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Investing in youth

Fady Labib

24 Jun 2015 9:13 pm

“The nation’s progress lies in science and knowledge, and how to find innovative and untraditional solutions to the challenges Egypt is undergoing.” With this message President Abdel-Fattah al-Sisi underlined the importance of scientific knowledge to promote any nation’s aspiration to global development and progress.
The president was meeting young graduates from leading international universities who are part of an ‘institution for development’ which comprises 600 members of average age between 33 and 45.

White Book
The initiative for establishing this institution of young volunteers was with the purpose of contributing to development in Egypt for the benefit of the community. It was first established in 2014, when the volunteers formed two teams to meet officials from the ministries of transport and planning to help promote several projects. They also held meetings with every university for more than a year.
The outcome of their meetings was included in a White Book, a manifesto which they introduced last June 2014 to President Sisi.
The president’s recent meeting with the group was to learn more of their latest achievements in the fields of development, especially economics.
At the recent meeting, which was also attended by Ashraf al-Arabi, Minister of Planning, and a number of experts in community and economic development, President Sisi referred to the importance of rallying will power and energy for the sake of the homeland. “Egypt mainly depends on her youth in the coming phase,” he told them.
Throughout the meeting there were discussions on how the members could contribute to the inclusive investment map for Egypt and help prepare booklets for new projects. The young graduates were also asked to draw up a complete map of medical services in Egypt, and to contribute to revising the State plan for sustainable development, “The Vision of Egypt 2030”. During the meeting, 30 investment projects were reviewed, and other projects were suggested.

Spirit of optimism
Mariam Maged, a founder member of the institution, told Watani that one of the major projects the president spoke of was ‘the million feddan project’.
Another member, Tamer Yusry, said they noted Sisi’s complete support for their ideas. “This aroused our spirit of optimism about being able to serve the community through the knowledge we gained at the universities where we graduated,” he said.
This was not the first time President Sisi had met young people. As a candidate for the presidential race he met young innovators, and following his election he met a number of young journalists and media figures with whom he discussed how to harness young energies for development.
He believes that young people are the spine of Egypt and the wealth of any community. More than once he spoke of their vitality, willingness, enthusiasm and transparency, which should be able to improve conditions in their country.
“I hope that in the coming phase young people will assist ministers and officials in all fields. These young people should move on and shoulder responsibility for structuring their homeland,” he has said.

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