By Menna Zaki
Presidential candidate Abdel Fattah Al- Sisi briefly discussed, during the second part of his interview, the topic of unemployment, the rate of which is currently registered at 13.4%.
Al-Sisi discussed during his interview possible solutions to the rising unemployment rate. Once elected, he plans to purchase vehicles to transport frozen meat to “poorer areas” and sell them at reduced prices; hiring drivers to transport the meat will create job opportunities for the youth, which he believes will alleviate unemployment.
He stated that this project will be funded by banks, where employees can “work together” and repay the bank loans, which “will be used to buy the vehicles in installments”.
The presidential candidate said that he wanted to make citizens “feel more secure” and “give them the sense that their country can develop”. He added that although this has been discussed on a small scale, he is “aware that they were talking about a big market of unemployment”.
Al-Sisi said during the interview that the 4m acres of land, which the government plans to reclaim, can provide jobs with “proper salaries” for the youth. He cited this plan as a possible solution to the rising unemployment, and that the youth will be given the opportunity to own these lands and pay “reasonable rent” to the government each month.
He added that the lands provided to the youth will have complete facilities and will be fully equipped for use. “All what the youth will be asked to do is work,” he said.
According to the Central Agency of Public Mobilization and Statistics (CAPMAS), 3.6 million Egyptians are unemployed, which marks a 57.3% increase in the unemployment rate since 2010.
In 2012, economists broached the possibility of applying unemployment benefits in Egypt, a payment made by the state to those who are unemployed until they find jobs.
Mohamed Abo Basha, economic analyst at EFG Hermes, said that 13.4%, or 3.6 million citizens, is a huge number and “should not be underestimated”. He added that “unemployment benefits” might be a solution to the problem until the youth find “proper job opportunities”; however, it “needs a huge budget”.