CAIRO: The Ankh, an ancient Egyptian symbol for life and prosperity, has been chosen as the logo for the upcoming Egypt Economic Development Conference (EEDC).
As the date of the 3-day conference draws near, banner ads reading “Egypt the Future” and showing the key of life-style logo are seen across streets and highways nationwide. In addition, the Investment Ministry launched a website presenting information on the conference’s timeline and its reasons to invest in Egypt.
On the website, Egypt’s major investment fields, including the Suez Canal and coral in the Red Sea, in reference to the tourism sector, are depicted taking the shape of the ankh.
“No wonder the Egyptian government chose the key of life to highlight the importance of the economic summit to the Egyptian economy,” archaeologist Sherif el-Sabban told The Cairo Post Monday.
“’Ankh,’ which literally means ‘life’ in the ancient Egyptian language, is a visual topographic representation of the Nile River, which was the source of life for ancient Egyptians and the nucleus of the ancient Egyptian civilization that was formed basically on the river’s two banks. The vertical bar at the bottom represents the Nile Valley (Upper Egypt) while the top loop represents the Nile Delta (Lower Egypt,)” said Sabban.
The ankh appears frequently in Egyptian tomb and temple paintings and is often offered by ancient Egyptian deities to Pharaohs, conferring upon them eternal life and prosperity, said Sabban, adding that an ankh was often carried by Egyptian individuals as an amulet or placed inside their burials to ensure eternal life.
The ankh also appears frequently in Egyptian writings about rebirth and “was adopted by early Egyptian Christians (Copts,) which explains the similarity in shape between an ancient Egyptian ankh and the modern Coptic cross,” head of Islamic and Coptic history at the Tourism and Hotels Faculty Fathy Khourshid told The Cairo Post Monday.
“The word ankh also means life in the Coptic language still used nowadays in Egypt’s Coptic churches,” he added.
President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi is expected to ratify the long-anticipated unified investment law before the conference, after being adopted by the Cabinet last week.
This comes amid serious efforts to assure investors that Egypt is a stable destination for their businesses as the new law aims to set a clear strategy for a relationship between investors and the government. Further, the law will facilitate investment procedures through a “one-stop-shop” system.
Egypt plans to promote 36 projects with an estimated investment cost of $60 billion at the long-awaited economic conference, with the aim of luring fresh investments to boost its limping economy.
Around 80 states worldwide and 23 regional and global organizations have confirmed high-level participation in the conference, according to Egypt’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs, amid expectations of “high turnout from global and multinational companies.”
An estimated 1,100 investors have so far confirmed their participation at the economic summit, which will be hosted in the resort town of Sharm el-Sheikh in South Sinai.
Around 14 Egyptian investment banks in coordination with the French Lazard investment bank are also promoting economic projects that Egypt will showcase at the summit.
The government is targeting investments ranging between $10-15 billion from the economic summit over the next two years.
Additional reporting by Yasmine Samra.