Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi speaks during his speech on Tuesday 26 April, 2022.
El-Sisi’s remarks came during the Egyptian Family Iftar banquet, which has been held every year since 2017 with the participation of all segments of society.
Following El-Sisi’s statement, the National Training Academy announced its adoption of his directives and that it would hold a number of meetings between all elements of the various political and youth forces within a national dialogue aimed at developing a national ideas agenda to deal with all pressing issues.
Leaders of Sinai tribes and representatives from farmers and political parties, in addition to artists, intellectuals, academics, businessmen, youth and women attended the event.
During his speech, El-Sisi spoke about the current economic crisis in the country, issuing a set of economy-related directives, chief among which was directing the government to hold an international press conference to declare the Egyptian state’s plan to deal with the crisis.
He also assigned the government to support local wheat farmers in Egypt – which used to get 80 percent of its wheat imports from Russia and Ukraine – and provide them financial and service incentives to increase Egypt’s local wheat production and reach self-sufficiency.
Earlier in March, upon El-Sisi’s directives, Egypt’s cabinet decided to grant wheat farmers an incentive of EGP 65 for each ardeb (1 ardeb is equivalent to 150kg) to encourage them to increase the quantities they sell to the Ministry of Supply and Internal Trade.
The government also decided to start the wheat season early this year, at the start of April, to shore up the country's strategic reserves.
The president also called on the ministries and institutions to continue to offer basic commodities nationwide at subsidised prices to the citizens till the end of the year.
Moreover, El-Sisi stated that the upcoming period would witness a “double support” to the private sector to allow it to be able to do its role in supporting the development of the economy.
He also assigned the government to announce a program for the private sector to participate in state-owned assets with a target of $10 billion annually for a period of four years as well as to start offering stakes from state-owned companies on the Egyptian Stock Exchange.
The government was also assigned to list companies owned by the Armed Forces on the stock market before the end of this year, El-Sisi announced, echoing his 2019 statements in which he said "Egyptians will buy shares in these companies. It is an opportunity for them.”
Re-activating Presidential Pardon Committee
During his speech, El-Sisi also announced the re-activation of the Presidential Pardon Committee, which was initially formed in October 2016, to review the cases of those imprisoned for political crimes and others who meet certain other conditions, such as families who have more than one relative in jail.
The new formation of the committee will compromise the Deputy Chairperson of the Human Rights Committee in the House of Representative Mohamed Abdel-Aziz, MP Tarek El-Kholy, former member of the 2016’s committee Karim El-Sakka, human rights lawyer Tarek El-Awady, and Egypt's former manpower minister Kamal Abu Eita.
The committee will start its work on Tuesday to receive the names of the imprisoned youth from various parties and political forces, the National Council for Human Rights (NCHR) and the Human Rights Committee of the House of Representatives. Its scope of work will be expanded to include imprisoned male and female debtors.
Thanks to 2016’s committee, thousands of prisoners were granted presidential pardons.
El-Sisi also expressed his happiness for the decision of the public prosecution to release several pre-trial prisoners on Sunday, noting that Egypt as a homeland accommodates all Egyptians.
He also directed the government to resume payment of private debts owed by imprisoned debtors.