National Dialogue discusses civil society, academic freedoms



Sun, 18 Jun 2023 - 01:36 GMT


Sun, 18 Jun 2023 - 01:36 GMT

Discussing civil society - National Dialogue Facebook page

Discussing civil society - National Dialogue Facebook page

CAIRO - 18 June 2023: The fourth week of the National begins Sunday with a discussion on the executive regulations of civil work and obstacles facing non-governmental organizations.


In the meantime, the National Dialogue discusses increased interaction between Egyptian and foreign academic communities, as well as freedom of scientific research.


Law 149 of 2019 has many advantages, but has a few flaws, said Talaat Abdel Qawi, a member of the National Dialogue’s board of trustees.


Abdel Qawi said NGOs in rural areas have difficulties opening bank accounts and prefer to deal with mail offices instead.


He added that they have trouble paying bills, whereas the state pays more than half of electricity bills of youth centers. NGOs are just as important, he continued.


While Law 149 allowed for the establishment of NGOs just by an official notification, this also allowed some NGOs to have profitable work. Hence, the law needs to be amended.


Establishment by notification also created many organizations that are enlisted but do not really exist.


The session on academic research involved former Minister of Higher Education Ashraf al-Shihy, who said the field needs to be more open.


Shihy said that regulations protecting national security are normal, but the concern should not be an obsession that restricts professors and researchers.


Limitations on the movement and travel of researchers should be lifted, and research in general should be encouraged, he continued.


Another former minister of higher education, Moataz Khorshid, said Egyptian universities need to build capacities, innovation, and freedoms.


He added that there is consensus in the academic community that the concept of university independence need to be applied and that universities need to have space to play their role.



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