National Youth Conference - Press photos
CAIRO – 25 April 2017: The third round of Egypt’s National Youth Conference (NYC) kicks off Tuesday, to be held over three days in Ismailia, north-eastern Egypt.
Less than a year old, NYC aims at establishing a productive dialogue between the government and the large population of prominent Egyptian Youth.
The first two rounds of the conference witnessed a significantly high participation, from thousands of Egyptian youths, as well as officials and public figures; and they concluded with a number of recommendations and presidential decrees.
So what is exactly this newly introduced conference and how effective has it been so far?
How and when was NYC first launched?
President Abdel-Fatah al-Sisi called for the hosting of the conference in January 2016, “the year of Egyptian youths,” as the president announced.
“Egyptian youth, with deep ambition and modern scientific backgrounds, are our key hope towards building a civilized, well-educated country,” Sisi said. “Through their dedication Egypt will long live whatever happens.”
NYC’s first round: “It’s you who is going to plant, build and develop”
Under the theme “Innovate Advance,” the first round of the conference was held in Sharm El-Sheikh in October 2016.
Devoted to establish effective communication channels between the Egyptian government and Egyptian youths across the country, the conference tackled several issues, including the status of Egyptian economy, the Egyptian identity and the influence of media and social media on it, circumcision, fast food and corruption.
A total of 3,000 youths from all over Egypt participated in the conference. Other youth representing political parties, universities and the Egyptian parliament were also present, as well as a number of state officials, public figures and parliament members.
What were the main outcomes of the first round?
The main outcome of the October conference was the establishment of the Detained Youth Committee, which prepared a list of 82 detainees who were later released by a presidential pardon, one month after the conference.
During the conference, Sisi also announced that the government would study suggestions and proposals to amend the protests law, called for a social discussion to develop the education system and announced launching a national centre to train and rehabilitate the youth.
NYC’s second round:
The second round of the conference was held in Aswan in January 2017. A two-day conference, it focused on the challenges facing governorates of Upper Egypt and was attended by over 1,300 Egyptian youth, along with MPs and several ministers.
What were the outcomes of the second round?
At the closing session of the conference, Sisi issued nine presidential decrees:
Decree 1: The establishment of an authority to develop Upper Egypt and create job opportunities with investments of up to EGP5 billion, over five years
Decree 2: A recommendation to complete the development project in Nasr Al-Nuba village, north of Aswan with a budget of EGP320 million. The project should be completed by the end of June 2018.
Decree 3: The establishment of industrial areas for small-sized enterprises and small factories in all Upper Egypt governorates
Decree 4: A recommendation to focus on social protection by developing the Takaful and Karama program organized by the Ministry of Social Solidarity
Decree 5: Instructions to work on improving the quality of life in Upper Egypt through education, health, transportation and housing
Decree 6: Recommendations for the rapid completion of the Golden Triangle project in Qena, Safaga and Qusseir, seeking to establish regions for mineral industries and international touristic regions to attract tourists.
Decree 7: The transformation of Aswan into a capital for African economy and culture
Decree 8: The Termination of the 12,000-acre governmental project in Khour Qendi
following protests from Nubian residents
Decree 9: A recommendation to review additional compensation for people displaced following the construction of the Aswan High Dam.
What will the third round bring to the table?
Taking place in Ismailia, on the West Bank of the Suez Canal, the conference chose yet another significant region of Egyptian territory for its third round.
Coming in conjunction with the celebration of Sinai Liberation Day, the third round kicks off Tuesday with a maritime demonstration, followed by the opening session and Sisi’s speech.
The conference is also set to commemorate some of the stories of heroism that have characterized Egypt’s canal cities and their people over history.
Once again, NYC gathers over a thousand youths from different governorates, along with a number of ministers, parliament members and public figures.