What Egypt should do
With the right policies, and international backing, Egypt can be transformed into a showcase of economic development.
My column of last week, “The West Must Back the New Egypt,” has caused much comment and has been reprinted several times. This column attempts to put more meat on the bones of an economic plan for Egypt’s future. A stable and prosperous Egypt has to be among the top two or three foreign policy goals for Israel and the West, perhaps exceeded only by the potential threat posed by a nuclear-armed Iran.
It would appear that Saudi Arabia, the UAE and Kuwait are going to chip in to cover Egypt’s immediate foreign currency shortfalls, which will postpone potential collapse and provide time for the new Egyptian government to prepare a meaningful economic plan for the medium- and long-term, and for the Western countries and the international development agencies to realize what is at stake and offer generous support to the implementation of such a plan. It should include the following items, alluded to briefly in last week’s column (this is not intended to be in any way exhaustive and omits such areas as transportation and communications):
1. Egyptian agriculture MUST be rationalized, reorganized and modernized, which means that the basic units involved must be large enough to efficiently use inputs of machinery and equipment, fertilizers and insecticides.
Above: Tahrir Square. Photo by Joe Pauloski, ’13.