The Egyptian state was able to establish the foundations and pillars of the new republic, after years of hard work to get the country out of successive crises that it witnessed before 2014, and which almost ravaged it, confronting with all will the internal and external challenges, to make its comprehensive development plans successful for the advancement and renaissance of the nation.
The Egyptian state attaches great importance to citizenship and social peace, upholding the values of law and belonging, and empowering women with all their rights without discrimination. The state was also able to erase the effects of the era of real development and reform, in line with the challenges of the current stage, and moving towards broader horizons. These efforts received a positive outlook from international institutions and succeeded in strengthening Egypt’s leadership regionally and internationally.
In this context, the strategic forum for public policies and Development Studies issues a research paper highlighting the economic empowerment in Egypt and its impact on improving the standard of living through the following axes:
First: analysis of economic empowerment indicators
Second: examples of economic empowerment programs
Third: the impact of economic empowerment in improving the standard of living
The paper reached the following main results:
-Egypt ranked first in the Investment Attractiveness Index in Africa, and advanced 8 places in the economic openness index, which measures opportunities for openness to trade, investment, entrepreneurship and governance
-Egypt advanced 6 places in the infrastructure and market access index, and also ranked 87th in the Sustainable Development Index 2022
-Egypt has advanced 11 centers in the Human Development Index, as well as 15 centers in the Global Youth Development Index, which depends on several sub-pillars, including education, health, employment and opportunities available to youth
-Egypt advanced 3 places in the quality of Life Index, where it ranked 54th in 2022, and advanced 7 places in the overall quality of Life Index for expatriates, where it ranked 47th
-Egypt ranked 78th in 2022 in the Economic Empowerment Index, where it advanced 56 places, compared to the 134th place in 2014
-Poverty rates in Egypt have decreased to 29.7% in 2019/2020 compared to 32.5% in 2017/2018 with a decrease of 2.8%
-Economic empowerment has resulted in an increase in the ability of families to spend on the educational process, a decrease in dropout rates from education, as well as a decrease in the proportion of children under the age of five with dwarfism from 21% in 2014 to 13% in 2021.
First: Analysis of economic empowerment indicators Egypt advanced 5 places in the Investment Attractiveness Index in Africa issued by (RMB), which measures possible opportunities and risks for investors, as it ranked first in 2021 compared to 6th place in 2014, while it advanced two places in the Index of Foreign Direct Investments in Africa issued by (UNCTAD), which It measures global flows of foreign direct investment in billion dollars, as it came in second place in 2021 compared to fourth place in 2014. Egypt’s credit rating has improved, which reflects the country’s ability to fulfill its obligations when they fall due, as Fitch agency fixed Egypt’s credit rating at (B+) with a stable outlook in April 2022 compared to (B) with a stable outlook in December 2014. Standard & Poor’s also rated Egypt at (B) with a stable outlook in April 2022, compared to (-B) with a stable outlook in November 2014.
Egypt also advanced 8 places in the economic openness index issued by the Legatum Institute, which measures opportunities for openness to trade, investment, entrepreneurship and governance, as it ranked 102 in 2021 compared to 110 in 2014, while it advanced 57 places in the business environment index issued by The World Economic Forum, which relies on several pillars, including property rights and the extent of the impact of laws and legislation on the business and investment environment, ranked 38th in 2021, compared to 95th in 2015.
Egypt advanced 17 places in the IESE countries attractiveness index for capital and private property rights, which measures the attractiveness and quality of the investment environment and the ease of performing economic transactions, ranking 53rd in 2021 compared to 70th in 2016.
This is in addition to Egypt’s progress of 6 positions in the infrastructure and market access index issued by the ( Legatum Institute), which measures the quality of infrastructure that enables the flow of trade to and from international partners, to come to the 85th place in 2021 compared to the 91st place in 2019, noting that Egypt is one of the top 10 countries achieved an improvement in the index compared to 2011.
