On Saturday 17 February, the AUC organised the closing ceremony of the Model of the Council of Ministers (MCM) summit held by the student-run MCM organisation at the New Cairo campus.
The three-day event discussed the vision of students from AUC and 37 Egyptian university regarding Egypt’s Vision 2030, a sustainable development plan.
The closing ceremony included presentations of the best projects in four fields: education, energy, environment and economy by teams of students from public and private Egyptian universities.
The event was attended by Minister of Planning, Monitoring and Administrative Reform Hala El-Said and Essam Khamis, deputy to the minister of higher education, AUC President Francis Ricciardone, as well as Ashraf Hatem, AUC counselor and former Secretary-General of Egypt's Supreme Council of Universities.
El-Said expressed how student activities like the MCM are the most efficient ways to deliver information to students.
"These activities and especially simulation models, not only provide the needed scientific skills for students but also develop their leadership, teamwork and analytical skills,” she explained.
Discussing Egypt’s 2030 Vision, El Said stressed that the strategy is based on partnership with Egyptian civil society and the private sector.
"The government can’t do everything on its own, and in this strategy, the government acts as a coordinator," she said.
The minister also said that an important factor for the success of the 2030 strategy is youth involvement.
She addressed Egypt’s economic conditions and the results of the latest economic reform measures in dialogue with the students, saying, “Egypt has faced so many challenges. We devised an economic reform program in 2016, which might be the strongest and the most difficult in Egypt’s history, yet we have witnessed an increase in growth rates from 3.6 per cent last year to 5.3 per cent this year. The inflation rates have also decreased from 33 per cent to 17 per cent.”
El-Said said that the government has also allocated 85 billion towards social protection.
“The unemployment rate has reached 12.9 per cent before the floatation of the Egyptian pound, but now it has decreased to 11.3 per cent.”
For his part, Ricciardone welcomed “the future ministers of Egypt,” saying that through the MCM, students look into the existing problems and see how governments can intervene, not only plan but act in the service of the people.
He added that “one of the great initiatives that Counselor Ashraf Hatem has facilitated with minister Hala has been internships for this organization, MCM, inside the ministries, so our students get to see the challenges facing the government and how difficult it is to meet the needs of this great country of 100 million people, with resources that must be allocated, with planning that needs to be done, with great accountability and with high standards of service.”
Ahmed Hamza, MCM president, said that since 2011, MCM started to focus on raising political awareness, “every year we introduce something new that acts as a supplement to the quality of the service we provide. From all over Egypt, we met together for the same goal, a better Egypt.”