Ibrahim Ali Hassan
Assistant Foreign Minister for African Affairs, Egypt
The Assistant Foreign Minister for African Affairs is a fixture at the major Asian development events, the Forum on China-Africa
Cooperation and the Tokyo International Conference on African
Development. The long-serving diplomat has seen first-hand the rise of
Asia in Africa and has led Egypt's delegations to TICAD in 1998 and to FOCAC since its first conference in 2000. Now Ibrahim Ali Hassan will head and coordinate the fourth ministerial conference of FOCAC in Sharm El Sheikh in late 2009.
relishes its role as the regional vanguard of development and Hassan
has worked hard to maintain its status. He is on the steering committee
of the New African Partnership for Development, of which Egypt is one
of the five founding members, and represented his country at the
African Peer Review Mechanism summit in Benin in October 2008.
China and Egypt are old allies: Egypt was the first African country to
establish diplomatic relations with the People's Republic in 1956.
Preparations for this year's FOCAC have already shown a taste for
triumphalist talk about their respective ancient civilizations and
their more recent economic successes.
Where other donors have
tightened their belts, China will seek to top its performance at the
2006 Beijing FOCAC. China's economy has contracted alarmingly since
last autumn, but envoys insist that aid will not be cut. This year's
agenda will focus on food security and infrastructure development. To
further warm bilateral ties, China's Vice-Premier Li Keqiang led a trade delegation to Cairo on 24-27 December to discuss increasing Chinese investment in Egypt.