President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi inaugurating national projects in Alexandria via video-conference on August 29, 2020. TV screenshot
CAIRO – 29 August 2020: While inaugurating a number of national projects in Alexandria on Saturday via video-conference, President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi warned of the 100-year impact of the delay in developmental projects, and illegal constructions that are ubiquitous in Egypt.
As those projects include Mahmoudeya Road Axis that required the elimination of unlicensed buildings, President Sisi warned of the repercussions of constructions on agricultural lands and unlicensed constructions in general describing them as “a threat to the Egyptian state.”
"Officials who aren’t able to impose order by dealing with construction violations have to resign. We don’t afford to lose large areas of agricultural lands in that rapid rate," President Sisi asserted.
"We have got a necessary amount of engineering machinery that can eliminate all unlicensed buildings constructed on agricultural lands across Egypt," President Sisi stressed.
In the same context, Prime Minister Mostafa Madbouli stated that until present, 700,000 construction violations have been committed. "Only 10 percent of constructions violations have been reconciled," President Sisi revealed expressing dismay.
The Armed Forces Engineering Authority chair noted that a committee has been formed to review construction licenses issued over the past six years as conditions have been modified.
The president and the prime minister addressed the fact that the dwellers of the areas being developed doubt that such changes would be to the better saying that the outcome came against their concerns.
"Any delay in undertaking [infrastructure and public service] projects will cripple development 100 years from now," President Sisi asserted.
Major General al-Far stated that over 14,700 projects were accomplished by the Armed Forces Engineering Authority at a budget that surpasses LE1 trillion.
The prime minister presented figures on public projects, whether accomplished or still under progress.
Mahmoudeya Road Axis inaugurated on Saturday includes 7 bridges and 4 pedestrian bridges.
The execution of the world’s wastewater treatment plant, Bahr Al Baqar, whose daily production is planned to be 5.6 million cubic meters, is underway at a cost of $1 billion.
Self-sufficiency of Octane
Minister of Petroleum and Mineral Resources Tarek al-Molla said that the Alexandria National Refine and Petrochemical Company (ANRPC) is part of Egypt’s octane self-sufficiency strategy.
The strategy includes 12 refineries divided upon Alexandria, Suez, Matrouh, Kafr El Sheikh, Beheira, Menoufeya, and Damietta. Those refineries secure 35 percent of the seven million tons of octane consumed in Egypt.
Octane 92 and Octane 95 compose 55 percent of the fuel consumption and their share is expected to rise to 60 percent by the end of 2020, the petroleum minister stated. He added that Egypt is estimated to achieve self-sufficiency of octane by 2023.
Expansions in refineries resulted in producing 1.5 million tons of octane per annum with a 90-percent increase (700K tons) saving LE500 million in imports.
Egypt has spent LE8.9 billion on subsidies in 2020, and is still one of the largest importers of wheat worldwide, the prime minister pointed out.
Minister of Supply and Internal Trade Ali al-Moselhy said that 6,000 outlets have been part of Gameaty Project aimed at offering staples at subsidized prices.
The minister showcased that 520,000 tons is Egypt’s current capacity of wheat storage. He pointed out that wheat silos were introduced in Egypt in 1964 and were made of concrete.
The minister added that Egypt is introducing field silos so they are close to cultivated lands. Since 2014, 35 silos were built in 20 governorates at a cost of LE5.6 billion. In the same context, rain losses have been reduced by 10 percent saving LE4.4 billion. Borg Al Arab’s new silo has a capacity of 90,000 tons and is worth LE235 million.
Seven supply service offices in Alexandria were automated at LE3.2 million, and 176 branches serving 0.5 million citizens across the nation were introduced within Gameaty Project.
Minister of Housing, Utilities, and Urban Areas Assem al-Gazar stated that water supply coverage is 100 percent in urban areas and 97.4 percent in rural areas so that the total is 99 percent.
Wastewater network coverage is now 37.5 percent in rural areas up from 12 percent in 2014 so that the total coverage across the country became 65 percent given the coverage in urban areas is 96 percent.
The size of investments in water supply and wastewater networks since 2014 is LE174 billion, the minister said. He underlined that there is a national project to introduce wastewater networks in all rural areas, and that is worth LE300 billion. The sum is within a LE430-billion budget allocated to water and wastewater projects to be executed over the next 10 years.
"There is a target to produce 134 million cubic meters of desalinated water per day by 2050," the minister declared.
Linking Tertiary Education with Labor Market Needs
President Sisi encouraged students to join newly introduced specializations at universities as they are linked to labor market needs in Egypt.
Minister of Higher Education and Scientific Research said that LE7.8B is the cost of introducing new schools/departments at public universities and upgrading existing ones. The new departments at universities include mechatronics and autotronics among others. It is noted that Egypt has 27 public universities, and 35 private ones.
Commenting on Current Affairs
Finance Minister Mohamed Maeit showcased that Egypt’s credit rating remained the same through COVID-19 crisis according to Moody’s, Fitch, and Standard and Poor’s.
President Sisi praised Egyptians’ eagerness that Egypt doesn’t get implicated in any neighboring state saying that thinking reflects “awareness.”
The president also urged people to not rush when judging the impact of projects the state is implementing as the decision-making in that realm is rooted in thorough studies.
The projects inaugurated include petroleum projects, the second phase of Bashayer Al Kheir offering alternative housing to slum dwellers, the three-phase wastewater treatment plant in Borg Al Arab District, and Mahmoudeya Axis Road.
The road extends over 22 kilometers and was constructed at a cost worth LE7 billion.
Bashayer Al Kheir is located in Carmouz neighborhood. The first phase consisted of 1,632 residential units while the second is composed of 37 flat buildings housing 1,869 fully-furnished residential units. The project is targeted at slum dwellers of Gheit Al Enab area located in the same governorate. The number of beneficiaries of the second phase is around 10,000.
Bashayer Al Keir 2 also consists of 338 shops spanning over 17,000 square meters, 13 shopping malls. The surface area of each of the shops and the malls is 32 square meters, and 915 square meters, respectively. The total surface area of sidewalks and gardens is 15,000 square meters.