Youth conferences, a dream turned national foundation
But as the event started, so did questions about the purpose of holding such conference, and why the state would spend millions of Egyptian pounds on these conferences that aim at enhancing the country’s stature worldwide.
Six editions had been organized so far, it began in response to President Sisi's call for convening a national conference for youth, which was launched during the celebration of the Egyptian youth day on January 9, 2016.
The conference aimed at bringing together prominent youth future leaders with state officials and institutions, and giving them the chance to directly debate the present and the future and exchange ideas and experience to support their ambitions.
It started as a dream and executable idea, and became an even that everyone raced to be part of, until it became a fully integrated foundation that has non-stop production, serving all classes and different youths.
The conference did not only focus on young politicians, but youths of different specializations and fields, to include everything that youths dream of, as why would not the dream come true with the existence of willpower and the ability to achieve these dreams, which exactly what the conference implemented.
The youth conference through its editions sought to involve youths more into the state, by bringing down the thick wall between youths and the state, as it created an opportunity for dialogue between youths and state officials.
The conference also revealed so much hidden potential in Egyptian youths, and thanks to their ideas, many changes have been recorded in various fields.
It further sent a message to “haters” that the Egyptian state does not repress opposition or listen to different ideas and point of views, as the conference is being internationally broadcast, transferring a civilized image to the rest of the world that finally Egypt has a president who does listen to every idea, opinion and opposition through a constructive dialogue.
Suffice it to say that the consecutive editions of the conference have replied to all the questions and doubts by actions, and by an interaction and a dialogue that have been absent in Egypt for decades. Moreover, the recommendations resulted by these conference are already being implemented, whether in political, social or economic fields.
To be more clear, let us talk first about the philosophy of these conferences.
President Sisi initiated the first edition of the conference under the slogan “Innovate. Advance.”
The aim was to create a forum for direct dialogue between the Egyptian state and its various institutions and promising Egyptian youth, who aspire to a better future for their country through a national vision, scientific planning and constructive dialogue and discussing the various issues and challenges facing the state.
With the launch, the conference turned to become a unique case that has not been seen in Egypt before; a situation that reflects the confrontation and transparency between youths and the state, and the participation of a large group of young people from different classes, professions and governorates.
From the first moment, President Sisi laid down new rules in dealing with youths and breaking the barrier through the youth conference. The president was keen to attend and participate in all sessions of the conference starting from the first edition in Sharm el-Sheikh.
The Egyptian leader was also keen to listen to the ideas of young people and took notes himself, changing the role of youths from only listeners to the government, to speakers who speak out their various issues and visions with utter transparency.
The conferences succeeded in pumping positive energy and injecting renewed hope among Egyptians. The idea of convening the conference periodically in different regions and governorates was very influential among all young people and a clear message from the state regarding its equal consideration to all its people without preference or discrimination.
By extrapolating the many recommendations made by the Sharm El-Sheikh, Aswan, Alexandria, Ismailia and Cairo conferences,we can summarize some of the many things that have been implemented, including:
- The formation of a national committee of young people, under the direct supervision of the Egyptian Presidency, to run comprehensive examination and reviews of the statuses of young people detained in cases and have not been tried, in coordination with relevant state authorities.
- The establishment of the National Academy for Youth Training and Rehabilitation, which was the result of a recommendation to form a national center for the training and rehabilitation of young citizens politically, economically and socially through a solid and stable system and curricula.
CAIRO - 7 October 2018: The National Academy for Youth Training and Rehabilitation started working, and will be officially inaugurated by the end of 2018 by President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi, Executive Director of the academy Rasha Ragheb said. During an interview with "dmc Evening", Ragheb remarked that 200,000 students have applied for the academy, and only 500 will be chosen.
- Amending the Protest Law in accordance with proposals made by young people during the first national conference for youth in Sharm el-Sheikh.
CAIRO - 2 May 2017: Egyptian President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi has released a decree to amend the Protest Law. As stipulated by the decree that was published in the official newspaper al-Waqa'ia al-Masriya Tuesday, the Minister of Interior now has to submit a request to a court of first instance to cancel, postpone, or change the place or route of a protest, in case it threatens public security.
- Holding a comprehensive community dialogue to reform and revive the educational system, with the presence of experts and specialists in this field to come up with a plan and solutions to correct the course of education in Egypt.
CAIRO - 11 March 2019: The Cabinet indicated in its mid-year report to the Parliament what has been achieved within the Pre-university Education Development Program and the Development of High and University Education System Program over the past six months. New System The new education system has been introduced in kindergarten, and Primary 1.
- Stipulating a legislation governing the media field and the formation of bodies and councils organizing the work of the press and media, as recommended by the Sharm el-Sheikh October 2016 Conference.
CAIRO - 12 June 2018: The Parliament approved on Monday the two government-drafted laws aimed to regulate the National Press Authority (NPA) and the National Media Authority (NMA). The two draft laws are among the three draft laws submitted by the Cabinet to regulate Egypt's Supreme Council for Media Regulation(HCMR), the National Media Authority(NPA), and the National Press Authority(NMA).
- Coordination between the government, Al Azhar, and the Egyptian Church to conduct an extensive community dialogue involving experts, intellectuals, specialists and youths, with an aim to develop a national working plan that includes a comprehensive strategy to consolidate values and principles.
