Opinion – By Andargachew Ward
It is clear that rather than addressing its internal troubles, Egypt derives pleasure in seeking out other countries and making mountains out of mole-hills to redirect the attention of its citizens. An ideal caution for Egypt can be summarized in this famous proverb: He who lives in a Glass House should not throw stones.

Africa is a blessed continent with 54 countries; the only thing more intimate than being joined together by a continent is being neighbors. Egypt, Sudan, and Ethiopia are only three of the eleven Nile Basin countries, and they are worthy of mention due to the conflicts that have arisen as a result of Ethiopia’s desire to build what is known to be the largest hydroelectric power plant in Africa when completed.
The Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam has been under construction since 2011, and it is expected to have an annual power generation of 16,153 GWh. This will cater to Ethiopia’s power generation, particularly in a drought when the other dams might not be at full capacity. It is also expected that since the power to be generated will be above the needs of Ethiopians. It will also be exported to neighboring countries such as Sudan.
The construction of the GERD has not been without obstructions, particularly from Egypt, where the government has vehemently propagated the hypothesis that the building of the dam will cause a reduction in the volume of the Nile River thus disrupting a major source of livelihood.

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With Medical workers, pharmacists, and journalists being arrested or threatened, the government seems insistent on handling the virus however they want without criticism. Hospitals are reaching maximum capacity, Protective Gears for front-line workers are missing, and medical staff is being blamed for the deaths arising due to the Coronavirus infection.

In a 2013 interview with Ambassador Teferra Shiawel-Kidanekal, he made mention of the fact that Egypt went to lobby in places like Washington DC, International Financial Institutions to prevent Ethiopia from being given loans to build their dam. He also said that for a very long time, Egypt has always marginalized other African countries, with Political officers making statements like “Egypt and Africa.”
All these might seem harmless or pointless until we realize that Egypt has chosen to play the role of a meddler rather than to focus on its internal problems. As of 10th July 2020, Egypt has over 80,000 recorded Corona virus cases with the infection still looming in the country. With Medical workers, pharmacists, and journalists being arrested or threatened, the government seems insistent on handling the virus however they want without criticism. Hospitals are reaching maximum capacity, Protective Gears for front-line workers are missing, and medical staff is being blamed for the deaths arising due to the Coronavirus infection.
The Egyptian Medical Syndicate, a non-political group of professionals, have had to stand in the gap for the medical staff to advocate for their rights, and even then, it’s not enough. According to a report done by the Washington Post, in one of several voice recordings obtained by The Associated Press, a health deputy in the Nile Delta province of Beheira can be heard telling workers, “Even if a doctor is dying, he must keep working … or be subjected to the most severe punishment.” In another message sent to staff, a hospital director in the same province describes those who fail to show up to work as “traitors,” adding, “this will be treated as a national security matter … and you know how that goes in Egypt.” This just goes to show how terribly the pandemic is being handled by the government in its homeland and is going to terrible lengths to ensure that its inadequacies are being kept under wraps. The President of Egypt, President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi was reported to have said that the trajectory of the virus was reassuring and called critics, enemies of the state; evidently, “the enemies of the state” are being locked up and being made to disappear even while they are doing their jobs.
The Economic state of the country is in jeopardy due to the ongoing pandemic. A majority of the country’s funds come from Tourists visiting the Pyramids, transport fees being paid by using the Suez Canal, and financial remittances sent by Egyptian expatriates abroad to their families. Unfortunately, the issue of financial remittances is a tough one because most expatriates are either stuck in Egypt, unable to return to their companies, or have been let go. This has reduced drastically, the influx of foreign exchange into the country. All these issues have brought the financial state of Egypt to its knees, with Egypt obtaining close to $8.0 billion in loans from the International Monetary Fund.
Amy Hawthorne, an Egypt expert at the Project on Middle East Democracy, is quoted to have said: “Because of Egypt’s constant attention to its image as a place open for tourism, open for business, open for investment, authorities appear particularly sensitive to divergent perspectives during the pandemic. They want to project an image that everything is fine; they’re in control.”
At the center of this, all is President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi. January 2011 could be seen as the beginning of Egypt’s journey to freedom. It was known as the 25 January Revolution. There were demonstrations, non-violent civil resistance, strikes, and other forms of civil disobedience. All these were due to police brutality, lack of political freedom, corruption, freedom of speech, high unemployment, and other unfavorable conditions being faced under the reign of the President at that time, Muhammad Hosni El Sayed Mubarak. This revolution resulted in the resignation of Hosni Mubarak. After elections were conducted, Mohammed Morsi became President.
Unfortunately, his reign did not last for long In 2013, Abdel Fattah el-Sisi was the defense minister who led the military coup responsible for the removal of Egypt’s first democratically elected leader, Mohammed Morsi, and in 2014, Abdel Fattah el-Sisi was sworn in as President. In 2019, a constitutional referendum took place, and the proposed changes allow President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi, to remain in power until 2030. President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi having already served two terms, amended the constitution to enable him to have an additional term and also increased the Presidential term from four years to six years. These changes have been said to make Egypt a dictatorship both in name and in deed. The election conducted for the amendment of the constitution is said to have had so many issues and could not have been reported to be credible. One begs to wonder if President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi, overthrew Mohammed Morsi to enact his own authoritarian rule, or maybe he truly has the interests of the Egyptians at heart. The causes of the 25 January Revolution seem to be gradually making its way back into the heart of Egypt. Journalists are being shut down at the slightest of expressions, reports emerged that el-Sisi and his aides are spending on luxuries while the people suffer, taxes are being increased, Electricity tariffs have been hiked, and the Egyptian currency has been devalued; all these and many more do not seem to bode well for Egypt.
It is clear that rather than addressing its internal troubles, Egypt derives pleasure in seeking out other countries and making mountains out of mole-hills to redirect the attention of its citizens. An ideal caution for Egypt can be summarized in this famous proverb: He who lives in a Glass House should not throw stones.
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