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 Institute for Middle East Studies for a hybrid discussion in Lindner Commons (ESIA Room 602) at GWU and via Zoom 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 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 Marshall is Associate Director of the Institute for Middle East Studies and Assistant Research Professor. Her dissertation, “The New Politics of Patronage: The Arms Trade and Clientelism in the Arab World” examined how Middle East governments use arms sales agreements to channel financial resources and economic privileges to pro-regime elites. Prior to GW, Dr. Marshall was a fellow at The Crown Center for Middle East Studies at Brandeis University and the Niehaus Center for Globalization and Governance at Princeton University. Her current research focuses on patterns of military entrepreneurship in Egypt, Jordan, and the UAE.