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Egypt's Africa Policy

Egypt's Africa Policy
Item Code: NAT439
Author: Ankush B Sawant
Publisher: National Publishing House
Language: ENGLISH
Edition: 1981
Pages: 295
Other Details: 9.00 X 6.00 inch

The July 1952 Revolution in Egypt was an important landmark in the evolution of Egypt's polity and its outlook on world affairs, particularly on African affairs. The new leadership under Nasser made strenuous efforts to foster warm relation between Egypt and the newly independent African States. This book, based on the author's Ph.D. thesis, analyses the efforts of Egypt under Nasser to cultivate friendship with the African States.

On the backdrop of Egypt's historical relations with Africa, the author enquires into the mainstrings of Egypt's interest in Africa. He then proceeds to depict Egypt's role in African freedom movement, its attitude towards Pan-Africanism and other intra-African issues. He assesses Israeli factor in Egypt's Africa Policy and rounds up his discussion with Egypt's economic and cultural relations with Africa.

The book Egypt's Africa Policy will be found useful by the students of Political Science and International Relations in particular and an interesting reading by the readers in general.


After obtaining his M.A. (Political Science) and LL.B. from the University of Bombay, Ankush B. Sawant joined the Centre for West Asian and African Studies of the School of International Studies, Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU), New Delhi, as a research scholar. He was sponsored by the JNU to visit Cairo and Beirut, where he carried out field research on Egypt's Africa Policy. He was awarded the Ph.D. degree by the JNU in 1976 for his thesis "Egypt's SubShaharan Africa Policy, 1952-1970", which forms the basis of this book.

Dr. Sawant has written extensively on West Asia and his articles have appeared in reputed journals like International Studies and Indian Quarterly. He is a recipient of a number of scholarships/fellowships, including the post doctoral fellowship of the University Grants Commission. At present he teaches in the Department of Political Science, Marathwada University, Aurangabad, Maharashtra.


This book is the revised version of my doctoral dissertation at the School of International Studies (SIS), Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU), New Delhi. The theme of the book is Egypt's policy towards Africa during 1952-70. After giving a historic backdrop of Egypt's relations with the countries of the south of Sahara-the book tries to assess the objectives and analyse the implementation of Egypt's Africa policy. The period chosen is one of dynamism in Egypt's Africa policy. It is a period from the historic July Revolution to the sudden death of President Nasser, the architect of Egypt's dynamic Africa policy. This period stands out in bold relief in the history of modern Egypt.

One of the important features of this period was its dominance by the towering personality of President Gamal Abdel Nasser. It was Nasser who shaped Egypt's policy whether domestic or foreign -during this period. Hence the title of the book Egypt's Africa Policy : The Nasser Era. I hope that I have been able to do justice not only to the subject proper but also in highlighting the dynamic role played by Nasser in shaping Egypt's Africa policy.

In the completion of this study I have received help and cooperation from several individuals and institutions. At the outset I acknowledge with a deep sense of gratitude the encouragement and advice I received from Professor M. S. Agwani, SIS, JNU, under whose able tutelage and guidance I had the privilege of doing my research. Professor Agwani's critical comments, I believe, have enriched the study. I am also grateful to Professor Anirudha Gupta, Centre of West Asian and African Studies, SIS, JNU, who took interest in this work from the very beginning for his kindness in going through the entire draft of this work and offering his comments which helped me in clarifying many issues.

Much of the credit for the work I did in Cairo goes to Dr. Abdel Malek Auda but for whose help and direction I could not have achieved my objectives and to whom I express my deep sense of gratitude. I also acknowledge with gratitude the assistance and cooperation extended to me by the Egyptian officials and intelligentsia. I would particularly like to mention Mr. Hilmi Sharawi, Secretary of the African Association, Dr. Mohammad Anis and Dr. Boutros Boutros-Ghali of the Cairo University, Mr. Mohammed Ghanem of El Nsar Export and Import Company and Mr. Shafaqui of the Egyptian Embassy in India.

