Africa.


Youssef pointed out that the Egyptian Businessmen Association enjoys a network of distinguished international relations at the governmental levels and the private sector, both with commercial representation offices and the commercial agreements sector at the Ministry of Trade and Industry and similar business organizations in a large number of countries, as well as the association’s membership in the COMESA Business Council, which It can be used to increase the competitiveness of national companies in exporting their services to the COMESA countries.


At the end of the meeting, it was agreed on a set of recommendations, foremost of which is holding an expanded meeting to get acquainted closely with the Continental Free Trade Agreement, and organizing missions and business trips to a group of important African countries, led by Djibouti and Sudan. Funding available for energy projects.