News / Economy

Egyptians Wonder if Sissi Can Heal Egypt's Economic Woes

Egyptians Wonder if Sissi Can Heal Egypt's Economic Woesi
X
Heather Murdock
June 02, 2014 6:55 PM
During his campaign, Egypt's president-elect Abdel Fattah el-Sissi promised to heal the nation's ailing economy. And, while many Egyptians have high hopes for newfound safety and prosperity, Sissi has called on Egyptians to make sacrifices and warned it will take years to reform the economy. But after three years of upheaval and no clear economic program, how much sacrifice can they take? Heather Murdock has more for VOA from Cairo.
Heather Murdock
During his campaign, Egypt's president-elect Abdel Fattah el-Sissi promised to heal the nation's ailing economy. And while many Egyptians have high hopes for newfound safety and prosperity, Sissi has called on Egyptians to make sacrifices, warning it will take years to reform the economy.

After three years of upheaval and no clear economic program, however, it's unclear how much more such sacrifice they can take.
 
Once popular with tourists, this market has mostly local shoppers a few days after the presidential election. Sissi has been declared the winner. Pre-election pro-Sissi music still blares on the streets.
 
Locals say the tourism industry, like others in Egypt, has flat-lined [disappeared].

Poor business

Ahmed Alaa makes traditional boxes and games out of wood and mother-of-pearl. He said business has been bad since the 2011 revolution.

“Before the revolution we was working very much, and there were many tourists in Egypt. But after the revolution we feel very, very bad because the economy in Egypt - it’s not only the tourist [industry] -- everything is damaged and everything [has fallen] down," said Alaa.

Sissi’s ideas to improve the economy already were in play before the votes were counted. The government plans to cut subsidies and reduce the national deficit.  
 
Mohammad Gad is a senior economic reporter at el-Sharouk, a prominent Egyptian newspaper. He said the plan could backfire, and a large reduction in fuel subsidies could cause even more unrest.

“To some degree this is an unprecedented move by the Egyptian state to deal with the subsidy, but without having a clear vision and alternative policies that would ease the economic pressure on both people in dire poverty and the middle class, it could bring down the social system," said Gad.

Despite widespread poverty, the incoming president has called for sacrifices from the Egyptian people, suggesting they eat less food, walk more and use less electricity to help their economy recover.
 
He said he will significantly improve the economy and the security situation within two years.

“The Egyptians expected a lot of things.During two revolutions they were aspiring for bread, freedom, social justice. The Egyptians wanted to live like this.I need to give them security and stability and complete development," said Sissi.
 
Limited patience

But activists say the Egyptian public will not wait two years for change.  

Human rights worker Abdelrahman Hany said the public will lose patience.

“People will take to the streets for two reasons: first regarding Sissi, because he would not fulfill everything he promised regarding economic recovery, or take the first steps towards economic recovery," said Hany.
 
Sissi will be Egypt’s third president in three-and-a-half years after the last two were ousted following popular protests. Sissi, the former army chief and defense minister, has been running the country since the army imprisoned former president Mohamed Morsi last July.
 
Thousands of people have been killed or arrested since then, accused of being associated with Morsi’s party, the Muslim Brotherhood.

Despite the turmoil, and an income of less than $150 a month, the wood craftsman Ahmed said for now he can live with some sacrifices.
 
“We need to work more and we need to give Egypt more because we can change the life, different than now, you know," he said.

Ahmed also worried that the people will not have the patience to wait for reforms. In the meantime, though, he hopes that at least with a real president in charge again, some tourists will return to his market.

You May Like

As US Strikes Syria, China Sees Parallels at Home

Beijing is debating how much support to give international coalition against IS militants and trying to figure out how many Chinese nationals may have joined group overseas More

CDC: Ebola Could Infect 1.4 M by 2015

US health officials say if efforts to curb the outbreak are not increased, cases will soar dramatically by early next year More

Video USAID Provides $231 Million for Girls Education in 5 Countries

US Agency for International Development partners with celebrities to call attention to importance of education for girls worldwide More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Washington to Pyongyang: 'Shut This Evil System Down'i
X
Scott Stearns
September 23, 2014 10:52 PM
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry is calling on North Korea to shut down prison camps and other human rights abuses following a United Nations Commission of Inquiry into "widespread and systematic human rights violations." VOA State Department Correspondent Scott Stearns reports from the United Nations.
Video

Video Washington to Pyongyang: 'Shut This Evil System Down'

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry is calling on North Korea to shut down prison camps and other human rights abuses following a United Nations Commission of Inquiry into "widespread and systematic human rights violations." VOA State Department Correspondent Scott Stearns reports from the United Nations.
Video

