Fayza Aboul Naga

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Biographical Information

Fayza Abul-Naga, Egypt's Minister of International Cooperation.

"Abul-Naga, the daughter of well-off Port Said family and the graduate of the school of commerce with a PhD in development, is best known as a disciples of former minister of state for foreign affairs Boutros-Boutros Ghali – the man who gave so much attention to Egypt's relations with Africa. When Ghali went on to be elected as to the post of UN Secretary General in the early 1990s, Abul-Naga, a favourite aide who has a good command of Arabic, French and English, was selected among his immediate support team.

"When she came back to Egypt, she was handpicked by then foreign minister Amr Moussa , who always described her as "an astonishing diplomat", to head the African desk at the foreign ministry at a time when Mubarak was cool in relation to Africa following the failed attempt on his life in Addis Ababa in the early 1995. At the time every single African diplomat in Cairo was complaining about the Egyptian disinterest in Africa. The name of Abul-Naga was always referred to as an exception to the rule. Indeed, it was Abul-Naga's distinctive role in managing Egypt's African relations that made her first introduction into the nation's upper corridors of power.

"In Algeria in 1997, Abul-Naga was introduced to former president Hosni Mubarak by Moussa to assist in the sessions of a tense African summit. The ousted president recognised the skills of the strong woman. It was this introduction that gave Abul-Naga the attention and even the support of Mubarak when she fought tooth and nail against Youssef Ghali, the then supremely influential minister of Finance, to block his plans to get Egypt to agree to international commitments, under the World Trade Organisation, that would have sky-rocketed the prices of pharmaceuticals in Egypt. Abul-Naga was summoned from Geneva, the headquarters of WTO, to make her case. She won a major victory and had her name listed in Mubarak's agenda to be assigned minister of state for foreign affairs, only a few years later, whereby she became a cabinet colleague of Ghali's."[1]

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  1. ahram.org Fayza Abul-Naga: The woman behind the US NGO ruckus, organizational web page, accessed April 18, 2012.