The American University in Cairo (AUC) held the closing ceremony of the MCM summit held by the student-run Model of the Council of Ministers (MCM) organization yesterday in the New Cairo campus. The three-day event discussed the vision of students from AUC and 37 Egyptian university regarding Egypt’s Vision 2030, sustainable development plan. The closing ceremony included presentations of the best projects in four fields of Education, Energy, Environment and Economy by teams of students from public and private Egyptian Universities. The event was attended by Hala El Said, Minister of Planning, Monitoring and Administrative Reform and Essam Khamis, deputy of the Minister of Higher Education, Francis Ricciardone, AUC President, Ashraf Hatem, AUC Counselor and Egyptian University Presidents.El Said expressed how student activities, like the MCM, are the most efficient ways to deliver information to students, “these activities and especially simulation models, not only provide the needed scientific skills for students but also develop their leadership, teamwork and analytical skills.”
Discussing Egypt’s 2030 Vision, El Said stressed that the strategy is based on partnership with the civil society and the private sector, “the government can’t do everything on its own, and in this strategy, the government acts as a coordinator.” She also said that an important factor for the success of the 2030 strategy is youth involvement.
El Said also shared Egypt’s economic conditions and the results of the latest economic reform measures with the students, saying: “Egypt has faced so many challenges. We have devised an economic reform program in 2016, which might be the strongest and the most difficult in Egypt’s history, yet we have witnessed an increase in growth rates from 3.6 per cent last year to 5.3 per cent this year. The inflation rates have also decreased from 33 per cent to 17 per cent.” El Said said that the government has allocated 85 billion towards social protection, “Unemployment rate have reached 12.9 per cent before the floatation of the Egyptian pound, but now it has decreased to 11.3 per cent.”
Ricciardone welcomed, “the future ministers of Egypt,” saying that through the MCM, students look into the existing problems and see how governments can intervene, not only plan but act in the service of the people. He added, “one of the great initiatives that Counselor Ashraf Hatem has facilitated with minister Hala, has been internships for this organization, MCM, inside the ministries, so our students get to see the challenges facing the government and how difficult it is to meet the needs of this great country of 100 million people, with resources that must be allocated, with planning that needs to be done, with great accountability and with high standards of service. Thanks to initiatives such as these, our students are not thinking about this from a theoretical way but are thinking about this in the way that government officials and ministers do. It is the best way of learning.”
Ahmed Hamza, MCM president, said, that since 2011, MCM started to focus on raising political awareness, “every year we introduce something new that acts as a supplement to the quality of the service we provide. From all over Egypt, we met together for the same goal, a better Egypt.”