Video US, Gulf Allies Strike Islamic State Militants in Syria

United States forces have carried out strikes against Islamic State or ISIL militant positions in Syria - the first time Western forces have taken action on Syrian soil. Five U.S. allies from the Gulf joined the military action. Local reports suggest dozens of militants were killed. The U.S. also carried out unilateral missile strikes against a Syria-based terror group which Washington says poses an imminent threat to the West. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video High Intensity Focused Ultrasound Used to Kill Cancer Tumor

There is a new way of killing certain cancer tumors that allows the patient to go home on the same day. Surgeons at the Keck Medical Center of the University of Southern California became the first doctors to use this procedure on a patient with the help of high intensity focused ultrasound, or HIFU, and new robotic technology. Elizabeth Lee reports from Los Angeles.
Video

Video USAID Provides $231 Million for Girls Education in Five Countries

Hollywood stars Alicia Keys, Jennifer Garner and 30 others have voiced their support for a U.S.-backed initiative called "Let Girls Learn." The $231 million program, funded by the U.S. Agency for International Development, is aimed at ensuring public and quality education for girls worldwide. As VOA's Mariama Diallo reports, this new program will focus on five countries in Africa, South Asia, Latin America and the Middle East.
Video

Video UN: Relocation of Bedouins in Israel Weakens Two-state Solution

Rural Bedouins living in disputed lands east of Jerusalem could soon find themselves forcibly relocated. VOA's Sharon Behn reports from Jerusalem that while Israel defends the move as in the Bedouins’ best interests, the United Nations says the plan threatens the survival of the two-state solution with Palestinians.
Video

Video NASA’s MAVEN Probe Enters Mars Orbit

NASA’s newest Mars probe, called MAVEN, has successfully entered its designated orbit around the Red Planet. Scientists will use its sophisticated instruments to try to learn what happened to the atmosphere Mars had a few billion years ago. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Prolonged Drought Plagues SW Oklahoma Farmers

Parts of western Texas and southwestern Oklahoma have been in drought conditions for several years running and the deficit in rainfall has taken a heavy toll on cotton and grain production. Oklahoma Governor Mary Fallin says the state has suffered $2 billion in agricultural losses since 2011. There has been rain in recent weeks, but, as VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Altus, Oklahoma, for most farmers it has been too late.
Video

Video For West Ukraine City, Conflict Far Away Yet Near

The western Ukrainian city of Lviv prides itself on being both physically and culturally close to Western Europe. The Russian-backed separatists in the eastern part of the country are 1,200 kilometers away, and seemingly even farther away in their world view. Still, as VOA’s Al Pessin reports, the war is having an impact in Lviv.
Video

Video Saving Global Fish Stocks Starts in the Kitchen

With an estimated 90 percent of the world’s larger fish populations having already vanished, a growing number of people in the seafood industry are embracing the concept of sustainable fishing and farming practices. One American marine biologist turned restaurateur in Thailand is spreading the word among fellow chefs and customers. VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from Bangkok.
Video

Video Chinese Admiral Key in China’s Promotion of Sea Links

China’s President last week wrapped up landmark visits to India, Sri Lanka and Maldives, part of a broader campaign to promote a new “Maritime Silk Road” in Asia. The Chinese government’s promotion efforts rely heavily on the country’s best-known sailor, a 15th century eunuch named Zheng He. VOA's Bill Ide reports from the sailor’s hometown in Yunnan on the effort to promote China’s future by recalling its past.
Video

Video Experts Fear Ebola Outbreak ‘Beyond Our Capability to Contain’

Each day brings with it new warnings about the deadly Ebola outbreak already blamed for killing more than 2,600 people across West Africa. And while countries and international organizations like the United Nations are starting to come through on promises of help for those most affected, the unprecedented speed with which the virus has spread is raising questions about the international response. VOA's Jeff Seldin has more from Washington.
Video

Video Migrants Caught in No-Man's Land Called Calais

The deaths of hundreds of migrants in the Mediterranean this week has only recast the spotlight on the perils of reaching Europe. And for those forunate enough to reach a place like Calais, France, only find that their problems aren't over. Lisa Bryant has the story.
Colonel Steve ‘Spiros’ Pisanos left Greece and came to the U.S. to learn to fly. He flew fighters for the Allies in World War II, narrowly escaping death multiple times.Colonel Steve ‘Spiros’ Pisanos left Greece and came to the U.S. to learn to fly. He flew fighters for the Allies in World War II, narrowly escaping death multiple times.

AppleAndroid

World Currencies

EUR
USD
0.7756
JPY
USD
108.49
GBP
USD
0.6096
CAD
USD
1.1002
INR
USD
60.951

Rates may not be current.