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Submitted by AminaSemlali on

Economic elites & nepotism -- the need for Accountability.

Raghada,
Thank you for this very honest and revealing blog. I read it with great interest.

The fate of your brother is sadly the fate of all too many - with the exception that at least your brother has some connections through his father and family (although it did not seem sufficient at this point). This touches upon the other critical issue that you raised: nepotism and the even more urgent post-revolution need for good governance, transparency and accountability.

I believe that no matter how much we focus on programs that "provide youth with labor market relevant skills" no matter how much we try to figure out how to "ensure that women can participate in training programs" - none of that will matter all too much unless the very core of the issue is addressed, namely: nepotism and corruption that inhibits economic development and limits market competition.

You touched upon the disappointment many young still feel in Egypt - how they joined the Revolution 2011 with the hopes of creating a more inclusive country where they could lead a more dignified life. Indeed, the young were tired of the Mubarak era's infamous nepotistic structures with economic and political elites controlling most of Egypt's vital businesses and benefiting/hiring their own families/friends while leaving much of the country's young (-those without the right connections-) loitering in squalor and unemployment.

Indeed, it is more important than ever that the young see concrete steps toward meaningful implementation of laws that prohibits monopolistic and nepotistic practices and corruption. It is more important than ever that steps are taken to make the labor market more meritocratic and inclusive so that e.g. young entrepreneurs can compete freely and on the same terms.

However, change toward increased transparency and accountability also means that citizens will need to continue to actively hold government officials to account.

Citizen engagement remains key.

Sorry to elaborate, I do wish your brother and Egypt's young all the best on their difficult journey. Thanks again for raising this very important issue.

Amina Semlali