Africa in February 2024

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  1. Israeli and Hamas Delegations Engage in Talks for Ceasefire and Prisoner Release in Cairo.
    Israeli and Hamas delegations have convened in Cairo for negotiations aimed at securing a ceasefire in the Gaza Strip and facilitating the release of Palestinian prisoners and Israeli detainees. The talks, facilitated by Egypt and Qatar, seek to address the ongoing conflict and humanitarian crisis in Gaza. Despite challenges, both sides have expressed willingness to engage in dialogue to achieve a lasting peace agreement. The discussions, which involve rounds of indirect negotiations, are seen as a crucial step towards de-escalating tensions in the region and restoring stability.


  1. Quartet Meets in Cairo to Address Gaza Truce.
    Top officials from the U.S., Israel, and Qatar convened in Cairo with Egyptian counterparts to discuss a ceasefire in Gaza amid escalating tensions. The talks center on releasing prisoners and calming the conflict as international pressure mounts.
  2. Israeli Report Signals Cairo on Gaza Rescue Operation.
    An Israeli report revealed that Tel Aviv notified Cairo of a recent operation by Israeli forces in Rafah, southern Gaza Strip, aimed at freeing Israeli hostages. Security officials informed Egyptian counterparts about Israel’s limitedlocalized operation to rescue hostages, following media reports and Egyptian concerns over potential escalation. 
  3. Proposal Emerges to Relocate Displaced Gazans from Rafah.
    Egypt and Israel explore alternatives to the impending ground military operation in Rafah. A reported Israeli proposal suggests relocating displaced Palestinians to the western coast of Gaza, establishing camp villages funded by the United States and Gulf partners. The plan aims to ensure the safety of over a million Gazans, with tentative sites identified south of Al-Mawasi camp and Sharm Park. As displaced individuals begin migrating towards central Gaza, the situation underscores the delicate balance in regional dynamics and ongoing efforts to navigate complex geopolitical challenges.


  1. Erdogan and Sisi Commit to Renewed Ties and Cooperation.
    Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s landmark visit to Cairo—the first since 2012—marks a pivotal moment in Turkish-Egyptian relations alongside President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi. Both leaders have committed to revitalizing their countries’ relationship, aiming to increase bilateral trade to $15 billion in the coming years. The visit, characterized by the signing of key agreements and a mutual dedication to enhancing cooperation across various sectors, including energy and defense, symbolizes a thaw in relations that had cooled following political upheavals. Additionally, both leaders emphasized the importance of addressing the humanitarian crisis in Gaza and the West Bank, with Sisi calling for a ceasefire and Erdogan underscoring the value of their partnership. This historic meeting signifies a new chapter of collaboration, following a period of gradual diplomatic engagement and the recent normalization steps like the exchange of ambassadors and discussions on defense cooperation.


  1. North Sinai Governor Denies Buffer Zone Reports in Rafah, Egypt.
    North Sinai Governor, Mohamed Abdel Fadil Shousha, refuted rumors of a buffer zone setup in Rafah, Egypt, for displaced individuals. He clarified that ongoing efforts aim to compensate those impacted by counterterrorism operations. These statements coincide with warnings from the United Nations Aid Coordinator regarding potential Palestinian influx into Egypt if Israel targets Rafah, condemning forced displacement as an unacceptable Israeli initiative. With heightened Egyptian alerts and border security preparations, Rafah emerges as a critical concern for Egypt due to humanitarian and security considerations, particularly amidst Israel’s anticipated expansion of Hamas operations.


  1. Egypt Hosts BRICS, Attends G20, and Manages Gaza Crisis.
    On the same day Cairo was hosting the BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa) countries for a conference to address market distortions and food security, Egypt’s Foreign Ministry joins the G20 foreign minister’s meeting in Rio de Janeiro. This is Egypt’s fourth participation, as it was previously invited three times as a guest of the group, in 2016, 2019, and 2023. Shoukry reaffirmed to the US Secretary of State Antony Blinken the necessity of reaching a ceasefire to halt the bloodshed of civilians and de-escalate the ongoing crisis, following the US veto on a UN Security Council (UNSC) resolution calling for a ceasefire. Egyptian President Sisi hosted Iraq’s National Wisdom Movement leader Ammar al-Hakim, attended by the Egyptian Director of Intelligence. Although not directly clarified, the meeting was about the gravity of the ongoing escalation and its repercussions on stability in the region.  Egypt announced today the entry of 24 trucks loaded with various humanitarian aid entered the Gaza strip through the Rafah border crossing. The convoy consists of four fuel trucks and 20 various humanitarian aid trucks. An official source at the crossing said 143 holders of Egyptian passports and 50 others of foreign nationalities, in addition to 279 with residence permits, also crossed the terminal into Egypt. Later in the evening Israel’s time, news media reported about clashes between the IDF and the far-right HONO organization after preventing the entry of aid into the Gaza strip demanding the government negotiate the release of the hostages. The UK and Jordan delivered four tons of essential supplies to Tal al-Hawa Hospital in Gaza via airdrop. This vital aid supports the Jordanian-established facility’s ongoing patient care.



  1. Egypt Inks $41 Billion Green Energy Deals
    Egypt has signed seven Memoranda of Understanding (MOUs) with global developers for green hydrogen and renewable energy projects, announcing investments of $41 billion over the next decade. The ceremony, attended by Prime Minister Mostafa Madbouly and key ministers, marks Egypt’s ambition to become a regional hub for green energy, highlighting partnerships for projects in the Suez Canal Economic Zone and the launch of Africa’s first green ammonia plant. Additionally, Egypt is studying an Italian proposal to establish a $4 billion industrial complex for the manufacture of advanced iron and steel products. The project is expected to provide 17,000 direct and indirect job opportunities, and it also aims to attract investors to establish a green hydrogen production plant with investments estimated at a value ranging between 2 to 3 billion dollars.


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