International media outlets have put President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi under fire for failing to achieve significant economic growth since he took office in 2014, besides the state’s severe crackdown on dissidents.
The recent reports that accused Egypt and Al-Sisi of failure and violations of human rights have been silently received by Egypt with no response.
American newspaper The Washington Post published a report on Thursday saying that the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the United States’ gamble on Al-Sisi’s capability of economic reform in Egypt is not likely to pay off.
It added that Al-Sisi wasted tens of millions of US dollars on unneeded mega projects, including the new Suez Canal. It also said the president used to turn a blind eye to western counsellors regarding economic reforms, besides his “brutal repression” not only of Islamists, but also of secular liberals, civil society activists, and journalists.
US secretary of state John Kerry praised Egypt’s economic decisions following the liberalisation of the currency earlier in November. However, the media report said that Kerry may be betting on Al-Sisi as one of the rare leaders who managed to modernise their economy despite their repressive leadership strategies, like Chile’s Augusto Pinochet.
The Washington Post said that it is not a correct bet, given Al-Sisi’s economic illiteracy and the corruption in his regime and military.
Meanwhile, Egyptian Minister of International Cooperation Sahar Nasr wrote an article for the Wall Street Journal that directly accused the Muslim Brotherhood’s one-year administration for the deterioration of the economy. Nasr said that the main challenge of Al-Sisi’s government is to bring back economic stability.
Nasr added that the latest economic decisions in Egypt are deemed a major step towards reform and growth in the Egyptian economy.
The Economist published a report on Friday in which it said that the $25bn were given to Egypt by Saudi Arabia after 2013, but that did not secure Egypt’s loyalty. It added that the Saudi money saved Egypt from an economic collapse, describing Egypt as Saudi Arabia’s “needy neighbour”.
According to the report, the main problem between Egypt and Saudi Arabia is the turmoil in Syria, as Saudi Arabia and Sunnis are backing opposition and rebel groups in Syria, while Russia, Iran, and Shi’as are backing Syrian president Bashar Al-Assad.
Egypt has shown little devotion to Saudi Arabia in its stance towards the turmoil in Syria, even though it’s a Sunni country, the report read.
These were not the first reports to criticise Egypt’s policies and accuse Al-Sisi of failing Egypt. The Economist and Bloomberg previously published media reports that directly accused Al-Sisi of failure. However, Egypt’s Foreign Affairs Ministry used to respond to such reports.