President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi gives a speech during the second day of Tale of a Homeland conference, January 18, 2018 - Press photo
CAIRO - 18 January 2018: Egypt’s mega projects of natural gas, network transportation, and agriculture have topped President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi’s discussion during the second day of Tale of a Homeland conference, which reviews the achievements made during his four-year tenure.
In the first session titled “Infrastructure and National Mega projects session”, Sisi asserted that the Egyptian government has steadily worked towards developing infrastructure in the last few years, underscoring the fact that diversifying energy resources is a key for sustainable development.
“With all due respect to the 2011 revolution, it caused the country to face difficulties, from which we still suffer and will continue to for many years to come,” Sisi stated, adding that “The state needs $900 billion to develop its infrastructure.”
“Soon, Egypt will be able to produce enough natural gas for self-sufficiency,” Sisi said, “If it had not been for the newly-established governmental energy projects, many factories would have been shut down…We aspire to provide energy for Europe, Asia and Africa.”
President Sisi continued that the government has been working to provide houses with natural gas to quell the gas crisis. He added that the government has been working on the development of a nationwide electricity network at a cost of more than LE 70 billion.
By 2010, Egypt reached self-sufficiency of petroleum-related energy, but over the period between 2013 and 2015, the government had to pay LE 1.3 billion in monthly purchases for petroleum derivatives, which caused a heavy pressure on the state’s foreign reserves, Sisi continued.
The decline of fuel production caused the recurrent fuel crises. Between 2011 and 2013, all investments of oil exploration stopped, he continued.
However, Sisi continued, that in the past few years the government managed to reduce the petroleum arrears to foreign companies from $6 billion to $2 billion.
Egypt’s road network is in need for fast and active development, so the government is building new roads, including the Regional Ring Road, which is scheduled to be opened on June 30, Sisi said.
As for the railway network, President Sisi noted that upgrading is a must for this sector in order to reduce the number of transportation accidents, adding that the maintenance for line one of the Cairo metro system costs LE 20 billion.
Other infrastructure projects
President Sisi also talked about other megaprojects including the construction of more seawater desalination plants, which are vital to meet the growing need for water. He noted that the government aims to cultivate 450,000 feddan (467,000 acres) of land inside Sinai, depending on the treatment of sewage water.
He also talked about the Suez Canal Development Corridor and the Suez Industrial Zone, as well as the construction of new cities to house large numbers of people as Egypt’s census increases annually by 2.5 million people.
Additionally, the government is building 100,000 greenhouses nationwide over the course of three years to produce a million feddan of vegetables and fruits.
Regarding, the Nuclear Power Plant in Dabba on the Mediterranean governorate of Marsa Matrouh, Sisi said that the cost of plant construction will be re-paid to the Russian partners after 5 years of its operation.
The second session is set to focus on the economy and social justice, according to the Presidency's agenda on the conference.
President Sisi is also set to answer citizens' questions about his four years in office during "Ask the President", which is happening in tandem with the online initiative of the same name that was launched earlier in January.
During the first day of the conference, Sisi stated that he deemed his period as a president as a “rescue mission.”
He also said that what Egypt accomplished during the past years is the result of a dream that Egyptians insisted on bringing to reality.
“All the achievements and reforms that got carried out were because of all Egyptians,” President Sisi remarked on the first day of the conference.