The Egyptian health minister has inaugurated a medical centre in the town of Jinja in Uganda as it moves to solidify relations with the African country.
Hala Zayed said that Egypt has provided support and aid to 22 countries in Africa as part of the fight against the global coronavirus pandemic.
In April, Uganda and Egypt signed a military intelligence sharing agreement as tensions simmered between Egypt and Ethiopia over the Renaissance Dam.
At the time Major Genera Abel Kandiho, head of Ugandan intelligence, said that the agreement marked the regular exchange of information, for example on terrorism.
It follows the signing of several agreements and memoranda between the two countries, including on electricity, solar power plants and in the field of agriculture.
Egypt has been forging close ties with other Nile Basin countries, including Sudan and Burundi, to form an alliance against Addis Ababa’s dam, which it says will put Egypt into water poverty.
The opening of the healthcare centre in Uganda comes despite widespread criticism from inside Egypt about its own healthcare system, which is on the verge of collapse after years of underfunding and corruption which has been exacerbated by the pandemic.
Egypt is currently in its fourth wave of coronavirus but has not put in place preventative measures. At the end of September Egypt’s medical union announced that 600 doctors had died since the start of the pandemic.
As the virus first hit countries across the world last year, critics accused Cairo of sending medical aid to people it wanted to have on its side, rather than into its own hospitals which were struggling to cope.
The government sent medical equipment to Italy as part of a plan to placate the country which is prosecuting four of its senior security force members for the torture and murder of Italian PhD student Giulio Regeni.