Monthly Archives: January 2012

Egypt’s Economic Democracy

One of the main drivers of the January 25th Revolution was the peoples’ demand for a better life through economic independence and salvation. While the revolution has thus far been extremely successful, achieving in less than 6  months more than we have ever hoped for in the past 60 years, it has not changed the fact that  more than 40% of the Egypt’s population still survives on less than $2 a day.

Understandably, without the guarantee of political system reform, the successes of restructuring the economic system will be lost and the goal of modernization cannot be realized. Yet while the focus falls on Egypt’s political and social reform, we strongly believe that true democracy will not be achieved or sustained without having a clear vision of Egypt’s new economic system.

“What economic path do we want to take and how will we get there?” Simple questions with no right or wrong answer; so as we try and lay a new foundation for trade and investment in Egypt, we turn to our global friends and partners for an open and transparent dialogue to formulate sound policies which will govern the way we do business together in this new era of a democratic Egypt.  The focus, day in and day out, has to be on business development and job creation. It is vital that we work together as a diverse group of thinkers to develop strategies that will pull Egypt from this national recession and launch a new future of reformed economic thinking.

 

By: Ashraf Mohamed Naguib

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A Call for a New Capital City

Greater Cairo is the largest city in Africa and one of the most densely populated cities in the world with approximately 20 million inhabitants. While the borders of Greater Cairo are expanding with each new development, the population continues to grow at a tremendous rate, resulting in a both a larger and more crowded capital city.

It is time for Egypt to address the problem of overcrowding head on, and follow in the footsteps of other nations that have created new capital cities to relieve the strain on major metropolises.  Like Switzerland, Australia, and Canada before it, Egypt could greatly benefit from moving government and civil service institutions to a new city, leaving greater space for business development and residential growth in Cairo proper.

Rather than continue to cram 80 million Egyptians onto 6% of the nation’s land, Egypt should take advantage of its vast geographic and industrial resources to create proper infrastructure and housing in a new location far removed yet accessible from the urban sprawl of Cairo.

Not just a new city, but a new Capital City, beyond the valley and far from the delta; a city which will stand testament to Egypt’s evolution and the spirit of the revolution.

One needs only to look out of their window on a warm Cairo day to realize that the city has reached its limit. With rapid population growth across the country, Cairo’s population density per KM2 has also grown by alarming rates. Traffic has become a major hindering factor in the city’s growth and development, while parking, amongst many things has become a rare commodity.

For decades now, Cairo has been the center of Egypt’s political and economic life; everything happens in Cairo. It is also the center of religion, culture, art and tourism and home to over 20 million inhabitants.

Yet what people fail to understand, is that all 85 million Egyptians occupy only 6% of the total land area of the country. A habit passed down by our great ancestors for millennia.

We believe that it is time to change this habit and to venture into a new world, and explore the possibilities of building an iconic new Capital City. Not just new satellite cities around Cairo, but a new innovative, green Capital City.

If I was running for Egypt’s Presidency in 2016 (Part 1)

Cairo – March 2011

Despite the fact that we are still looking over our shoulders in a desperate need to understand the reasons for the past, we must all be aware that we are now at a place where we can never turn back, and so together we must all make a pledge that we shall always march forward. We Egyptians must move ahead, hand in hand, knowing wholeheartedly, that our destinies are forever linked, and that united, our dreams can come true.

We have a solemn obligation never to forget the past 60 years which resulted in, and led to, the events which we participated in, on January 25th 2011. When our nation’s men, women and children from every walk of life, Muslims and Christians, old and young, rich and poor alike, put themselves in harm’s way so that our future generations would have the opportunity to grow up in a new Egypt, democratic and free. This obligation is not only to those who fought and died for our rights in “Tahrir Square”, but also to all those who sacrificed their lives for the freedom of this country in wars which won us back our lost lands and with them, restored our dignity.

For decades, good, honest and decent Egyptians have stood up one by one against consecutive regimes of oppression, but only when we all stood up together, were our voices heard, screaming that we will no longer accept the imposed policies of the past, nor will we accept to live with uncertainty for our future and that of Egypt’s posterity.

With all great Egyptians, come simple aspirations; aspirations that no child shall go to bed unfed or go to school with their feet bare, and will be protected from any harm, illnesses, abuse, poverty, illiteracy and ignorance; that a poet can recite his or her words in public or behind closed doors, and a reporter cover “the story”, without being dragged from their beds in the middle of the night; where small ideas turn into large businesses as a consequence of determination and hard work rather than the result of corruption, favoritism or unfair business practices; that all of us can participate in a fair and transparent political process without fear of persecution, and forever retain our right to vote, and most importantly, are guaranteed that our votes will make a difference.

In only 18 days, my younger brothers and sisters achieved more than what my father’s generation or mine have ever achieved in the past 60 years, because we have always been the “unheard minority”, while today they are the “vocal majority” with more than 50% of Egypt’s population still under the age of 30.

Yet history has always taught us, that the role of protest movements is not necessarily to provide solutions; it is their job to be critical and it is their duty to speak out, and ours to listen and act accordingly and responsibly.

The responsibility then falls upon our shoulders, as the educated and intellectuals, those with strong Egyptian roots, experiences, qualifications and good intentions, and those with Egypt’s and its peoples’ best interest at heart. In response to those calls for change, we must lead the way in proposing a new road map which will meet the demands of the people and guarantee a better future for Egypt.

My intention to run for president of Egypt in 2016, may be met with great skepticism, cynicism and criticism, but in my opinion, such sentiments would only apply in “the Egypt” of the past, while I intend to run for president in “the Egypt” of the future. Where by then, a candidate such as myself would have the freedom, right and equal opportunity to come forward to compete in a free, transparent, and fair election.

By: Ashraf Mohamed Naguib

First Post on Word Press

This is the first post we make on Word Press free blog services.

Hello world!

Welcome to WordPress.com. After you read this, you should delete and write your own post, with a new title above. Or hit Add New on the left (of the admin dashboard) to start a fresh post.

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