The final part of my “Future’s Series” focuses on the nation of Egypt. The country has, like Libya, experienced a lot of public backlashes during a turbulent political transition. However unlike their neighbours Egypt has the greater comfort of a fundamental governing body. The diplomatic situation however is no less volatile. The overthrowing of the Muslim brotherhood last year has seen clashes all around the country between pro-Muslim followers and Egyptian armed forces that still cripples the reputation of the country to this day. Only recently one of the more publicised series of clashes involved pro-Muslim followers (all groups of students) in the cities of Cairo and Alexandria. The non-negotiable stance of the Egyptian forces stood firm again in the wake of the violence releasing teargas to disperse the protestors.

The situation remains even more extreme outside the built-up areas. Only a few weeks ago two Egyptian army officers and five Jihadist militants were killed during a raid at a property in the Sinai Peninsula north of Cairo. Since the overthrowing of President Mohammed Morsi in July the jihadist group, which maintains links with Al-Qaeda, has claimed the lives of 200 security personnel in the area. It is believed that during the raid two explosives were let off, both of which are believed to be the cause of the deaths of the jihadist militants and the two Egyptian officers. Much of my own personal debate about the ebb and flow of the situation in Egypt has centred on the use of force from armed forces it has to be said. In my eyes it seems that different tactics must be implemented and adapted to tackling any threat or unrest for built-up areas or rural settlements. This seems like a very obvious point, but we have to take into consideration the fact that the Egyptian army has a very different standing in its country compared to the armed forces here in the UK for example. It is a well-known fact that the Egyptian armed forces have had a tighter grip over their own country than their own government. So naturally a lot of issues that the country faces will fall into their jurisdiction.
Now before any readers here prepare themselves for me to state the idea of Egyptian armed forces handing over some of their power to the government, hold on! Their influence, in my eyes, is part of a paradox that they find themselves in. Whilst there is still consistent turmoil across the country it is the armed forces dominance that has made sure that the government itself doesn’t find itself in freefall like their counterparts in Libya and Syria have experienced.

On the other hand though is the simple fact that whilst they remain the completely dominant element of the country’s foundations it has the possibility to stifle the growth of their current government. This is simply a personal theory however. There is in fact a lot of evidence to suggest the contrary and that the government is taking its foothold at a steady rate. The economic situation for example seems to be taking a gradual turn for the better amidst the chaos on the streets.

Egypt’s Finance Minister Hani Qadri recently confirmed that additional funds have become available for the national budget of Egypt. The figure looks to be substantial enough at this point to produce a revolutionary turn around for the country to improve all aspects of life for the people and for the integrity of the country as a whole. Mr Qadri told reporters that the additional budget for 2014-15 will involve a radical restructure to meet the national demands of the people and of the constitution in an attempt to reach a target of L.E. 130 Billion to cover all aspects from education to scientific research, and from wage increases to health sectors. (For more details on the current plan, see this link )

The plan itself in the long-term promises much Egypt if targets are met over the next calendar year. The short-term reality right now proposes a major shake-up in the current financial structure of the nation. It is fair to say then that the financial backup could not arrive at a better time to help stabilise key sectors of the country’s infrastructure as the political unrest continues.
The substantial financial packet however doesn’t do much to paper over the cracks of the tug-of-war between the new government and Egyptian forces as both strive for further co-operation with protestors around the country. Furthermore it seems rather clear that the main change in the country’s system has to start with the completely unresolved power battle between the Egyptian hierarchy and their armed forces. This is a problem that is almost exclusive to Egypt in relation to Africa as a continent.
Whilst the unrest between pro-Muslim followers and the current government’s cohort is a problem being addressed right now, first there must be an appropriate compromise put in place to sensibly split national control between the country’s politicians and their soldiers.

Whilst finding the right solution is undoubtedly going to be tricky it seems to me that highlighting and acting on this situation can only benefit the country two-fold. Whilst the armed forces keep a significant amount of control they can only work to the country’s advantage of sheer force keeping the unrest at bay. In the meantime a greater amount of power in the hands of the government is likely to increase faith from their current supporters and improve their diplomatic stature both nationally and to their international friends watching the situation and sub-consciously instilling a little more confidence in the Egyptian political system.
By Egyptian forces and the government working in perfect tandem with each other through an adequate split in power for either side and having confidence in one another’s abilities to work as a team in restoring order during a turbulent period seems like a more than possible outcome in the next calendar year.

Whilst the unrest continues I personally feel that Egypt as a nation, with the right approach, holds great promise for a better nation in the long-term. Sadly this cannot be said for a lot of other nations across the continent in far more volatile situations than theirs. But the promise Egypt holds is testament to not only themselves, but to a large portion of individual African nations being written off by those who do not see the bright prospect that radical change can provide in turning round darker times.


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