The Egypt policy initiative is a discrete project that aims to evaluate the implementation and impact of current governance and institutional reforms on Egypt's economy. Using a comparative approach, it will also consider the likely impact that digitizing will have on the country's economy and society.
Egypt’s reform programme aims to restore macroeconomic stability and return the country to strong and sustainable growth by improving foreign exchange markets, reducing the budget deficit and government debt, creating jobs, especially for women and youth, while protecting the most vulnerable groups in the society during the process of adjustment.
The government has made use of part of the cumulative capital inflows of recent months to pay a further $2.2 billion to international oil companies, bringing their total arrears down to about $1.5 billion, and encouraging them to continue with the investments that should bring Egypt back to self-sufficiency in natural gas within two to three years.
This positive gloss cannot disguise the underlying precariousness of the Egyptian economy. Growth is struggling to reach 4%, while the population is increasing by about 2.3% per year; gross public debt is around 100% of GDP, and external debt has risen sharply, both in absolute terms (more than $70 billion) and as a percentage of devaluation-affected GDP (40%); food inflation is running at 40%, and the poverty level, based on World Bank assessments, is approaching 30%.
The project’s research agenda will be supported by a series of roundtables held in London, which bring together policymakers, IFIs, academics, business leaders and civil society to not only inform project briefing papers, but also policy towards Egypt.