Egypt has appointed Hani Sewilam to head its irrigation ministry, a key role in preparing for negotiations with its neighbour over the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam. The hydrologist brings with him influential contacts in Europe and Africa.
Egypt is having great difficulty importing large quantities of Russian wheat, which represented nearly 60% of its purchases prior to the war in Ukraine. Cairo is now trying to negotiate with New Delhi in the hope of ensuring a partial lifting of the embargo on Indian wheat.
Over the past year, UAE Crown Prince Mohammed bin Zayed al-Nahyan has actively sought to bring together Egypt, Ethiopia and Sudan, while his Saudi counterpart Mohammed bin Salman for his part, has been fostering ties with Addis Ababa.
As Abu Dhabi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Zayed al-Nahyan becomes a major diplomatic player in Ethiopia and Sudan, Cairo is increasingly concerned that its main diplomatic and financial partner in the Gulf is veering radically away from its own positions.
With only a few months to go before the dam's third reservoir is filled over the next rainy season, the pressure is weighing on the Senegalese president's shoulders. Sall, who is also the chairman of the Africa Union, knows his input on the decade-old thorny issue will be particularly scrutinised.