"Ask the President" covers economy, regional affairs



Sun, 29 Jul 2018 - 08:46 GMT


Sun, 29 Jul 2018 - 08:46 GMT

President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi addresses the attendees at the National Youth Conference at Cairo University on July 29, 2018 – Press photo/Presidency

President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi addresses the attendees at the National Youth Conference at Cairo University on July 29, 2018 – Press photo/Presidency

CAIRO - 29 July 2018: The second and last day of the 6th National Youth Conference (NYC) held at Cairo University kicked off on Sunday. The theme of the event attended by President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi is human development with a focus on education and healthcare.

NYCs are always concluded with "Ask the President" session whereas he answers citizens inquiries about several issues. The panel discussions in the rest of the session includes senior officials along with youths who present recommendations and proposals for different matters. This conference is attended by 3,000 youths.

Below is a live streaming of the conference:

"Ask the President" Session begins

The NYC administration received questions over one week whereas the great majority came from citizens in Cairo making up 25 percent. Most of the questions amounting to 600 were on the economic status of the country.

A report on fake news was aired warning against its repercussions on the national security of nation states.


"You will feel the impact of reforms when economic growth surpasses 7.5 percent as the population growth is 2.5 annually. China achieved annual economic growth of 12 percent for long years," Sisi said adding that so far there are no plans to regulate overpopulation by law.


"The expected number of residencies requested per year based on bank deposits or real estate purchases would not surpass 60," Minister of Interior Mahmoud Tawfik stated asserting that the nationality is not granted automatically after five years and that it can be evoked anytime.


"Egypt has five million refugees including 500,000 Syrians," the president stated highlighting that they live among Egyptians (not in camps).


"Mechanization will lead to reducing corruption," Sisi said.


"Gaza is not exclusive to Hamas. It has Palestinian people who want to live," Sisi said addressing the Israeli public opinion reiterating that "there is a great opportunity to achieve peace."


"We support the establishment of the Palestinian state having East Jerusalem as its capital," Sisi announced.


"We try to facilitate holding elections in Syria by cooperating with the moderate opposition," Sisi said.


"Our established values consist of not intervening in the affairs of other states and not conspiring against them. Egypt suffered because of a conspiracy. We refute the presence of any armed militia in Libya, Syria, Yemen, and Somalia," Sisi stated expressing support to the national army in Libya.


"When the regime in Libya had fallen, we spread special and air forces in specific locations," Sisi revealed referring to arms smuggling.


"By 2030, six new cities in Upper Egypt and a number of universities will be built. The development of hospitals, schools, and the railway network will be finished," Sisi announced.


"By 2020, Egypt will achieve Natural Gas self-sufficiency," Sisi stated.


"By November, four tunnels connecting Sinai to the rest of Egypt will be finished," Sisi announced.


"We (the people) are in a battle for the sake of the homeland and religion," Sisi stated reiterating that "armed actions" against the nation are not accepted.


"We are fighting terrorism without reconciliation with any party," Sisi declared.


"Imagine what the martyrs' families and the security operations' injured would feel when they find we are not appreciating their sacrifices," Sisi said.


"It is unjust to judge reforms by only looking at the level of prices," the president stated.


"In February 2011, I talked to some media personnel about the challenges Egypt is facing. I was honest with the people about the country's problems since the very beginning, and you told me to go ahead with reforms" Sisi said.


"If Egypt collapses, the entire region will collapse," Sisi stated saying that "if we enter that tunnel, we will not come out."


The president announces a competition among universities and schools to develop their facilities before the upcoming academic year. Fifteen days ahead, a committee - including the Administrative Surveillance Authority - will evaluate such measures.

The National Information Infrastructure Project Session begins

Head of Administrative Surveillance Authority Mohamed Erfan delivered a lecture on the goals of the project.

Erfan 2
Head of Administrative Surveillance Authority Mohamed Erfan - File Photo


The president orders the Administrative Surveillance Authority to digitize all civil services procedures across the country in four years only instead of six.


The purchases of certain companies, especially in the automotive sector, outweighs sales. That is an indicator of tax evasion, Ayman Ramadan, official at the Administrative Surveillance Authority, stated. That is in addition to the huge gap between the collected amounts of income tax and VAT.


Three billion public records have been digitized and included in the national database.


Suez Canal tolls payment has been mechanized so that vessels refrain from getting foreign currencies from Egypt, Erfan said.


The project will help in combating tax evasion and granting subsidies for eligible citizens eliminating bureaucratic procedures, Erfan said.

Health Insurance Session

Minister of Health and Population Hala Zayed delivered a presentation on efforts deployed to provide immediate treatments for patients on waiting lists to undergo critical surgeries. Military and charity hospitals took part in the initiative. Vox pops by a number of those patients was aired.

Zayed 2
Minister of Health and Population Hala Zayed - File Photo


Debt service is in the value of LE 847 billion, Moeit said.


Attempts to implement a universal health insurance failed since 1964 failed because the state was influenced by instability and absence of security. The main incidents were the 1967 war and the 2011 revolution, the president said stressing that all reforms and development endeavors would collapse if stability and security are not preserved.


The current out-of-pocket costs (not covered by insurance) in Egypt surpass 50 percent of total medical expenses. That is one of the highest percentages worldwide. The new system will reduce it to just 20 percent, Moeit stated.


The healthcare system in Egypt has been fragmented. For instance, patients whose treatment required very high costs had to go through a long process to be granted treatment at the expense of the state, Minister of Finance Mohamed Moeit said highlighting the importance of having a unified universal healthcare system.


The minister thanked a number of medics for outstanding performance.


The ministry launched an architectural designs competition for medics dorms, Zayed said.


The benchmark is Wadi El Nile Hospital, and the International Medical Center as "the problem with public hospitals is operating systems and not the infrastructure," Zayed said.


A number of doctors were trained in Switzerland to be family physicians as part of the universal healthcare system, minister said.


One of the ministry's goal for 2030 is decreasing birth rate to 2.4, Zayed declared.


This is the first year that the ministry imports vaccines in a value surpassing LE 2.5 billion as better substances were introduced worldwide, Zayed stated.


The armed forces will produce infant formula next year to replace imports, Zayed said.


President Sisi revealed that the total cost to achieve the initiative of eliminating waiting lists for critical surgeries is LE1 billion so as the average cost for each of the 12,000 patients on the lista is LE100,000 reiterating that spending on healthcare is better than "spending on food." 9,000 patients have already undergone the surgeries.



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