A revitalized Egypt aims higher
Egypt is set to be a major and dominant player across the African region and far beyond.
As part of the Egyptian Agency of Partnership for Development program, The Reporter was invited to tour the nation – from the newly established canal inside the Suez Canal and the Economic Zone, to the Elsweedy Factories with facilities in Ethiopia to the spacious and expanding Egyptian Media Production City and the historic sites of the Pyramids and others – the nation is indeed on the road to put its mark well beyond its borders of 100 million people.
The media complex – the Egyptian Media Production City – a city within a city – much like the one founded in Dubai it is located in the suburbs of Cairo. The mini-city is full of state-of-the-art technology and latest equipment. The media city also contains IAMS or the International Academy for Media Sciences. It is not just attracting local interest.
In a spacious space that is 35 million square meters, it’s a movie making and sound recording extravaganza that continue to produce box of hits of the world as well as where international popular artists record their albums – putting the nation on the world’s map of excellence in innovation and excellence.
“This is where Shakira had one of her albums recorded and used our unique technology and held a reception to honor us and recognize some of our efforts,” a young and proud Egyptian recording engineer told The Reporter. “We want to replicate our efforts, by training young and gifted African professionals within our facilities and promote capacity building and share our knowledge among many more. We want our legacy to be just that.”
Founded in 1992, the area now consists of an impressive Pharaonic City, that is a replica of the old Pharaoh Akhnaton and with noted status reflecting that era and the Islamic Village from the Fatimid and Memluke era with rare Islamic architectures and the magic land, with an ample space of 15,000 million sqm, with mansions reflecting the Bibliotica of Alexandera, the pyramids.
In addition, it has an underwater film shooting area – with dolphins and an amphitheater to accommodate more than 1,300 spectators with an indoor facility sub-divided into Western European, oriental-style and local arenas.
Not far from Cairo, a major international destination is the Elsewedy Factories, founded in 1960 has transitioned as a mega factory of electrical equipment such as cables, fiber glass poles and telecom solutions and has opened facilities in Ethiopia, since 2009 and in others, including in Zambia, Algeria, Yemen and Nigeria.
In addition, the nation remains one of the most sought after destinations in the world among tourists who continue to come to its shores to experience some of the old cities such as Alexandria and endless castles such as the Valley of the Kings, Karnak Temple, the City of Aswan, near the Nile, the museums of well-kept artifacts reflecting its glorious past, in the Cairo Museum of Egypt, its oasis and deserts and the landmark, the Pyramids of Giza said to be “built as tombs for the mighty Pharaohs and guarded by the enigmatic Sphinx, Giza's pyramid complex has awed travelers down through the ages and had archaeologists.”
“We came from California in the United States and we have been touring the nation all across it experiencing its unique cultures. Egypt has affordable mood of transportation, it’s convenient and our safety is never compromised and we like being here. Just look at the Pyramids, where but in Egypt can you experience such a gift to the world,” a 21-year-old American tourist told The Reporter, as he stood near the Pyramids, found not far from Cairo.
“We need to learn from Egypt and learn how to safeguard our African treasures and use it to lure tourist to our nations. What Egypt has done is quite amazing and is something to behold,” a journalist taking part in the tour program said. “Our treasures should not be a way to beg our donors to give us money, but a way for us to make a business sense and make us compete to bring tourists who are willing to pay us for the privilege of visiting and help bring the foreign exchange we are desperately need.”
This year, taking a note on the experiences of India and Thailand that continue to bring patients around the world, Egypt announced the establishment of a medical tourism city with more than USD one billion investment and to serve clients from the Middle East and within the African continent by 2024. The nation is quick to note, the vast majority of investment is to come from the government, to the tune of 90 percent.
Ammar Mandour, the president of the Badir City Development told local media earlier this year, that “the medical city is to provide the latest medical services and start of the art medical equipment and devises” and “will include 13 medical institutes with a capacity of 2,000 beds, a medical helipad, an education hospital and a medicinal plantation” as a private health facility and with the aim of serving some of the most less fortunate, from Egypt and across the world free of charge.
With an advantageous location located within Africa and partially in the Middle East, Egypt has also become a noted destination of foreign investments. Its President highlighted some of its attractions, including, according to the President, having the “necessary infrastructures and low-cost skilled manpower, as well as unprecedented financial and tax incentives provided by the new investment law, large market size and appropriate legislative structure”.
Some of these reforms of laws have included the eases of cross border trade and profit repatriation that has been spoilers for some of international investors to many African nations, luring an attractive private – public investment that has been encouraged within the nation. With unemployment of just above eight percent, according the government and with an increasing economic growth and that no longer relies on tourism alone, but on manufacturing and innovation, Egypt is set to show record growth in many sectors – becoming an exemplary nation within the African region.