Egypt’s potential perfect storm: Pandemic, recession, returnees, and remittance losses

Source: Middle East Institute

Author(s): Mirette F. Mabrouk

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Last December looked particularly rosy for Egypt’s minister of manpower, Mohamed Saafan. Egypt’s unemployment rate, which had been steadily falling since 2016, was at 7.8 percent, the lowest level in 30 years, according to the Central Agency for Public Mobilization and Statistics (CAPMAS). His ministry was working on a plan to reduce it further still to 6.3 percent the following year. It had also dubbed 2019 the Year of Vocational Training, a seriously underserved market and something of an Achilles’ heel for the economy. Accordingly, he announced in a newspaper interview, 38 permanent vocational training centers and 13 mobile training units had been set up or refurbished in 27 governorates. Things were looking up. And then, the world coughed.

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