As Egypt gears up to hold presidential elections this December, the country’s economy is in crisis. Inflation has hit record highs, unemployment continues to rise, and a worrying, rising number of Egyptians are making the difficult decision to embark on an extremely dangerous journey by sea to reach Europe as refugees.
Nearly a year ago, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) struck a deal with the Egyptian government to award a loan of $3 billion over 46 months. A central pillar of the new IMF program in Egypt is privatization of Egypt’s remaining state-owned companies, including those owned by the military, and historically unprecedented requirements for transparency of internal finances and state subsidies to military firms. However, to date, Egypt has failed to make progress on many of these demands.
Has Egypt’s military economy changed in the past few years, and particularly since Egypt and the IMF inked a new agreement in December of 2022? What are the likely factors preventing progress on the program’s conditions and what might it take to break the impasse? What will Egypt’s deteriorating economy and deadlock with the IMF mean for its coming elections and the next six years of a new presidential term? On Thursday, October 26 at 4:00pm Eastern time, join the Tahrir Institute for Middle East Policy (TIMEP) and the George Washington University (GWU) for an in-person discussion with Yezid Sayigh, Senior Fellow at Malcolm H. Kerr Carnegie Middle East Center in Beirut, and Shana Marshall, Associate Director of the GWU Institute for Middle East Studies, on Egypt’s political economy, its faltering agreement with the IMF, and the implications of the country’s crisis on its politics and economy for years to come.
Yezid SayighSenior Fellow, the Malcolm H. Kerr Carnegie Middle East Center
Yezid Sayigh is a senior fellow at the Malcolm H. Kerr Carnegie Middle East Center in Beirut, where he leads the program on Civil-Military Relations in Arab States (CMRAS). His work focuses on the comparative political and economic roles of Arab armed forces, the impact of war on states and societies, the politics of postconflict reconstruction and security sector transformation in Arab transitions, and authoritarian resurgence.
Shana MarshallAssociate Director, the Institute for Middle East Studies; Research Professor, the Elliott School of International Affairs
Shana Marshall is Associate Director of the Institute for Middle East Studies and a Research Professor at The Elliott School of International Affairs. She is a non-resident fellow at the Quincy Institute, a member of the Middle East Research & Information Project (MERIP), and the Security in Context project, where she leads a working group on the role of private equity and venture capital in the expansion and transformation of weapons production. Her research has been published by The Middle East Report (MERIP), The International Journal of Middle East Studies, Jadaliyya, and the Carnegie Middle East Center.