Ashraf Elaraby: The economic crisis the world is currently going through may be the most severe in years
The “Solutions for Alternative Policies” Center of the American University in Cairo hosted Prof. Ashraf El-Araby, President of the Institute of National Planning, in the first episode of the second season of the podcast “What is the Solution?” with dr. Rabab El Mahdy is Professor of Political Science at the American University in Cairo and Executive Director of the Center.
The meeting discussed the current economic situation at the global and domestic levels, and mechanisms and paths to get out of the crisis for Egypt, while shedding light on the causes of that crisis.
During the meeting, Al-Arabi indicated that the economic crisis the world is currently going through may be the most severe in years, and its manifestations are represented by the sharp rise in prices, the high debt burdens, the global economic slowdown, in addition to the high unemployment rates among young people, adding that the current global system can be considered a generator system. For financial, economic, health and geopolitical crises, pointing out that there are many global writings that warn that the world is on the verge of a global debt crisis that may be the worst since the eighties.
Al-Araby explained that some of the causes of the economic crisis that Egypt is currently going through are beyond the will of the Egyptian state, but others can be attributed to the slowdown in carrying out structural reforms.
During his speech, Al-Arabi touched on discussing a group of issues and topics related to the priorities of the current stage, the public debt crisis in Egypt, and the proposal to draft a law for public debt, whether internal or external, and that borrowing be in order to finance investment projects that serve development goals.
The President of the Institute of National Planning also stressed the importance of developing education and the need to call for an expanded societal dialogue to discuss the issue of education and how to keep pace with international developments related to it, stressing the need to reconsider the aspects of spending on the development of education and focus on raising the efficiency of spending on it.
In response to a question about the main sectors that would lead the development train during the coming period, Al-Arabi indicated that the government had identified 3 main priority sectors, which are industry, agriculture, communications and information technology.
With regard to industry, Al-Araby explained that the National Planning Institute is adopting a research project on deepening local industrialization, and more than 15 research and policy papers have been issued on specific industries such as the chemical, food and mining industries, as well as the service sector that characterizes Egypt, stressing the role of the state in supporting the file Exports, supporting Egyptian producers, and opening new foreign markets for exporting producers.
At the end of the meeting, Al-Arabi proposed a set of recommendations to solve the problems facing Egypt, including creating an attractive environment for the human element to limit the emigration of Egyptian minds abroad, and providing appropriate qualification for the competencies and existing human elements and their proper exploitation.
Al-Arabi stressed the need to upgrade the tourism sector by paying attention to the development of tourist attractions and places, adopting initiatives to preserve heritage, improve the level of services provided to tourists, and work to attract new categories of tourists, in addition to developing new types of tourism to benefit from the competitive advantages that Egypt possesses in the tourism sector.
It is worth noting that the “Solutions for Alternative Policies” Center is a research project at the American University in Cairo concerned with providing proposals for public policies to deal with some of the challenges facing Egyptian society through an in-depth and accurate research process and extensive consultations with various concerned sectors. The project also provides innovative solutions with a future vision to support The efforts of decision-makers to provide public policies aimed at achieving equitable development in the areas of economic development, resource management and institutional reform.
To watch the full meeting: