We were very happy with the surprise that 9 January was named the official annual Egyptian Youths Day. Although it was celebrated without coordination with states bodies or the plan to make 2016 the year of the youth, it was still a good step.
But at the same time, the questions remain: who will enable the Egyptian youth; who are those youth to be enabled; and, how will they be enabled? The government of President Abdel Fattah Al-SIsi and former prime minister Ibrahim Mehleb has placed an emphasis on appointing youth as aides to ministers, governors and to the prime minister.
These government appointments have encouraged the youth and sparked hope once again to believe that the state is taking effective steps to help them. However, we have waited and waited for a further step. The focus on the youth has seemingly stopped seemed with these appointments.
Young administrators were chosen at the expense of politicised youth, suggesting that the government does not wish to build a second or third level of government – that is if we even consider there to be a first level of government. Young aides have been given tenure without evaluation. They were appointment without having acquired the proper tools or having received advice to improve their performance. They turned into robots to follow orders. Can the government take another step to promote the inclusion of youth in political life?
Mr President, they are highly trained youth but only a few of them have been involved in politics. What they have gained should continue to grow.
The youth are a genuine and effective part of Egyptian society. The president’s initiative to train youth is part of a community-based rehabilitation and wide-ranging plan.
Mr President, look around and do not listen only to the formal advice of the Minister of Youth. You should not ignore communication with the youth, for they are the real fuel of both revolutions. There is no sense in listening to everyone except political activists, especially those working within Egypt’s political parties.
I know they can be very hard to work with but you should do that for Egypt and its future.
Abdallah Al-Moghazy is the former assistant to both Prime Minister Sherif Ismail and former prime minister Ibrahim Mehleb. He previously served as the spokesperson for President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi’s electoral campaign. He also held a position on the Youth Advisory Council for the Supreme Council of Armed Forces, and was a spokesperson for the Al-Wafd Party.