Prominent Businessman MP Mohamed Abou El Enein called on African presidents to hold an emergency virtual summit to discuss the current situation and the repercussions of the coronavirus on the economies of the Black Continent.
This came during Abou El Enein’s participation in the African Union’s virtual meeting about the repercussions of the deadly virus on small and medium enterprises and startups in Africa.
The meeting was chaired by the AU Commissioner for Economic Affairs Victor Harrison and attended by representatives for all African countries.
During his speech, Abou El Enein called on the African central banks to hold meetings and benefit from the Egyptian experience and the initiatives of the Central Bank of Egypt regarding providing assistance to companies and individuals.
The Egyptian businessman stressed that the world is facing an unprecedented global health and economic crisis, adding that the global economic rates will enter into an unprecedented downturn due to the coronavirus, which will change the world order and the form of globalization, in addition to increasing the focus on the national priorities.
Abou El Enein pointed out to the importance of making use of the current crisis in localizing industry inside Africa, as it considered the main path to growth, employment and export a, noting that no country has achieved remarkable advancement without industry.He pointed out that the current crisis has greatly harmed the African economies, as most of African countries depend on their revenues from abroad, but when the prices of oil sharply decreased, the African countries suffered a big blow to their economies.
He noted that the collapse of oil prices by about 50% in the first quarter of 2020 will cause losses to Africa by about $ 65 billion.Abou El Enein noted that Africa has 237 special economic zones, which have achieved remarkable success in a number of countries such as Egypt, especially in the Suez Canal region, calling for the establishment of more specialized industrial zones for small and medium industries with the aim of increasing the productivity rates and reducing investment costs.
He also called for exerting further efforts to remove barriers to intra-African trade, making Africa one of the largest common market in the world.
The prominent MP called on African countries to depend on themselves in producing their food and medicine, calling on them to make use of the vast areas found in a number of African countries to secure their needs of food and medicine and stop depending on foreign imports.
He also pointed out to the necessity of linking industry and agriculture, saying that encouraging investment in agriculture would make Africa the biggest exporter of food globally.
Abou El Enein spoke about the importance of the small and medium-sized enterprises that are of great importance in Africa and represent the backbone of the economies of countries, calling on the African governments to pay further attention to the SMEs, as they have the ability to deal with the economic crises and the lack of liquidity.
He, finally, called for mobilizing international efforts to support Africa in obtaining necessary medical supplies, in addition to urging the international community to provide an emergency economic stimulus plan to Africa.