In addition to the above, Egypt advanced 26 positions in the competitiveness index issued by the World Economic Forum, which measures the competitiveness of countries through institutions, policies and factors that determine the level of productivity, where it ranked 93rd in 2019, compared to 119th in 2014, while Egypt’s points in the Budget Transparency Index issued by Budget partnership International improved to score 43 points in 2021 compared to 16 points in 2015, where the assessment covers all stages of the budget, whether drafting, approval, implementation, control.
Egypt ranked 87th in the Sustainable Development Index 2022 issued by the Sustainable Development Solution Network as a result of the improvement in the score, which evaluates the progress made each year regarding achieving the sustainable development goals, to obtain 68.7 points in 2022 compared to 66.8 points in 2014.
Egypt’s score also improved in the index of policies supporting the entrepreneurship environment issued by GEM, which measures the extent of encouragement and support directed at startup companies, as it obtained 4.6 points in 2021, compared to 3.3 points in 2015.
Egypt also advanced 100 places in the Road Quality Index issued by the World Economic Forum, which measures the efficiency, safety and breadth of roads, to occupy 18th place in 2021, compared to 118th place in 2015, in addition to progressing 11 places in the Train Services Efficiency Index issued by the World Economic Forum, which It measures speed, prices, punctuality, and availability of trains, as it ranked 34th in 2021, compared to 45th in 2019.
Among the strengths achieved is the decline of Egypt by 5.4 percentage points in the proportion of slum dwellers out of the total urban population, according to the World Bank, where it recorded 5.2% in 2018, compared to 10.6% in 2014, in addition to Egypt occupying the 13th place at the level of the best countries that have achieved an improvement in the points of the sanitation and drinking water index over ten years with a total of 9.3 points, noting that the indicator issued by Environmental Performance Index measures the extent of protection provided to human health against environmental hazards unsafe and unsafe sanitation.
As for the most prominent indicators of digital transformation, Egypt advanced 14 places in the Network Readiness Index issued by the Portulans Institute, which is based on digital readiness for 4 main pillars: technology – people – governance – impact on the economy and sustainable development, to come in 77th place in 2021 compared to the previous position. 91 in 2014.
Egypt advanced 46 places in the Government Readiness for Artificial Intelligence Index issued by Oxford Insights, which measures the extent of readiness to apply artificial intelligence in providing public services to citizens, as Egypt ranked 65th in 2021, compared to 111th in 2019. Digital transformation indicators also include Egypt achieving 103rd place globally in the e-Government Development Index in 2022 after improving in total points, as the index issued by the United Nations measures the availability of digital services, remote communication, and human capacity development, to record 0.5895 points in 2022 compared to 0.5129 in 2014.
Egypt has also advanced two positions in the Digital Inclusion Index issued by Ronald Berger, which measures the extent of universal and equal access to technology and its use for all, to occupy the 50th place in 2021 compared to the 52nd place in 2017, as well as Egypt occupies the 23rd place globally in the Cybersecurity Index 2021 after improving by a total of points, where it scored 95.5 points in 2021, compared to 58.8 points in 2014, noting that the index issued by ITU assesses areas of improvement and increasing awareness of cyber risks and threats and confront her.
Regarding the most prominent indicators of the energy sector, Egypt advanced 5 places in the Effective Energy Transition Index issued by the World Economic Forum, which evaluates the performance of the energy sector through the ability to support economic growth and comprehensive access to safe and reliable energy supplies based on environmental sustainability goals, to come in 76th place. In 2021, compared to 81st place in 2018, Egypt also advanced 31 places in the World Energy Index, to occupy 54th place in 2021, compared to 85th place in 2014. The tripartite energy index issued by the World Energy Council is based on (security, justice, distribution Energy sustainability.
Regarding the most prominent environmental sector indicators, Egypt advanced 5 places in the climate change index, issued by Germanwatch, which is based on a review of the country’s policies and efforts to protect the climate, to occupy 21st place in 2022, compared to 26th place in 2014, while Egypt advanced 5 places in the ranking. Global Gas Production, issued by (BP), which is based on gas production in billion cubic metres, where Egypt ranked 13th in 2021, compared to 18th in 2014.
Egypt also advanced 91 places in the Human Development Index within the World Human Development Report for the year 2021-2022, which was launched by the United Nations Development Programme, UNDP, compared to 108th place in 2014, which is a measure of the average achievement made in the main dimensions of human development such as healthy living, a decent standard of living, and knowledge. Egypt moved from the category of countries with medium human development to the list of countries with high human development.
As for education and scientific research indicators among the most prominent indicators of human development and human building, Egypt advanced 19 places in the higher education index issued by the UNDP, which relies on several sub-pillars, including spending on education and the quality of universities, where it occupied the 35th place in 2021, compared to the 54th place in 2017.
With regard to the index of the ability of the educational system to meet the needs issued by the World Economic Forum, Egypt has advanced 41 positions, where it occupied the 67th place in 2021, compared to the 108th place in 2019, noting that the index measures the extent of the educational system’s contribution to creating a strong and competitive economy, in addition to Egypt’s progress in the Global Knowledge Index issued by the UNDP reached 42 positions, where it occupied the 53rd place in 2021, compared to the 95th place in 2017, and Egypt is the most advanced country in the world sectoral ones include pre-university education, technical education, vocational training, higher education, research Development and innovation.
Second: Examples of economic empowerment programs in Egypt
Economic empowerment programs seek to provide assistance to the poor to start their own projects rather than providing permanent social care. These programs may also be governmental or by internal, external, and international non-profit civil society organizations. At the same time, economic empowerment programs help reduce poverty rates, by creating job opportunities for many families, and this effect is of great importance, as poverty leads to malnutrition, inability to receive health care, homelessness, begging, etc.
Egypt’s experience is a pioneer in empowering the poor in rural areas and unleashing the potential of women in rural communities, especially since Egypt currently has a social protection network that includes 5.2 million families, about 22 million people, a percentage of almost 80% in the countryside and the illiteracy rate among them is 62%, which requires innovative methods of economic empowerment.
The state gave priority to integrating economic empowerment with food systems, and making the poor produce to meet their needs, and local and international cooperatives were established to serve this goal.
Among the initiatives that have been implemented in Egypt is the launch of the Opportunity Program to create 50,000 self- and third-party job opportunities with a budget of 50 million dollars, of which 35,000 projects are being implemented in cooperation with 18 civil society organizations in eight governorates, and President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi’s initiative to provide high-production livestock breeds for small farmers. To combat the decline in the productivity of local farm animals, with a budget of 150 million Egyptian pounds for small farmers, in cooperation with the Ministry of Endowments, the Ministry of Agriculture, and the Agricultural Development Bank, work began in April 2022.
There is also an initiative to provide high-production sheep and goat breeding for families in the border governorates, to cover the food needs of the population and their economic activities, which benefited 2,400 families in four governorates and 6,000 projects are being completed, all in the fields of animal production, providing each family with 2 to 4 sheep or goats as the main capital.
The government also places the issue of women’s economic empowerment at the top of the development plan for the year 22/23, where the national strategy for the empowerment of Egyptian women 2030 includes four main pillars, namely political, economic and social empowerment, and protection from all forms of violence against women.
In her plan document submitted to the House of Representatives and approved by the parliament, she stressed the importance of developing women’s capabilities to expand their professional opportunities, increase their participation in the workforce and achieve equal opportunities in terms of women’s employment in all sectors.
The National Council for Women also prepared the Egyptian Women’s Guide to Entrepreneurship, with the aim of enhancing the economic empowerment of Egyptian women. The guide aims to build the capabilities of women who want to start a project to help them generate income, in addition to helping women who already have a project and want to expand it, or who face problems in implementing it, by providing advice and guidance.
