Egypt's President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi during the fourth national youth conference held on Monday July 24, 2017 in Alexandria (Photo Courtesy of Egyptian Presidency)
Egypt's Fourth National Youth Conference started on Monday in the coastal city of Alexandria, with President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi in attendance.
The two-day conference is scheduled to address the Egypt 2030 Development Plan – the ambitious development programme formulated by the government, the private sector and NGOs, which has been two years in the making.
The conference is the most recent in a series of events in Sharm El-Sheikh, Aswan and Ismailia aimed at tackling issues of direct relevance to Egypt's young people, including enhancing their political participation and preparing them for future leadership roles.
At the opening session on Monday morning, participants announced plans for a World Youth Forum, to be held in Sharm El-Sheikh in November.
The event will see the participation of delegates from around the world, and will aim to send a "message of peace", according to a video presentation at the Alexandria event on Monday.
The idea of a global youth event had been floated at the Third National Youth Conference in Ismailiya in April, receiving the support of El-Sisi.
The Bibliotheca Alexandrina said in a statement that as many as 1,300 young people are expected to attend this week's conference, which is due to last two days.
The Alexandria event is being held against the backdrop of heated debate over Egypt's economic reform measures, which the government has described as tough but necessary.
On 29 June, the government cut fuel subsidies by more than 30 percent as part of the reform plan. In the past eight months, the price of fuel for vehicles has risen by around 80 percent.
Egypt’s annual core rate of inflation registered 31.95 percent in June. The rate of inflation has been rising since the Central Bank of Egypt floated the currency last November, as part of a set of reforms aimed at reviving the country's flagging economy.