Egypt's President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi inaugurated on Tuesday the first annual National Youth Conference in the Sinai resort city of Sharm El-Sheikh with the participation of 3,000 youth from the country’s universities and political parties.
Prime Minister Sherif Ismail and a number of ministers, officials and public figures attended the opening ceremony of the three-day conference organised under the auspices of the president.
During his inauguration speech, El-Sisi said that the conference, the first session of which was focused on education in Egypt, should be used to “have a dialogue and raise hope.”
Regarding the education system in Egypt, El-Sisi said that the government cannot put an overhaul of the country's poor education system high on its agenda at the moment, as the country does not have sufficient resources to do so.
The second session was focused on the evaluation of youth participation in parliament.
The speaker panel for this session included Minister of Youth Khaled Abdel-Aziz, former leader of the Democratic Front Party Osama El-Ghazali Harb, MP Tarek El-Kholi, MP Mohamed El-Sewedy of the Support Egypt bloc, and member of the National Council for Human Rights Mohamed Abdel-Aziz.
During the session, President El-Sisi suggested that each MP be appointed two assistants under the age of 40 so as to prepare the youth for politics.
He also encourage the youth to participate in the upcoming local council elections.
El-Ghazali Harb asked the president to pardon young people currently detained for non-violent political crimes and have not received jail sentences.
In response, the president said that a committee will be formed to revise the cases of youth activists detained for non-violent charges in politically related cases.
The president added that this will be the fourth time a committee is tasked with revising the cases of detained young activists.
In the evening, the Egyptian president attended a meeting with a group of Egyptian youths where he said that the country is in a “difficult position” and that its young people should not resort to protests, as this would be “extremely harmful.”
The first National Youth Conference will continue for another two days, where more sessions as well as workshops in different fields will take place, including politics and the economy.