One of the most important lessons Egypt has learned from the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic is that economic reform is an ongoing process, according to Rania Al-Mashat, Minister of International Cooperation.
Despite the economic challenges of the recent period, Minister Al-Mashat noted that Egypt entered the crisis with strong indicators on the financial and monetary levels. This strength comes off the back of the country’s successful implementation of its economic reform programme between 2016 and 2019.
In an interview with US news channel, CNN, the minister said that Egypt’s government has undertaken several measures with the participation of the private sector and civil society.
This includes integrating the informal sector into the formal, which resulted in the inclusion of 1.5 million informal workers on the state’s database. Egypt has also expanded upon the social protection nets to ensure support is provided to affected groups during the crisis.
In the past few months, the government has also put in place reforms to ensure greater financial inclusion and the digitisation of services, to ensure maximum benefit for citizens.
The minister pointed out that Egypt’s economic reforms have enabled the education sector to overcome the challenges of the pandemic, by shifting to online and digital learning methods. This digital transformation also extends to a large portion of public services provided by the government, which are now offered to citizens remotely.
Minister Al-Mashat added that, despite the pandemic’s having had global consequences, with no country immune to the pandemic’s impacts, Egypt can report many success stories relating to its achievements during this period.
Regarding the issue of the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD), Minister Al-Mashat stressed that she had full confidence in Egypt’s skills in political diplomacy. She added that Minister of Foreign Affairs Sameh Shoukry and Minister of Water Resources and Irrigation Mohamed Abdel Aaty are putting their full effort into the negotiations with Ethiopia in this.