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Egypt’s Sisi to begin new term as bailouts boost economy

Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi. File.
| Photo Credit: Reuters

Egypt’s President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi begins his third term this week buoyed by massive fresh financing, but experts say the road out of economic crisis will still be long and arduous.

Mr. Sisi won December’s presidential election with 89.6% of the vote. He is set to begin his third term officially on Wednesday, as Cairo struggles to contain the fallout from two years of punishing economic crisis and dire foreign currency shortages. Local media reported that he will swear the oath before parliament on Tuesday.

This six-year term is set to be the 69-year-old’s last, unless another constitutional amendment again prolongs his tenure.

As 2024 began, the Arab world’s most populous country seemed to be hurtling towards default and economic collapse, analysts said, before it suddenly received more than $50 billion in loans and investments.

Within weeks, the United Arab Emirates announced a $35-billion land development deal for Egypt’s Ras al-Hikma, the International Monetary Fund more than doubled a $3-billion loan, and the World Bank and European Union inked fresh financing agreements.

The massive bailout has saved Egypt “from falling into the abyss”, according to former deputy Prime Minister Ziad Bahaa-Eldin.

But concern has mounted that, without major reform Egypt could still find itself in a new cycle of crisis.

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