Egypt: ElBaradei calls to take urgent economic steps

Published January 11th, 2012 - 07:13 GMT

Mohamed ElBaradei, candidate for the Egyptian presidency, said the country needs to take urgent steps to prevent economic collapse amidst the current instability. In particular, Egypt needs to bring back foreign investment, stimulate industrial activities, and create new job opportunities in the short term if the economy is to be saved.

The head of the transitional government is striving to revive mega projects that were launched prior to the revolution. However, economists believe his efforts are in vain due to the significantly reduced funds available to finance these projects. The shortage of financing can be traced to successive economic fiascoes, the most important of which is the collapse of tourism revenue.

A report released by the Egyptian Central Agency showed that unemployment rate jumped to 12 percent in the third quarter of 2011, compared to 9 percent of the same period of 2010. According to the report, the number of Egyptian university graduates is 316,000, of which 55 percent are female. Due to incongruities between university curricula and market demands, most graduates seek jobs with the state rather than the private sector.

Corruption during the Mubarak regime often meant that nepotism rather than credentials was the key to finding employment. As a result, most Egyptian youth work in low-skill jobs that do not match their educational qualifications Economic expert Reda Essa stated that creating new job opportunities in Egypt is dependent on direct government action. He said that the state must stimulate investment and loosen the private sector's grip on investments. Such measures should be implemented as soon as possible in order to meet the post-revolutionary expectations of Egyptian youth. (Source:

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