Peter Hanna ’15
It has been almost 170 days since Abdel Fatah al-Sisi was elected the 6th President of Egypt and according Mian Ridge of the Finical Times blog, beyondbrics, “economists have given him a cautious thumbs up.”
Al-Sisi, the former defense minister of Egypt, won the most recent presidential election in Egypt by an enormous margin after encouraging citizens to oust former president, Mohammed Morsi and his regime. Political unrest in the last several years has devastated Egypt’s tourism and economy. According to Kathy Lally of the Washington post, tourism makes up about 11% of Egypt’s National economy, which has taken a major dip since the revolution in 2011.
Al-Sisi has made it clear on several occasions that the rejuvenation of Egypt and its economy is his top priority, not to mention he has also stated that Egypt will support the US in its fight against ISIS in his interview with CBS’ Charlie Rose.
Capital Economists estimate that al-Sisi will trim the budget deficit by 2.5 per cent of GDP according to The Finical Times blog beyondbrics. The blog reports that Egypt has also made improvements in patching up its damaged energy sector. However, recent militant attacks on pipelines haven’t helped them progress in that area very rapidly.
In June, the Egyptian President took part in a bicycle marathon to promote low consumption of fuel, which is costing the government billions of dollars every year. During my residency in Egypt, I observed that bicyclists aren’t very common. Most travel is done by car. Promoting low consumption of fuel in the way he did was an innovative move by the novice president. Former leaders of Egypt haven’t gotten involved in programs like the marathon. Al-Sisi’s race was promoted by several Egyptian media figures and numerous college students.
The new president clearly still has a lot to demonstrate. He still has several issues to deal with including improving tourism, cutting gas prices, the overall cost of living in Egypt, and not to mention dealing with the ongoing threat of ISIS in his country. His presidency is not bad so far according to capital economists and the citizens of Egypt, but there is still countless issues to be taken care of.