President Abd Al Fatah Al Sisi in the fourth National Youth Conference – Press photo.
CAIRO – 24 July 2017: During the first session of the fourth National Youth Conference in Alexandria on Monday, President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi said that overpopulation and terrorism are Egypt’s real two threats.
Several issues were discussed by Sisi and the ministers, including education, health and over population. The session, titled “Egypt’s Vision 2030”, with the participation of 1,500 youth and several public figures, started with a speech by Minister of Planning and Development Hala Al Saeed, who gave a main frame for the government’s vision during the coming period.
“It’s important that this vision last and continue, even if the whole government changed,” Al Saeed said, adding that most of the countries that have similar circumstances, including Poland, South Africa and Singapore, succeeded to achieve their goals after setting a vision and plan.
The general frame for Egypt’s vision 2030, according to Al Saeed, includes education development, health development, urban development, road and transport network development, agricultural development, and energy and electricity development.
“For the first time, the export rate has been increased to 23 percent, as the balance of trade deficit and imports was decreased,” Al Saeed said during her opening speech.
She added that the unemployment rate has decreased from 12.8 percent to 12 percent, and that “all of this considered only as initial results for the strategy that has been implemented already.”
She also added that every individual share of the self insurance was [unfortunately] only LE 149; however, “we are aiming to double it to reach LE 3,700, according to the government plan.”
Regarding establishing new cities, Al Saeed said that the populated area inside Egypt didn’t pass 7 percent of the whole country, so the government is aiming to build new cities to be suitable for the middle class during the coming period. “About 150,000 units are aimed to be established annually,” She mentioned.
All of the government’s plans eventually aim to provide more jobs and decrease the unemployment in the society, according to Al Saeed.
Sisi: “I know salaries are not good”
In his speech, Minister of Education Tarek Shawki said that within the ministry’s strategy, about 54,000 new classes are going to be built during this year (2016/2017). Also, by September 2017, three new Japanese schools are going to be opened, along with another three Nile schools, which will provide the first Egyptian international certificate.
According to Shawki, 40 teachers traveled to Japan and came back after gaining a lot of the Japanese learning methods, and they are now teaching their colleagues.
Commenting on Shawki’s statements, President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi said that the whole education system needs a lot of work. “I know that the salary ranges are not good, but this is because our whole financial system is not strong enough; however, we are determined on crossing to our dreams,” Sisi said, adding that we only have two options: “whether to be patient and work hard or to surrender.”
The new health insurance law and overpopulation
During his speech discussing the ministry’s vision for 2030, Minster of Health Ahmed Emad discussed the most difficulties he faced during the past period, assuring that the “overpopulation” problem was the biggest one for many reasons.
He said that the government was unable during the past period to reach a huge number of people to offer them the right tips, methods or even awareness.
Regarding the new health insurance law, Emad said that the ministry has already finished writing it and discussed it through community dialogue during the past 15 months. He added that they are hoping for it “to be the first law discussed by the parliament after holding its new sessions within the new round.”
From his side, President Sisi said that he considers overpopulation is the second threat to the country after terrorism. “I haven’t talked about it in my speeches during the whole past period; however, we have two real challenges facing our country: terrorism and overpopulation.”
Monday morning, President Sisi inaugurated the fourth National Youth Conference in Alexandria. Around 1,500 youth attended the conference, along with parliamentarians, heads of unions and universities, journalists, public figures, and representatives of the National Council for Women and the National Council for Human Rights.