Business Secrets of the Pharaohs: Egypt’s economy, the military, and the IMF loan

2 min read
03 February, 2023

This week on The New Arab Voice, we're casting a look over the Egyptian economy and its recent fiscal troubles.

Earlier in January, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) signed off on a $3 billion loan for Egypt; the fourth loan the country had received since 2016. 

The loan was granted following continued anaemic growth and a dramatic fall for the Egyptian pound, which lost over half its value. 

The economic problems have severely impacted the people of Egypt, with a third of the country's population now living in poverty, and another third on the brink of poverty. 

At the heart of the reforms demanded by the IMF, is an end to the control of the Egyptian military over large swathes of the national economy. 

This week, we're asking: Why is the economy in such a bad way? What the terms of the IMF deal? Can Egypt implement the reforms to bring about a stronger growth outlook? How much control does the military have over the economy? And how will they respond to the strict conditions that could undermine its position?

Joining us, we have Umberto Profazio (@profazio), a Maghreb Analyst at the NATO Defence College Foundation (@NATOFoundation), and Associate Fellow for the Conflict, Security and Development Program at the International Institute for Strategic Studies (@IISS_org).

Also joining us, we speak with Marina Ottoway, a Middle East Fellow at the Woodrow Wilson Center (@WilsonCenterMEP) and a long-time analyst of political transformations in Africa, the Balkans, and the Middle East. Previously, Marina worked at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, during which she played a central role in launching the Middle East Program.


This podcast is written and produced by Hugo Goodridge.

Theme music by Omar al-Fil. 

Other music by Blue Dot Sessions.

To get in touch with the producers, follow then tweet us at @TheNewArabVoice or email