Egypt’s Public Diplomacy
Egypt has long held an important position in both Middle Eastern and African affairs. From the ancient Pyramids to the Aswan High Dam, the nation has always been a historically prominent civilization. Recent Egyptian history though has meant a rather stagnant domestic economy as the nation struggles to raise living standards for the average citizen, while the country still maintains a politically significant role in the region. Over the past 30 years, the country has embarked on massive reforms following the highly centralized economy of President Nasser that have led to a booming stock market. Yet the plan required heavy subsidization of key industries, which are now creating a heavy budget deficit for the nation, placing greater strain on the shaky economy.
In September 2005, Egypt held its first multiparty Presidential elections. Constituting one piece of a larger plan for national reformation, such political change is meant to further a free, democratic Egypt, which will provide both economic growth and a foundation for the nation’s foreign policy.
In January 2007, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs established the department of Public Diplomacy, in order to create an interactive bond between the Ministry and the public on three levels: local, regional and international. The department is not only concerned with the activities of the Ministry on the political, economic and cultural aspects, but also on the public service field.
The Egyptian Public Diplomacy stresses on the evolving role of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in the field of public service. It performs this task through three tools: direct meetings with the public, communications through the media and the Internet.
The website of the Ministry of the Foreign Affairs , providing a trilingual interface (English, French and Arabic), is becoming a rich source of information and utilities for Egyptians living abroad and foreigners interested in the Egyptian affairs.
Indeed, Egypt has long placed importance on developing an educated diplomatic corps. The Institute for Diplomatic Studies, created by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in 1966, cultivates young Egyptian diplomats in all areas of the political world, including cultural diplomacy issues.
Egypt & Africa
A major participant of the Middle East region, Egypt also recognizes its deep affiliation with the entire African continent, and sponsors several major cooperative initiatives to maintain these connections. Established in 1981, The Egyptian Fund for Technical Cooperation in Africa “aims to contribute to the socio-economic development of other African countries through the transfer and exchange of knowledge, skills and expertise and supporting the capacity building efforts of technical and human resource.�? The Fund offers professional training and exchanges for development experts and coordinates relief programs throughout the region. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs also recognizes the organization as “pivotal in the implementation of Egyptian foreign policy.�?
Another outreach program, the Mubarak Initiative of Quality Education for African Future Leaders provides educational opportunities to students throughout Africa, as well as much of the world. Scholarships provide funding for complete college education at many of Egypt’s renowned national universities.
- Capital - Cairo
- Population - 78,887,007 (July 2006 est.)
- Government – Republic
- President Mohammed Hosni Mubarak
- Prime Minister Ahmed Mohamed Nazif
- Ministry of Foreign Affairs – Arab Republic of Egypt
- The Egyptian Presidency
- Ministry of Communications & Information Technology
- Tour Egypt
- Egypt State Information Service
- Bibliotheca Alexandrina
Private & International Organizations
Publications, Articles & Commentary
International Broadcasting & News Organizations
Public Opinion Polls & Statistics
PbWinter 14:33, 25 Jul 2006 (PDT)