The hypothesis supported in this paper is that Egypt’s African policy is undergoing transformational dynamics. After several decades of distancing itself from Africa, the convergence of national and regional factors has led Egypt to restructure its policy. However, the revision of that policy is often limited by the tensions opposing, on one hand, a political desire for change motivated by the observation that the traditional policy has failed, and, on the other, resistance from Egypt and the continent. This paper thus starts with an analysis of the driving forces behind the restructuring of Egypt’s African policy, and its obstacles. In our second part, we look beyond the change of discourse and examine the actions illustrating this incremental shift in two different areas: policies and institutions. Finally, we focus on the challenges involved in restructuring Egypt’s African policy. In accordance with Egypt’s diplomatic tradition, the geographical boundaries in this paper include Egypt’s sub-Saharan zone. The country’s action in the Arab countries of North Africa will be taken into account where relevant. This paper thus mainly covers the first mandate of President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, sworn in on 8 June 2014.
The incomplete restructuring of Egypt’s African policy
Yasmine Farouk, May 22, 2018