Egypt needs to attract more investments to keep up with its fast population growth, which creates a challenge of requiring more opportune jobs for the country’s young people, Chief Economist at the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), Sergei Guriev, said.
“Some countries in Western Europe face a difficulty of lacking young people, as least Egypt has its young people with very few old people,” Guriev mentioned on Tuesday evening, during his speech at the event organised by the EBRD to launch the Transition Report 2018/19 titled ‘Work in Transition’.
“Egypt is a typical young economy but it has to raise people’s incomes through offering new jobs,” he added, noting that technological progress changes the demand and supply of the work system.
In Egypt, for instance, the number of jobs needs to grow by around 2% every year (roughly 750,000 jobs), in order for the economy to be able to absorb all new labour market entrants, the report said.
The International Labour Organisation’s (ILO) data affirms that more than a quarter of all people between the ages of 15 and 24 in the southern and eastern Mediterranean region (SEMED) are not in employment, education, or training. Moreover, people educated to tertiary level account for 31% of youth unemployment in Egypt and the West Bank and Gaza, the report mentioned.
Furthermore, Egypt underwent a difficult situation in the first reform wave where it needed to take very difficult decisions on the social, economic, and political sides, the former Deputy Prime Minister, Ziad Bahaa-Eldin, and currently the attorney at Bahaa-Eldin law office, said.
“Some of the difficult decisions were introducing the value added taxation (VAT) and the reduction of fuel subsidies,” he explained.
The second wave of Egypt’s economic reforms is completely a different issue, Bahaa-Eldin asserted, noting that the authorities need to reform their administrative procedures to fight bureaucracy, and reduce corruption.
“This is a task that requires different skills, resources, and attitude,” he remarked, pointing out that Egyptian authorities have to limit the gaps between issuing laws, applying them, and getting them to high efficiency levels.
More local investments and foreign direct investments require serious actions toward eliminating bureaucracy, as well as the application of a good education system which is critical for dealing with offered job opportunities and helping young people acquire the required skills which match the job market.