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Sisi says ‘God’s existence’ will heal Egypt’s economic woes

Sisi says Egypt’s economic crisis will improve ‘because God exists’
2 min read
21 August, 2023
Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi has faced criticism on social media after telling military cadets that Egypt’s economic crisis will improve 'because God exists'.
Abdel Fattah al-Sisi said that "God was watching" his efforts to improve Egypt's economic situation [Getty]

Egypt President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi has been criticised for telling Egyptians not to worry about the country's economic future "because God exists" as millions struggle under an unprecedented economic crisis.

Speaking after an inspection tour at the Military Academy in Cairo on Saturday morning, Sisi addressed military cadets, saying "rest assured about this country because God exists".

"We always say God exists. God is watching us and seeing that in our country, despite these difficult circumstances, we are intent on working seriously in all sectors and fields," the autocratic president said.

Sisi previously described himself as a "doctor" sent by God to cure Egypt’s "ailments".

Egypt is facing one of its most severe economic crises in living memory with inflation hitting a record of nearly 37 percent and food prices rising twice at fast.

Egypt is the world's largest importer of wheat and its current economic problems have been blamed on external factors such as the Russian war on Ukraine, which severely affected global supplies of the foodstuff and other essential commodities.

However, severe economic mismanagement and corruption have also played a major role in Egypt’s current predicament, with the Egyptian military controlling large sectors of the economy and the state investing millions of dollars in "white elephant" projects - such as the New Administrative Capital - which many economists say will provide no return in the short term.

Sisi's words were greeted with derision by Egyptians on social media.

On the social media platform X, formerly known as Twitter, a person with the username @MohamedReda235 wrote: "Talk to us with numbers and analysis, not by saying 'God exists'." 

Ahmed Zakaria asked: "What does God Almighty's existence have to do with the collapse of the country - the people don't have anything to eat."

In his speech, Sisi said that the Egyptian state was working on several measures to alleviate the economic crisis, including increasing the amount of arable land available in the country.

Sisi, a former general, came to power via a military coup in 2013 after overthrowing his democratically-elected predecessor Mohammed Morsi. Since then he has jailed thousands of political opponents and suppressed rights and freedoms.

On August 14, Egyptians marked the tenth anniversary of the Rabaa massacre, when thousands of opponents of Sisi's coup were killed at a protest camp in the Rabaa Al-Adawiyya Square in eastern Cairo.