The president’s best is not good enough for Egypt

Mohammed Nosseir
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It is essential for Egyptians today that their expectations be met and their daily needs fulfilled. Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, keen to be remembered as the president who accomplished most in Egypt’s history, is implementing a number of megaprojects within a challenging timeframe. However, they are coming at the expense of Egyptians’ basic needs. If most of the people appreciated the value of Sisi’s projects, he would not need to periodically remind them of their importance.

The president, who is probably genuine in his desire to make Egypt the best country in the world, is known to be very sentimental. At the beginning of his campaign, he succeeded in touching the hearts of millions of Egyptians. However, as long as he continues to underperform in meeting citizens’ immediate needs, passionate sentimentality will not help him become a renowned president. The vast majority of Egyptians, suffering daily due to government policies, want him to address their pressing concerns.

Sisi, who says he works very long hours, has failed to reduce government inefficiency or improve Egyptians’ low productivity. He initially prompted his ministers to begin their workdays at 07:00, but was only able to obtain their commitment to this schedule for a few months, according to local media reports. He has failed to sell his disciplined practices to the 7 million government employees.

During his presidential campaign, Sisi often spoke about values, but since his election I believe he has done nothing to promote their application. Egyptians revolted against former President Hosni Mubarak and his affiliates, yet by implementing their old-fashioned mindset within the current dysfunctional ruling mechanism, I believe Sisi has brought these forces back to power. Meanwhile, he continues to bet on megaprojects that will yield returns in the long term, forgetting that in the wake of two revolutions and a fragile economy, Egyptians are expecting immediate results.


A progressive leader does not need to be good at many tasks; he needs to appoint the best people available to implement his vision.

Mohammed Nosseir

I believe Sisi has managed to polarize society by privileging one social sector at the expense of others to better manipulate society, regardless of the magnitude of the divisions created. To move the country forward, he urgently needs to unite society. Sisi, who is known to be a solo player, is severely in need of other politicians’ input.

In his capacity as president, he knows more than ordinary citizens do, but this does not mean he performs better. Having gained international recognition of his presidency, he nevertheless failed to grasp the world’s hidden messages concerning its expectations that he move the country forward regarding democracy and justice.

Sisi tends to focus on expanding Egypt’s infrastructure, despite the fact that what the country needs most now is human development. A progressive leader does not need to be good at many tasks; he needs to appoint the best people available to implement his vision. Sisi, who insists on adhering to the course he conceived, needs to change gears and act as a leader rather than as a regimented officer.

Mohammed Nosseir is an Egyptian liberal politician who advocates for advancing liberalism, political participation, and economic freedom. Mohammed was member of the higher committee at the Democratic Front Party from 2007 to 2012, and then member of the political bureau of the Free Egyptian Party till mid 2013. Mohammed advocates for his work through providing the Egyptian government with a number of schemes to better reform its government institutes, as well as he is a regular contributor to various Egyptian newspapers. Mohammed also has extensive experience in the private sector, working with a number of international companies assisting them in expanding their businesses in the Middle East. Mohammed graduated from Faculty of Commerce, Ain Shams University, Cairo (1986); he participated at Aspen Seminar on Leadership, Values and Good Society (2011), Eisenhower Fellow, Multi-National Program (2009) and Stanford Fellow for Democracy, Development & Rule of Law (2008).

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