- The establishment of the Supreme Commission for the Development of Southern Egypt, which aims to improve public services, provide job opportunities and preserve the monuments of Nubia, with investments up to LE5 billion during the next five years.
- Finalizing all developmental projects in Nasr El Nuba and Wadi Karkar, and allocate LE320 million to complete these projects before the end of June 2018.
- Launching a national project for the establishment of integrated industrial zones for small and micro industries. The first phase starts with the establishment of 200 small factories across Upper Egypt during the next six months.
- Continued work on expanding social protection measures through the development of the Takaful and Karama project to include employment programs for the children of families included in the program through the launch of labor-intensive projects.
CAIRO - 1 July 2019: With Egypt receiving the final tranche of IMF, the government was keen to strengthen social safety nets program including Takaful and Karama, here is a thorough explanation for Takaful and Karama program as published in the World Bank website.
CAIRO - 2 January 2019: Deputy Minister of Social Solidarity Nevine el Qabbag said on Tuesday that beneficiaries from Takaful and Karama social protection program have exceeded 2.2 million families. In a statement, Qabbag noted that 50-100 thousand beneficiaries are expected to be added in 2019.
- Increasing efforts to improve the quality of life in Upper Egypt by continuing to intensify efforts in fields of health, education, transport and housing.
- Accelerating the implementation of the Golden Triangle project in Qena, Safaga and Qusair through five consecutive stages, which aims to establish areas for the mining industry and international tourist destinations, so that the triangle becomes an attractive global area for investment.
CAIRO - 26 July 2017: President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi's decree on establishing the Golden Triangle economic zone, covering El Qoseir, Safaga, Qena, and Qift, leads to a boom in development of the Upper of Egypt area, especially in fields of mining, industry and tourism, head of the Parliament's Economic committee Amr Ghallab said on Wednesday.
- The transformation of Aswan into Africa's capital for culture and economy and the celebration of the 200th anniversary of the discovery of Abu Simbel Temple to promote tourism in Egypt.
CAIRO - 15 May 2017: A proposal for centralizing Aswan as Africa's capital for culture and economy was being reviewed in a series of conventions which were held in the past weeks in Aswan, local outlets reported on Monday.
Abu Simbel temples' 200th anniversary of discovery to be celebrated
- The compensation of Nubian people who were affected from the construction of Aswan's High Dam since 1902.
Sisi orders compensating Nubians affected of High Dam's construction
- Declaration of 2018 as the year for people with special needs.
Ending the Year of People with Special Needs: A look at Egypt, disability
- The formation of internal monitoring groups of young people over state instituions organs and state institutions of youth.
- Launching an initiative to beautify the squares and legalize the status of mobile youth projects that have difficulty in obtaining licenses.
- A study to develop the Supreme Council for Investment and submitting it to the Supreme Council for Investment and Export.
- Activate the role of the National Payment Council for the integration of the informal economy.
- The mechanization of processes at customs and taxes authorities to reduce financial leakage.
- Initiating procedures for the establishment of the Supreme Council of Databases under the chairmanship of President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi.
- The World Youth Forum was held in two sessions, as recommended by young people during the Ismailia Conference.
- To mandate the government, using a selection of young people, to set up a mechanism to follow up the implementation of the 2030 strategy and to evaluate it periodically in light of local and global data and variables and to ensure that government programs are aligned with the strategy.
- Intensifying government efforts to bring about the necessary development of Alexandria Governorate.
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- The immediate commencement of studies for the Western Egypt development project through three phases and to be completed after 10 years.
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- The government will immediately begin preparing an integrated planning for the establishment of a comprehensive cultural entity in the new administrative capital and the new city of El Alamein including operas, libraries, theaters, heritage centers, museums and creativity workshops.
All the aforementioned recommendations, in addition to many others, affirm that the conference is not like ordinary events that end with the closing of the curtain, however, we are witnessing a national entity that seeks to honor what has been agreed on during the sessions with the hands of Egyptian youths and the help and support of the Egyptian government.
This institution has its outputs and products that enrich the political, economic, social, artistic and cultural life of Egypt, and help every day to pump new blood into the Egyptian lifeline.
The incoming 7th edition of the conference will kick off July 30-31 in the New Administrative Capital, seeing the attendance of 1,500 youth along with several public figures, media professionals, statesmen, businessmen, ambassadors of African Union’s (AU) countries and representatives of international organizations.
The conference will discuss national issues including economic reform measures, the state budget 2019-2020, administrative reforms to improve macro-economic indicators, digital transformation, government marketing, national projects, the Hayah Karima (Decent Life) initiative and the Egyptian stance on regional and international issues.
On the sidelines of the 7th edition, a graduation ceremony for the first batch of graduates of the Presidential Program for the Rehabilitation of African Youth, which is one of the recommendations of the 2019 World Youth Forum, will be held in order to complement the success of the Egyptian pioneering experience in the rehabilitation and empowerment of youths to include African youths as well.
As for the youth conferences, the new administrative capital will witness the session of “Ask the President” in which Egyptian citizen asks questions to the President of the Republic in a transparent manner. This event has achieved over the past two years an enrichment of the Egyptian consciousness; it first kicked off during the Youths Conference in Ismailia, the 3rd edition, and has been repeated ever since due to its vitality and importance.
Additional reporting by Youssef Ayoub and Mohamed El-Galy