Egyptian Center for Strategic Studies releases Outlook 2022 in English and Arabic

Ahram Online , Friday 31 Dec 2021

The Egyptian Center for Strategic Studies (ECSS) issued Outlook 2022, the fourth edition of its annual report, featuring 40 Egyptian and Arab experts and researchers who offer their predictions for the future of the world, the Middle East, and Egypt.

The  Egyptian Center for Strategic Studies (ECSS) released Outlook 2022
The Egyptian Center for Strategic Studies (ECSS) Outlook 2022. ECSS

The outlook covers issues concerning superpowers in the international system, regional powers in the Middle East, internal Arab crises, African trends, global terrorism, maritime security, armament, global economy, climate change, COVID-19 and technology advancements.

Additionally, the outlook discusses trends in Egypt's foreign and domestic policy in 2022, including building the New Republic in Egypt, reshaping the country's public sphere, promoting economic growth, building military capabilities, and the impact of pressing issues such population growth on society.

General Manager of the ECSS Dr. Khaled Okasha said that this edition of the Outlook, “placed greater responsibility on the ECSS to offer a comprehensive outlook on events at home and abroad in 2022.” Okasha added, “The fundamental question that directed… this edition was: Where is the world, the region and Egypt headed in 2022?”

Outlook 2022 opens with a general outlook by Dr. Abdel-Monem Said Aly, the head of the ECSS advisory board, in which he presents his vision for world trends involving COVID-19, terrorism, the rise of China, the new transformations in the Middle East following the US withdrawal from Afghanistan and the domestic situation in Egypt.

“This yearly publication entails tremendous scientific effort by the ECSS,” Abdel-Monem said, adding that the report avoided speculation.

Projections of the ECSS’ experts in Outlook 2022 were organised into twelve thematic areas.

Under “Egyptian Trends: Towards the New Republic”, experts forecast that Egypt will continue to undergo in 2022 major transformation in the eighth year of President El-Sisi’s leadership, including the transition from stabilising the state to promoting development having made considerable achievements in the areas of security, infrastructure development, and expansion of the social protection network.

The Egypt forecast predicts the country will see economic and social development, urban expansion, reform and modernisation of the governance system as well as digitisation.

When it comes to the economy, the ECSS’ Outlook 2022 predicts continued stability of the Egyptian pound, recovery of the tourism sector, reduction in the fiscal deficit, a higher rate of economic growth, deleveraging, and a move towards with the second-generation structural reforms.

Moving to “Regional Trends: Protracted Conflicts and Potential Detente,” ECSS’ experts expect that a number of intra-Arab crises will remain unchanged, while some could deteriorate further.

Egypt will continue to contribute positively to resolving regional crises, building partnerships that help settle existing conflicts.

This section tackles four main topics: strategic shifts in the Gulf, Turkey, Iran and Israel; the rise of the three-dimensional integration; the North Africa crisis; and regional powers’ uneven response to COVID-19.

Additionally, Outlook 2022 thoroughly tackles internal Arab crises by focusing on four main topics: instability in Iraq; four possible paths for the Syrian crisis; Lebanese elections and reshuffling alliances; and the role of Iran and shifts in Yemen.

Under “The Palestinian Cause and Israel: Negotiation Stalemate and Accelerated Normalization,” ECSS’ experts forecast that Egypt will continue its role in advancing reconciliation and achieving peace; Israel’s arbitrary practices against the Palestinian people will continue, raising the possibility of a third Palestinian uprising; and the possiblity that the wave of Arab-Israeli normalisation will continue in 2022.

Turning to Africa, experts expect crises in east Africa to continue. The Ethiopian civil war in particular will continue to attract considerable African and international interest. Furthermore, this section tackles the African response to COVID, the decline of the French role in the Sahel, and the rise of Russia in Africa.

Given current international developments, maritime security received considerable attention in the publication. Overall, global maritime security crises are projected to increase given tensions in the main shipping lanes, particularly in the eastern Mediterranean, the Red Sea, and the Arabian Gulf.

Regarding terrorism, the Outlook addresses four main issues: the growing link between terrorism and political interactions; repercussions of Taliban’s takeover in Afghanistan on terrorism; the threat of foreign fighters returning to Europe; and the future relations between Al-Qaeda and the Islamic State.

Addressing the “Great Powers” theme, the Outlook tackles the growing rivalry between the United States and China for world leadership and the rise of the Sino-US tensions, and relations between Russia and the West in 2022.

In general, tensions between major powers are expected to grow, which will prove a challenge for countries seeking to maintain balanced relationships with major powers.

Experts expect the Indo-Pacific theatre will witness the most significant increase in tensions between the United States and China. The global arms race and the development of military technology will compound the rivalry among major powers.

The “Armament” theme touches on trends in modernising Egypt’s military industries, promoting Egypt’s military diplomatic activities, and armament paths in the Middle East.

The “Global Economy” section presents experts’ forecasts on global variables affecting the Egyptian economy while analysing growth expectations for emerging and developing economies as well as trends in oil, gas and coal prices.

The “Technology Advancements” section analyses major technological breakthroughs in the real and virtual worlds, and reviews Egypt’s preparations to address technological challenges in 2022.

Finally, under the “Global Issues” theme, ECSS’ experts address three main issues: COVID-19, climate change, and Egypt’s ongoing efforts to control population growth.

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