The state's national projects were necessary for development and not a luxury: Sisi

Ahram Online , Monday 23 Jan 2023

President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi stressed that the country will pass through the global economic difficulties, adding that the national projects which the state carried out in the last decade were necessary for economic development and not a luxury.

President Sisi
President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi speaking during the celebrations of the 71st Police Day at the Police Academy in New Cairo. (Photo: Screenshot Extra News channel)


The president's remarks came during his speech during the celebrations of the 71st Police Day at the Police Academy in New Cairo.

The president stressed that the economic difficulties that the country is facing at the time are the result of the consequences of a global crisis, describing claims that the economic difficulties are the result of domestic policies implemented by the state as "misleading".

"Isn't there a harsh and unprecedented economic crisis in the world?" El-Sisi retorted.

He said that the world's largest and most advanced economies are also suffering in ways not seen since the Great Depression and the two world wars.

The repercussions of the current crisis resulted in what is now known internationally as the global cost of living crisis, he stressed.

The president said that Egypt is already part of the global economy and that it is only logical that  it experiences the negative effects of such a global crisis.   

The recent developments, including the pandemic and Russian-Ukrainian war, have not occurred in decades. Now they herald "major changes at the international geopolitical and economic levels," El-Sisi explained.

El-Sisi noted that the country is currently working on cushioning the blow of the effects of these global crises.

"My directives to the government were to shoulder as much as possible the bulkiest part of the burdens and costs instead of the citizens and not to burden the citizens," he clarified.

"I know that the effects of the crisis are great and that it causes pain to the people, especially those with low-incomes and the needy, who are engaged in a tremendous daily struggle. We remain supportive of those people in their daily struggle," he added.

The government is working on providing for their families' needs in ways that help them confront hikes in prices. "The state remains steadfast in its commitment to help these people in a way that does not and will not change," he assured.

The reality of the country's economy and the growth rate of its population makes it incumbent on us to take "huge" developmental leaps in a short time, he said, adding "We are in a race against time to overcome the dangers and repercussions of the population explosion."

The president asserted that the major development projects carried out by the state throughout the past years -- such as the New Suez Canal, the new electrical power plants and the nationwide roads -- were not for show, but were rather necessary to establish the investment environment and infrastructure to achieve comprehensive economic development that raises the standard of living of all people. 

These national projects were a result of economic necessity and not a luxury or mis-evaluation, the president said.

The president added that each project has its own economic and scientific justifications, not political ones.

El-Sisi said that the problem that faced the country was that it was "forced to do everything at once … we did not have the luxury to give priority to certain projects while postponing others for a later time."

"All files needed efforts and real confrontation … it was not a luxury or misevaluation," he said, adding that expending so much effort in seven years had been a burden on the state.

If these projects had not been implemented for the time being or had been delayed for the coming years, El-Sisi said, their cost would have increased fourfold or fivefold.

Following its development, the Suez Canal currently brings in $8 billion in revenues based on last year's figures, up from its highest ever recorded revenues of $ 4.5 billion, the president explained.

"Was it possible not to develop the canal and not to keep pace with the development in the international trade movement?" said El-Sisi.

The country targets to achieve revenues from its international waterway of up to $10-12 billion annually, he stressed.

As for road and infrastructure projects, El-Sisi said that they were necessary to meet the demands of a growing population and development goals, especially in light of the increase in the country's population by 14 million in the last seven years and by 20 million since 2011.

"No one asks about whether people would have been able to move if the road network had not been developed."

El-Sisi elaborated that a country that has such an important geographic location like Egypt cannot overlook developing its roads and ports, highlighting that 17-18 percent of international trade passes through its ports.  

In developing its energy sector, Egypt did not aim to establish new power stations as much as renew the existing energy grid and establish a new network as the country seeks to become a regional hub for energy.

El-Sisi said that to reach such a goal the energy networks should be on par with developed networks in Europe. "Hence, upgrading these networks was not done for show but was a matter of sheer necessity."

"It is impossible to embark on the path of modern industrialisation and massive export without having the necessary elements to achieve this, including cities, roads, a transportation network, technology, electricity, water, and sanitation."

"Over the past years, Egypt lacked enough of these elements to achieve the progress and prosperity of the people," he said.

Speaking on the shortage of the US dollars in the economy, El-Sisi said that the dollar gap is not a new issue, but a recurring pattern that results from the country's weak production and export capabilities as well as from its increasing demand for dollar-goods and services.

"Boosting production and export is a pivotal issue for Egypt. We know that and we are sparing no effort as we work to achieve that aim," added El-Sisi.

Police Day in Egypt is celebrated on the 25th of January to commemorate police heroism in the struggle against British occupation on that day in 1952.

The event included a show depicting the sacrifices of the police and the popular resistance in the struggle against occupation.  

On the 25 of January in 1952, 56 officers lost their lives and 73 were injured as they refused to surrender the Ismailia Governorate headquarters to occupation forces amid the country's struggle for independence.

The president honoured spouses and sons and daughters of some of those martyred or took part in the Battle of Ismailia on that date.

The president honouring Laila Tekla, the spouse of the late Lieutenant-General Abdel-Karim Darwish who was one of the heroes of the Battle of Ismailia

The president honouring Mona Zulfokkar, the daugher of late actor Salah Zulfokkar who was among the police officers who fought in the Battle of Ismailia

Minister of Interior Mahmoud Tawfik, Prime Minister Mostafa Madbouly as well as top police and state officials attended the event.

The event included a showing of a documentary titled "Every Day a New Challenge" on the efforts of the police forces in combatting terrorism and confronting crime to safeguard the public.

The president also ratified the promotion of police officers who fought in the war against terrorism.

In remarks, the president said "We should not forget the the sacrifices of martyrs and injured in the confrontation against terrorism."

"We do not want to forget the situation we were in for years. If those [terrorists] were able to overcome us they would have slaughtered us."

"We have been able to eliminate terrorism by a close to 100 percent," he added.

In a speech at the event, Minister Tawfik stressed that the police has been combatting crime through preemptive strikes.

The minister then gifted the president a memorabilia in commemoration of Police Day.

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