Egypt confronting two-fold challenge of creating new jobs and guaranteeing living wages: Sisi

Ahram Online , Monday 5 Dec 2022

President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi said that Egypt is confronting a two-fold problem since it must not only create jobs for the large number of those entering the labour market every year but also guarantee decent minimum wages to the workforce.

Egypt s President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi
Egypt s President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi during the inauguration of El-Taameer axis. Photo : Screenshot from the live event


The president's comments came during the inauguration of on El-Taameer (Fouad Abu-Zekry) axis in Alexandria and other major transport projects.

El-Sisi stated that about one million people join the labour market annually.

“We are required to secure at least three million job opportunities in the next three years,” he said.

He urged Egyptian families to appreciate that the government has to create such a high number of jobs every year.

“One million jobs, that is not a simple figure and no country in the world, at least not Egypt, can provide it annually,” El-Sisi said.

In a statement, the presidency said that the El-Taameer axis represents a huge qualitive leap that will provide new development opportunities for the entire western region of Alexandria governorate.

It will increase urban space as it links Dekheila port with the desert road, the international coastal road and the city of Borg El-Arab. It also links Alexandria with New Alamein City through the coastal road

The road was officially named after the late Admiral Fouad Abu-Zekry, commander of the Egyptian Navy during the 1973 October War.

The late admiral's daughter, Laila Abu-Zekry, attended the event, thanking El-Sisi for naming the axis after her late father

The Egyptian president also honoured the engineering consultant overseeing the project, Abdel-Salam Salim.

El-Sisi also witnessed the inauguration of several other national projects in Alexandria governorate via video conference, including Misr Train Station in Alexandria that had been recently renovated and a project to upgrade the railway signal system on the Cairo/Alexandria railway line.

He also inaugurated via video conference on Monday the third phase of Bashayer El-Khair housing project in Ghait El-Enab district in Alexandria.

The president reiterated the need to prevent illegal construction on or near roads, traffic axes and farmlands, noting that the government would have to spend up to EGP six billion to fix the damage.

Such construction on the Cairo/Alexandria agricultural road has impeded the government's plans to expand the road to 10 lanes, he said. 

He noted that the illegal construction on the El-Mahmoudiya Axis in Alexandria cost the state EGP 700 million in compensation to remove more than 2,000 illegal housing units.

The president went on to say that without such violations, the El-Mahmoudiya axis would have been established two years ago.

The government has expanded the Cairo/Alexandria desert road to ease traffic on the agricultural road, in addition to improving the Al-Nubariya road which lies along Cairo/ Alexandria desert road, to give a chance for Delta residents to have easy traffic, asserting the importance of protecting El-Nubariya Canal bridge, he said.

El-Sisi asserted that the government has exherted its utmost effort to set up an integrated network of roads that serves the country's more than 100 million population over the coming ten years.

He pointed out that the road network before he assumed office was only fit to serve around 20 to 30 million people and would never serve the development needs of the country.

The president said that the government is not only concerned with building roads and bridges, but is paying due attention to the agriculture sector.

He said the government has plans to plant 250,000 feddans with wheat, noting that the goal is to increase the total area in Egypt cultivated with wheat to to 400,000 feddans this year and one million feddans next year.

It is possible to increase are cultivated with wheat in the New Delta, Toshka and East Owainat, the president said.

An increase to one million feddans would produce between 2.5 and 3 million tons of wheat, he added.

All road projects should bypass agricultural lands and housing units to protect farmlands, real estate and private property, El-Sisi said.

The government is working to improve all sectors, whether communications, education, health, industry or agriculture, the president stressed.

The government is planning to meet the requirements of the growing population and acting to change the lives of citizens for the better, especially in unplanned areas, the president said.

During the event, El-Sisi ordered the establishment of a fund for maintenance in housing projects to ensure the improvement and overhauling of housing apartments that serve large segments of society.

He also urged the interior minister to set up permanent police checkpoints in these areas to protect its residents.

During the inauguration of the axis, Minister of Planning and Economic Development Hala El-Said gave a presentation on the current economic situation and the steps the government took to mitigate the impact of the global economic crisis on Egypt.

El-Said said the COVID-19 pandemic, the Russian-Ukraine war and the energy crises in Europe had created problems in supply chains.

Increased shipping costs, lack of products and high inflation have all negatively impacted the Egyptian economy, she added.

She said the government took steps to mitigate the crisis through short-term policies, including raising the minimum wage, providing aid and increasing the scope of Takaful and Karama Programme to support impoverished families with school-age children, the elderly and people with disabilities.

The government has adopted medium and long-term policies to make the Egyptian market more robust, including the economic reform programme and the structural reform programme, El-Said added.

In another presentation at the event, Minister of Transport Kamel El-Wazir said the ministry's projects in Alexandria have helped to develop the governorate and link it with the rest of Egypt in a sustainable manner.

Alexandria has the biggest commercial port in Egypt and handes more than 50 percent of foreign trade, which causes many complicated traffic challenges due to the lack of traffic outlets across the city, El-Wazir said

El-Wazir pointed to government efforts to alleviate these challenges, including the expansion of the Cairo-Alexandria road and the construction of bridges to facilitate traffic movement and reduce the number of accidents.

He added that the 207 kilometre Noubariya axis was established to serve the major urban and economic growth areas near Alexandria, the Northern Coast and the New Delta.

Meeting the El-Noubaria axis, the eastern 25 kilometre Omar Soliman axis and the 20 kilometre six-lane western one was built to facilitate the movement of goods, he said.

The first phase of the El-Mahmoudiya axis has been built to a length of 22 kilometres, said Wazir, pointing out three other axes will be built to serve the Mediterranean city.

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