How can Egypt’s Prime Minister succeed?
The path to success is through adopting a scientific approach in developing and executing plans
“Mahlab managed to gain people’s admiration thanks to his diligence and presence in the street among the people. However, continuing to have this trust and admiration is linked to the size of practical achievements and to the government’s capability to communicate in a way that bridges the gap between officials and citizens. And the question remains, how can Ibrahim Mahlab succeed?”
Around a year ago, I wrote the aforementioned statement in an article called “How can Ibrahim Mahlab succeed?” However Mahlab’s journey as Prime Minister of Egypt has now ended. Despite the reasons and motives, we must salute this man who had accepted the challenge of becoming premier, assumed responsibility at a difficult time, and worked hard.
The path to success is through adopting a scientific approach in developing and executing plans.Abdel Latif el-Menawy
Mahlab made many right decisions and he’s also made mistakes; however thanking him and voicing appreciation to him is a duty. We must also evaluate the phase of his reign; therefore this must be the basis of respecting the man’s efforts and honesty. I hope such an approach becomes part of our lifestyle.
Egypt’s new Prime Minister Sherif Ismail, who served as a minister in Mahlab’s government, was one of the most honest and serious men on the level of performing his role during the past phase. I've met him on several occasions and I sensed his perseverance to resolve the country’s energy problem. I felt that he was willing to do anything as long as it helps solve problems. After following up on his work in the previous phase, I always said that he dealt with the energy crisis as if he’s addressing a problem in his own household; thus, doing everything he can to resolve it. Therefore, I ask those who have already launched a campaign criticizing him to be patient.
But are the person’s positive traits enough to succeed? The certain answer is no, they are not. I hereby repeat that the path to success is through adopting a scientific approach in developing and executing plans, developing a system and communicating in a way that bridges the gap between officials and citizens.
So to what extent does the government follow a scientific approach that’s based on solid studies in order to specify priorities? To what extent do we benefit from the experiences of those who preceded us or who passed through similar crises in their countries and succeeded at overcoming them? To what extent does the government, or rather its state institutions and apparatuses, adopt a scientific approach to specify the media plans to efficiently communicate with the people?
What I can say now is that this is not completely happening - and even if it did happen, it was amidst the absence of coordination among the state’s different parties. Therefore, there was no consistency as no scientific methods were adopted to evaluate the situation and follow up on it. At least, this is what I and others think.
The government had historical opportunities to create a positive atmosphere by marketing the major and huge projects which were launched. However this was not properly dealt with. Although there were many important measures and laws, there wasn't a proper approach to market them and explain them in order to gain people's support. Therefore, a new and different approach is needed to address all these details.
Creating harmony among the different ministries and adopting the proper scientific approach in specifying priorities which the people approved is truly the right path to achieve success. Many opportunities have been lost on the level of communicating with people, and if this is not realized and if no well-studied scientific measures are taken, more opportunities will be lost and success - which is now possible - will become difficult to achieve.
This article was first published in al-Jarida on September 19.
Abdel Latif el-Menawy is an author, columnist and multimedia journalist who has covered conflicts around the world. He is the author of “Tahrir: the last 18 days of Mubarak,” a book he wrote as an eyewitness to events during the 18 days before the stepping down of former Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak. Menawy’s most recent public position was head of Egypt’s News Center. He is a member of the National Union of Journalists in the United Kingdom, and the Egyptian Journalists Syndicate. He can be found on Twitter @ALMenawy