In Egypt more than 1,500 public and private business delegates and state leaders agreed on 20-21 February to mobilise massive investments for the implementation of Africa's largest trading bloc whichwas created last year by 26 African countries with a total of 620 million consumers and a combined Gross Domestic Product (GDP) nearing 1,2 trillion dollars.
The decision by the oil-rich United Arab Emirates to build nuclear reactors has unleashed frenetic, politically backed competition between giant corporations from France, the U.S., Japan and South Korea to win contracts estimated at more than 40 billion dollars.
Africa, the second-largest continent after Asia, has now become the world's largest nuclear-free zone comprising 53 countries with about a billion people. This means denuclearisation of one of the richest uranium producing regions.
The spectre of a U.S. nuclear umbrella for the Middle East haunted the U.S.- Egyptian summit this week. In the run-up to President Hosni Mubarak's first Washington visit in five years, both the Egyptian leader and his senior aides categorically rejected an undeclared U.S. offer to guarantee defence of the region against atomic weapons as part of a comprehensive Middle East peace plan.