Egypt’s past economic reforms needed public understanding, Sisi tells Economic Conference 2022

MENA , Sunday 23 Oct 2022

President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi said that decisive solutions and understanding from the public have been required to move ahead with drastic economic reforms in Egypt to face crises the country witnessed over the past 50 years.



The president made his remarks while speaking at the Egyptian Economic Conference 2022 that kicked off on Sunday in the New Administrative Capital.

El-Sisi asserted that decision makers should take into account the political, social, cultural and intellectual factors when offering a path for economic reform.

At the opening session of the conference, a documentary was screened during the opening session of the conference outlining the development of the national economy from after the 1952 Revolution until the present.

The film highlighted the serious ramifications of 2011 and 2013 revolutions, progress made in road and infrastructure construction and the availability of basic commodities despite global crises, citing the coronavirus pandemic and the Russian-Ukrainian conflict.

President Sisi pointed out that he made the best use of the great popular support in 2015 to initiate the process of reform and construction.

The president went on to say that several initiatives and proposals were tabled to enhance the State's capacity, citing the achievements made in the health sector.

In this regard, President Sisi said the State has succeeded in eradicating the Hepatitis C virus and ending the waiting lists for critical and major surgeries.

He added the state managed in the past three years to provide treatment and perform surgeries for about 1.4 million cases.

The president noticed that the State benefited from the available potential to relieve poverty.

President Sisi underlined the importance of finding practical solutions to the problems facing the country.

The president stressed the need to restructure and organise the administrative apparatus, which will lead the process of construction and reform.

Popular reactions on bearing the cost and pressures of economic reform have always been a huge and deep concern among decision-makers and security bodies, El-Sisi added.

The president said that representatives for the economics, finance, administrative control, security and defence bodies refused to launch the reform programme, but he told them that if the course of economic reform is delayed, its cost will be higher, and if the state delays this decision, the difficulties will be much greater.

 The popularity of the political leadership and government was not strong enough to form a basis for a difficult and bitter roadmap that would require long and hard years of work, the President said.

If the Egyptians had rejected the path and the government had resigned, I would have called for early presidential elections, he added.

El-Sisi described 2011 as an announcement of the death of the Egyptian state. "The negative impact of protests that have continued for three years caused complete instability that drained at least $470 billion, according to an estimate by Prime Minister Mostafa Madbouly."

Every measure taken by the state based on real understanding and the right path, no matter how hard it is, achieves the desired results, he asserted.

Even friends and brothers have become convinced that their support for the Egyptian state over the years has formed a culture of reliance, the President warned.

"They have helped us a lot, but we did not help ourselves and if we did not help ourselves, we would not succeed," he added.

The idea was to adopt parallel axes policies or strategies: meaning stability and development at the same time, Sisi said.

It is not a path of a government or a leadership. It is a path of a state with its people, the President concluded.

The elite class in Egypt lacks awareness and understanding to diagnose the crisis, as well as the requirements to cross the gap that the country is experiencing, El-Sisi said.

I am not defending myself but rather the path, the idea and the philosophy of governance, he added. "We are reorganizing and restructuring the state very calmly and without confusion in all institutions."

The first decision I made seven years ago was to stop government recruitment, the President said.

The cost of economic reform was increasing day by day, and the intertwining of crises created a real state of frustration, he added.

The state was unable to build a reformist intellectual context for the situation, and its institutions were not practically able to implement it even if it was proposed and ascertained, El-Sisi said.

It is very dangerous to measure popular satisfaction with what the citizens receive directly and the ruler’s keenness to meet their demands directly, even if this is at the expense of the country’s present and future, he added.

The incidents between 2011 and 2013 almost destroyed the present and future of this nation completely, El-Sisi said.

Political Islam groups are now asking for reconciliation after having failed to rule the country, he said, adding that "instead of admitting failure, they accused us of being against religion and considered everyone as the enemy."

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