From January 10 to 15, the online website of the "Ask President" initiative received citizens' questions concerning President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi's first term - Snapshot taken from the online website of the "Ask the President" initiative From January 10 to 15, the online website of the "Ask President" initiative received citizens' questions concerning President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi's first term - Snapshot taken from the online website of the "Ask the President" initiative

Why Sisi’s ‘Ask the President’ website is ground-breaking?

Sun, Jan. 14, 2018
CAIRO - 14 January 2018: In a move that Egypt has never seen in its modern history, President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi launched an initiative in April 2017 called “Ask the President”.

Launched through the National Youth Conference held in Ismailia, Egypt, the platform facilitates direct communication between the president and all segments of Egyptian society, in particularly the youth, who are the subject of much of the President’s attention.

The initiative has become one of the most important channels of direct dialogue with the President, according to Sisi’s official facebook page on January 10, 2018.

The platform was reinitiated for the period of January 10 to January 15 2018, with the President’s official page announcing its activation, “The President is waiting for all your inquiries and suggestions. “Ask the President” starts today until January 15 through the official website of the Initiative.”

During this time, citizens could ask any questions freely about anything that comes to mind, ensuring the continuity of dialogue between citizens and the President and the accountability of the latter. This move is certainly one of a kind in modern-day Egyptian politics.

This platform does not only enable citizens to hold the President accountable for his actions and to his promises, it also allows them to comprehend the rationale behind certain decisions that may be difficult to understand given the limited information or knowledge they may have on specific issues. Feeling more involved in governance will increase citizen’s nationalism and make them feel more involvement in the process of changing their country.

“Ask the President” is a move towards town hall democracy, which is vital for our state to continue on its path of positive development and prosperity because it allows for engagement between the Head of the Egyptian state and the people, leading each to understand the views of the other. This move will certainly lead the people and the Government to be more united than ever before, working hand-in-hand to develop the state.

Furthermore, citizens can also send the President ideas and initiatives via the “Ask the President” campaign, increasing their involvement even further and ensuring the ideas of young people are heard. Sisi has focused on multiple important issues and has given special attention to groups that have been overlooked during previous regimes. His “Ask the President” initiative comes as part of his focus on the youth and his plan to secure their future.

During his first term, Sisi launched multiple different initiatives and held national and international conferences with the goal of connecting with the youth and encouraging them to enter the governmental and non-governmental realms. This comes as part of Sisi’s call for hearing new ideas presented by youths.

Most notably, Sisi launched the World Youth Forum (WYF) in 2017 to create “a platform through which constructive dialogue between the government and future generations can take place,” according to the World Youth Forum official Facebook and twitter pages. The forum was comprised of plenary sessions, seminars, and round tables that discussed a various international and regional themes, including: migration, refugees, democracy, globalization and cultural identity, technology and access to information.

The forum called youths from around the world to come discuss their ideas and the issues they see around them. It was built on Sisi’s idea that many things in today’s world have become outdated and the youth should come in and have a “conversation” about how these things should be changed. The forum’s motto was “We need to talk.”

Since 2016, the “Year of the Youth”, four national youth conferences have been held by the Egyptian Government in Sharm El-Sheikh, Aswan, Ismailia, and Alexandria. More than 10,000 people participated in the conferences from various sectors of the Egyptian society.

Since the announcement of “Ask the President” reactivation, Citizens have started sending their questions to President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi about his first term in office.

"Ask the President" application guide - Courtesy of Ask the President official Facebook page
The announcement of the initiative has garnered more than 2,000 comments on Facebook, between users requesting the President for some development projects, like establishing a TV channel to raise the awareness of citizens about the ongoing challenges facing the country and the whole nation; and others thanking the President for his efforts during his tenure.

Prior to “Ask the President” initiative, the president launched a similar scheme during the fourth National Youth Conference held in Ismailia in April 2017. He answered the questions that concerned the public opinion during the past youth conferences, in a special session titled “Ask the President”.

The “Ask the President” application is available on the website of the National Youth Conference (NYC). All users can register using their Facebook or Twitter account or their email.

During the “Nation’s Story” conference held between January 17 and 19, the President will respond to the citizens' queries which were presented as part of the “Ask the President” initiative that kicked off from January 10 until January 15.
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