Egypt has a long and storied history throughout
the millennia but only relatively recently regained autonomy.  In 1953 Egypt declared independence from the
British Empire forming a republic.  Since
the Republic of Egypt’s inception there have been numerous changes of power
resulting in continued public dissention and general distrust of the
government.  These internal power
struggles lead to an underperforming economy, failing infrastructure and a growing
insurgency threat.  These issues continue
to dominate Egypt’s focus, bringing in to question Egypt’s status as a regional
power.  

On 31 Oct 2015 the Islamic State of Iraq
and the Levant (ISIL) smuggled a bomb onboard Metrojet Flight 9268.  The aircraft departed from Sharm El Sheikh
International Airport, Egypt, en route to Pulkovo Airport, Saint Petersburg,
Russia crash landing in northern Sinai.  The
bombing resulted in the deaths of 224 people and left the global community
questioning Egypt’s internal security capabilities.  Multiple countries, including England and
Russia, suspended flights and recalled thousands of tourists (Miller, 2015). 
Shortly following the ISIL bombing was a second plane crash on 19 May
2016.  Egypt Air flight 802 crashed into
the Mediterranean Sea en route to Cairo International Airport.  Though it is likely the flight crashed due to
an electrical fire in the cabin, the results of the investigation did little to
ease the worlds concerns on the peril of travel to Egypt.  

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Egypt’s tourism industry is a key part of
its economy and substantial employer of the people of Egypt.  Tourism constitutes 11% of Egypt’s GDP and is
responsible for employing 12% of the labor force (CIA, 2018).  90% of tourists arrive into Egypt via aircraft
and ever since ISIL’s bombing in 2015 and the electrical fire in 2016, the total
number of travelers in 2016 compared to 2015 decreased by 42% (World Tourism Organization, 2017).  This lack of visitors resulted in the tourism
industry revenue falling to 3.3 Billion USD in 2016 compared to 7.4 Billion USD
in 2015 (Trading Economics, 2017). 

With
tourisms ongoing recovery economic development has been progressing though
other sectors of industry including steel and concrete manufacturing.

Protest
suppressed

Egypt
has a large young population with a differing view to the ageing politicians
and military leaders intent on running the country

Suppressing
the opposing political party is forcing opposing political views to resort to
violence in order to have their voices heard. 

The removal of Mohamed Morsi in 2013 came
about when Egyptian citizens took to the streets in protest of the weakening
government.  The public demanded President
Morsi’s resignation and provided a timeline for his removal from office.  After the protests became violent, the
military stepped in and executed a successful coup d’etat.  Months later in 2014, Abdel Fattah el-Sisi would
become the new president of Egypt in a land slide victory garnering an
impressive 96.9% of the more than 25 million votes (Ahram Online, 2014). 
Though supporters of his political opposition boycotted the vote, the
results indicated that the general public was optimistic he could bring about
social and economic change for Egypt. 

Upcoming in May 2018 is Egypt’s
presidential elections and currently President Sisi’s top opposition is a former
Egyptian chief of staff Sami Anan. 
General Anan is not a puppet candidate and will fully compete for the presidency,
however the elections are expected to be fixed and President Sisi will benefit from
another land slide victory (Sanchez, 2018).  That will allow President Sisi another four
year term in office to impose more economic policies, continue rebuilding Egypt’s
infrastructure and improving internal and external security.  According to a Moody’s Investors Service
report, the smooth reelection of President Sisi will ease international investor’s
worries of political instability.  Allowing
an influx of direct foreign investors to aid in structural reform boosting the
economy and reducing the budget deficit from 11% of GDP in 2017 to 8.5% in 2019 (Samir, 2018).

 

Significance to the US?

Author