During what was announced as Abdel Fattah al-Sisi’s monthly speech to the nation on Tuesday, the Egyptian president addressed a number of the country’s developmental issues, providing satistics for each. Yet Sisi refrained from going into detail on many of the government’s current projects, “because evil forces are trying to put a stop to the march of development.”
Mada Masr has compiled a list of the 10 most important issues the president addressed during his speech, along with the relevant numbers:
Corruption: Sisi admitted that corruption is a significant problem in Egypt, stating that the issue requires a lot of time and effort to fix. According to him, there exists the requisite political will to face this issue on both a security and legislative level, making it easier for state institutions to put a stop to it.
Statistics: Sisi stated 334 corruption cases have been filed so far, including cases of bribery, misuse of power, causing harm to public money, profiteering, and seizure of state lands. The state has purportedly reclaimed LE305 billion and 135,000 square meters of land related to these cases.
“Black terrorism”: According to the president, Egyptians have been losing sleep over the issue of terrorism, a force that has been expanding to target infrastructure and wage a psychological war on citizens.
However, the president stated that he is not satisfied with efforts made so far to renew religious discourse, which he claims “do not rise up to the challenge.” Al-Azhar, religious preachers and Egyptian thinkers are doing their part, in his opinion, “but we need to move quickly and efficiently because the effects of terrorism are becoming more evident all over the world.”
Statistics: In April, 594 terrorists were allegedly arrested after arrest warrants were issued. 62 of these were reportedly apprehended, and found to be in possession of 122 explosive devices, weapons and ammunition. 15 terrorist cells were also allegedly destroyed.
Sinai: Terrorism in Sinai received a special mention, as the president discussed the challenges facing the military, police and citizens in this turbulent part of the country. He thanked Sinai’s tribes for helping with the war against terror, calling them “the true heroes.”
Sisi also referenced upcoming plans for developmental projects in the peninsula “to help make its people feel more comfortable.”
Statistics: 80 percent of illegal tunnels were reportedly destroyed in the three kilometer buffer zone surrounding Rafah.
Suez canal development project: Sisi announced that the new canal will be inaugurated on August 6, and that a number of heads of states have been invited to attend the ceremony. Another project to establish fish farms in sediment basins east of Suez canal will also be launched in August.
Statistics: All dry drilling at the new canal site has been completed, along with 65 percent of dredging, which is being finished at what the president termed “an unprecedented speed.”
Energy sector: Sisi announced that an emergency plan is being implemented “not only to avoid summer power cuts across the country, but also to provide more energy in general.”
Statistics: 3.6 gigawatts are going to be added to the national grid beginning in June. 56 new agreements to excavate for oil and gas have been signed and US$30 billion investments will be injected into the energy sector in Egypt.
Meanwhile, the government was asked to increase the supply rate of natural gas to homes to a million housing unit per year.
Ramadan: Sisi asked citizens not to be worried as the government is working on providing basic food commodities at reasonable prices for citizens during the holy month of Ramadan, in addition to efforts to stabilize prices.
Statistics: The Ministry of Supply has established over 20,000 outlets for food commodities, as well as 500 cars to serve as selling points. The strategic reserves of wheat reached 450,000 tons, a 210 percent increase from the same time last year, while sugar reserves reached 1.6 million tons.
Meanwhile, 10,000 herds of cattle will be distributed to families in need before Ramadan.
The administrative wing of the state: This is a complicated problem in the president’s opinion, one that has suffered issues for the past 40 years. According to Sisi, fixing this matter will require years of work, as well as a number of legislative amendments.
Statistics: Despite the challenges, Sisi stated that he’s working on dealing with the issues within the administrative body without harming the conditions of its 6.5 million workers currently employed.
The Economic Development Conference and the new capital city: Sisi described the conference as a clear indication of Egypt’s importance in the world. According to him, attracting investment is mainly geared toward creating new jobs and enhancing the living conditions of middle and low-income citizens. Mechanisms have been set to follow up on those results, the president stated.
Sisi also stated that he understood the confusion surrounding the Cairo Capital project, but assured citizens that one million workers will be participating in the national projects underway. He added that a committee has been formed to review the details of the project to ensure maximum benefit for middle to low-income citizens.
Development, construction and housing: Sisi praised the “Listen to Us, There’s Hope” initiative which, according to him, has managed to develop 20 villages, mostly in Upper Egypt, within the past 4 months.
Statistics: Sisi announced that LE500 million out of the Tahya Masr (Long Live Egypt) fund have been allocated to the initiative to develop villages in need.
1153 villages will also be developed by 2018, within the framework of the National Initiative to Develop Egyptian Villages.
During the past 10 months, the Ministry of Housing reportedly finished constructing and delivering 70,000 housing units for middle-income citizens, spending a total of LE9.5 billion in investments. 174,000 more units will supposedly be completed before the end of the year, at a total cost of LE25 billion.
A land reclamation project will also be launched soon, and will begin by reclaiming 10,000 acres in the Farafra area using a model to establish productive, environment-friendly villages.
Egyptian TV: This is a matter of national security, according to Sisi, who stated that “we cannot allow for the broadcast to be cut off for even one minute.”
The President referenced the recent power cut at Maspero (the headquarters of the Egyptian Radio and Television Union), and demanded that the procedures undertaken to remedy the situation be announced to the public.