The “Women and Work” project, “Do Good” and “One Village, One Product” were implemented as programs to enhance women’s economic empowerment through information technology. The “Adha and Adud” initiative was also launched to empower women who own handicrafts with an authentic Egyptian character and work to develop it. And promote it. The “Egyptian Cotton from Planting to Harvest” initiative was launched to train women in improved harvesting to increase cotton productivity.
Third: The impact of economic empowerment on improving the standard of living
Egypt advanced 3 places in the quality of Life Index, where it ranked 54th in 2022, compared to 57th place in 2016, noting that the index issued by US News depends on several pillars, including access to food, housing, education and adequate employment for citizens.
Egypt advanced 7 places in the general quality of life index for expatriates, occupying 47th place in 2022, compared to 54th place in 2014. The index issued by InterNations relies on several sub-pillars, including well-being, health, safety and climate. Egypt also advanced 4 places in the index of the best countries in the world issued by US News, which relies on sub-pillars including cultural influence, trade openness, entrepreneurship, and quality of life, ranked 35th in 2022, compared to 39th in 2016.
It also advanced 17 places in the Best Destination for Expatriates index issued by InterNations, which measures the ease of residence for expatriates, as it ranked 35th in 2022, compared to 52nd in 2014.
As for indicators of citizenship, coexistence, and equality, Egypt’s score improved in the Community Peace Index issued by the Institute for Economics and Peace, which is based on sub-pillars related to indicators of violence, terrorism, and crime, as it obtained 2.5 points in 2022 compared to 3 points in 2014, noting that the lower The more points the better.
it also advanced 56 positions in the women’s Political Empowerment Index, where she ranked 78th in 2022, compared to the 134th position in 2014, as the index issued by the World Economic Forum measures the extent of gender parity in political empowerment opportunities, in addition to her progress of 22 positions in the Gender Inequality Index, where she occupied the 109th position in 2021, compared to the 131st position in 2014. In addition to being removed from the list of countries of concern for the sixth year in a row, according to the report of the US Commission on International Religious Freedom, thanks to the country’s adoption of the principles of religious tolerance, noting that Egypt was classified in 2014 on the list of countries of concern with regard to the file of religious freedom.
the most prominent indicators related to the tourism and antiquities sectors, Egypt has advanced 32 positions in the tourism and travel Development Index issued by the World Economic Forum, which measures a range of factors and policies that enable sustainable and flexible development in the field of Tourism and travel, where it occupied the 51st position in 2021, compared to the 83rd position in 2015, and advanced 38 positions in the index of safer countries, where it occupied the 65th position in 2021, compared to the 103rd position in 2019.
Finally, Egypt won the second place as the best diving destination in the world for 2021, according to Dive Magazine, and was also selected among the top 10 tourist destinations to visit in 2022, according to the Lonely Planet Travel Guide, as well as being selected among the top five tourist destinations on the African continent according to the Financial Times Magazine. This comes in addition to choosing Egypt among the best tourist destinations to travel to in the fall of 2022, according to CNN Travel Report, as well as being selected as one of the best tourist destinations in the world for 2022, according to Tripadvisor.
According to the Human Development Report for the year 2021/2022, poverty rates in Egypt witnessed a decline to 29.7% in (2019/2020) compared to 32.5% in (2017/2018), a decrease of 2.8%, as poverty in the governorates of Upper Egypt decreased from 52% to 48% during the same period, according to data from the Central Agency for Public Mobilization and Statistics on poverty statistics in Egypt. The following figure shows the increase in average annual family income in Egypt:
In conclusion, it is clear from the above the efforts made by the Egyptian state to support economic empowerment programs and provide the necessary funding for them, because of the positive effects of these programs on the economic and social reality, which is confirmed by the returns at all levels through the high level of economic and social indicators in the country.