“The Ruining of Egypt”–is that your aim?
The Economist is a widely-respected institution, a leading magazine in economic and financial issues. You’d expect it to continuously offer us unbiased information and facts, but our expectations were shattered when we came across an article under the title of, “The Ruining of Egypt”, that seemed to us more insulting than informative. We were taken aback by how a supposedly professional magazine would one-sidedly insult a country’s leader, using superficial reasoning and a poorly constructed analysis. Here are just a few of the points the articles discusses we disagree with.
- The Economist claims that President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi came to power through a coup.
The explicit definition of a coup is an illegal seizure of power from a government. The author did not recognize the determination of the millions of Egyptians who demonstrated for the dismissal of the Muslim Brotherhood Morsi. The author also completely disregarded the millions who voted in favor of the election of President El-Sisi, who was victorious in an election that wasn’t even close!
- The Economist accuses President El-Sisi of “incompetence” for Egypt’s economic policies.
The Economist completely overlooks the fact that all policies are based on the advice of “The Economic Group”, a council of prominent economic experts. Naturally, many economic policies are controversial and even the most educated economist may disagree upon which economic policy is the most appropriate in a given situation. Thus, constructive criticism is welcomed, but the author simply jumps to the conclusion that Egypt’s president is incompetent, which signifies a lack of knowledge of the nature of the decision-making process in Egypt. President El-Sisi does not micro-manage Egypt’s institutions; he does not individually create all economic policies. The president is surrounded by institutions, consultants and an independent central bank—in addition to a cabinet of professionals that are in charge of making all decisions.
- The Economist alleges that Egypt’s economy is sustained only through cash aid from the Gulf and military aid from the US.
The author of this article hasn’t done his research as he has failed to notice the decline of US aid to Egypt in the past years. Yes, Egypt is currently facing economic difficulties and structural challenges, but this is a normal consequence of the events Egypt has passed through since January 2011, which is still imposing high financial costs. Creating a brand new economic model is not an easy task, and the Egyptian government came up with a comprehensive plan to put the economy back on track and to establish a new foundation for sustainable growth by 2030. The plan was endorsed by the parliament and is under consideration with the International Monetary Fund. This is a sign that Egypt’s economy is on the right track. This package should provide Egypt with a bright economic future as well as encourage foreign investors.
- The Economist totally disregarded Egypt’s long list of accomplishments across several economic sectors during the past two years.
In the face of regional turmoil, international economic problems, and issues that have caused Egypt’s tourism and investment to decline remarkably, Egypt’s government has managed to overcome those challenges through intensive mega projects. Many projects, such as the New Sues Canal, have been launched to stabilize the Egyptian economy and to solidify a foundation for future economic growth. Vision 2030 for sustainable development has been endorsed and is currently being executed. However, many projects cannot prove successful overnight, and other’s results cannot be quantified as their benefits are not merely economic returns but social and political, as well.
It’s no secret that the Egyptian Government is currently facing economic challenges. We choose to stay optimistic and believe in Egypt. Evidently, the Economist would rather undermine Egypt—even if that means undercutting its credibility and professionalism. We hope the Economist will be subjective and prejudice in its coming articles—if not for Egypt, then for its own sake at least!
By: Hana Kotb