Published on Arab Voices

Egypt one year after the revolution: Tell us what priorities the World Bank Group should support?

ImageEgypt is at a historical crossroads.  Just over a year ago, Egyptians demonstrated to the world that they could successfully come together to reclaim their destiny.  Beginning with Tunisia and continuing with Egypt, a wave of revolutions now commonly referred to as the "Arab Spring" spread to the entire Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region.  Citizens demanded respect, voice, accountability, and opportunity for all. 

One year after the Tahrir revolution, Egypt faces huge challenges, including a fast deteriorating macroeconomic situation, persistent poverty, high unemployment, especially among the youth, and a failing education system.  Egypt’s ability to meet these challenges in the short-term will have important consequences for its medium and long-term stability and development.

The World Bank Group is committed to support Egypt’s efforts to achieve a successful transition. In the months ahead, the Bank will be available to support the Egyptian authorities in maintaining macroeconomic stability; promoting the role of a competitive private sector in inclusive economic growth and employment creation; enhancing transparency and accountability of government, including fostering citizens’ participation, social accountability, and supporting the improved delivery of social services.

The presentation (PDF) attached provides an explanation of what the World Bank Group does and outlines the draft World Bank and International Finance Corporation strategy for Egypt for July 2012 - December 2013. This guidance paper (PDF), called an Interim Strategy Note, is being formulated to support Egypt over the transitional period of the next 18 months, after which the World Bank Group expects to develop a longer-term partnership strategy for assistance.

From its office in Cairo, the World Bank team has been engaged in wide-ranging conversations with different players in Egyptian society now trying to understand how Egyptians are defining their needs and how best we support that in our interim strategy. There are more meetings planned in the weeks ahead.   But there are also tools for us to reach those we can’t meet in person: social media and online tools played such a vital communication role during the Arab Spring, and have been particularly successful in reaching the youth.  We too are using these platforms to reach out and seek your feedback on the following four questions to inform our thinking:

  • What role should the World Bank Group play in supporting Egypt’s transition?
  • Are the identified priorities in the attached documents the right ones?
  • Are the proposed areas of engagement appropriate?
  • What should we do differently?

Let’s hear from you, please. We value your thoughts.


David Craig

Former Country Director, Egypt

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