I also acknowledge with gratitude the financial assistance I received from the Government of Maharashtra, the Indian Council of Social Science Research, New Delhi and the Jawaharlal Nehru University.

I wish to put on record my indebtedness to (Late) Mr. C.G. Jadhav who provided many kinds of advice and assistance to me at the final stages of completion of this work. My thanks are also due to the teachers and colleagues at the Centre of West Asian and African Studies and to my friends and erstwhile colleagues in the SIS, Dr. S.K. Jha, V.S. Mani, B. Vivekanandan and Venkatramiah. The Librarian and Staff of the JNU Library and Sapru House Library always showed their eagerness to help me. I particularly acknowledge with gratitude the expert assistance and help I have received from Mr. Girja Kumar, Mrs. Machwe, Mr. Jarmbhekar, Mrs. Andrade, Miss Mathur, Mr. Tandon and Mr. Krishan Gopal. But for their ungrudging assistance I would not have been able to lay my hands on all the source material I needed. My thanks are also due to the staff of the Libraries of Cairo University, American University of Beirut and AI-Ahram. I must record my thanks to the Editor, International Studies who has kindly allowed me to include in this book my article published in that journal. I am also thankful to Mr. R. K. Kakkar for editorial assistance. There are a host of others who remain unnamed but who helped me in no small measure in the successful completion of this study. I shall for ever remain indebted to them.

Needless to say, even though I have taken help and guidance from a number of persons, the responsibility for the analyses and conclusions presented in this study is entirely mine.


1 he Revolution that took place in Egypt in July 1952 was an important landmark in the evolution of Egypt's policy and its outlook on world affairs, particularly on Africa. The leadership that emerged under Nasser from the Revolution took interest in Africa from the very beginning and started establishing contacts with Africa. It made strenuous efforts to foster good relations between Egypt and Africa : first with African freedom movements and then with the newly independent African states. Under the revolutionary leader-ship Egypt's interest in Africa got a broader perspective and within a short time sub-Saharan Africa assumed considerable significance in its foreign policy.

The aim of the present study is to inquire into the main-springs of the Egyptian interests in sub-Saharan Africa and to analyse and evaluate its policies since the Revolution of July 1952. The study attempts to answer, among others, the following questions : What are Egypt's national interests in pursuing this policy and how far has it succeeded in promoting them What are the instruments created to follow this policy ? What are the principles guiding this policy ? What is Egypt's attitude towards Pan-Africanism ? Is there any conflict between Pan-Africanism and Pan-Arabism ? What is Egypt's attitude towards other intra-African issues ? How far has Israel been a factor in shaping Egypt's Africa policy ? How far is this policy one of expediency or tactics and how far is it one of conviction ? Is Egypt's Africa policy an extension of its general foreign policy or an isolated case ? Does this policy come in conflict with Egypt's wider foreign policy objectives ? The study stops at 1970, the year of the death of Nasser-the hero of the July Revolution and the main architect of Egypt's Africa policy.

The reason for choosing the subject matter of this study is that though the revolutionary leadership has made tremendous efforts to foster Egypt's relations with Africa, the subject has almost been neglected by scholars. The single extant work* on the subject takes into account only the general characteristics of Egypt's Africa policy and discusses two case studies-the Sudan and the Congo. Subjects like Egypt's role in African freedom movements, Egypt and Pan-Africanism, Egypt's attitude towards intra-African issues, and Israel as a factor in Egypt's Africa policy are not dealt with in that study. The present study mainly concentrates on these latter subjects.

The reason for limiting Egypt's Africa policy only to sub-Saharan Africa in this study is because Africa to Egypt means only Africa south of the Sahara since in both official and non-official Egyptian parlance North Africa forms part of the Arab World. This usage is in conformity with the one employed by the Egyptian Foreign Ministry and also that adopted in the Egyptian trade and educational statistics. Nasser too employed it very frequently and so do many Egyptians even now while referring to sub-Saharan African countries.

**Contents and Sample Pages**

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