The Economics of the GERD and the Egyptian Military


The policy of the Egyptian government under President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi will revolve around the following issues. The first critical aspect is the quest for stability (istiqrar). Underpinning this is economic stability which will in turn shapes foreign policy. Given the history of President al Sisi the centre of gravity will be the Gulf both to secure economic resources and geopolitics of Sunni solidarity in the larger Middle East.

Another major variable, closely linked to the above, is the underlying economic and power base of the Egyptian military. The cumulative effect of all these will largely decide the issue of the Nile and Egyptian policy towards Ethiopia. Many rightly contend that the military’s increasing role in the economy represents a partial undoing of Mubarak’s economic liberalization, claiming that big private businesses are being replaced by direct military involvement.

I had the view that Egyptian policy towards Ethiopia will be impacted by the specific professional history and world view(as related to the Gulf) of el Sisi and the economic interests of the Egyptian military. Evidently, the prosepect of a negotiated agreement with Ethiopia will largely depend on the economic benefits (or the lack of it) the Egyptian “military Inc.” sees on the Great Ethiopian Renaissance Dam/GERD/. There is a great deal of possibility that the significance of the GERD might coincide with the economic interests of the Egyptian military. This, and not the nationalist rhetoric, will determine whether the new Egyptian president is prepared to resolve the crisis with Ethiopia.

The following piece helps to shed light on this Egyptian_military_response_to_Ethiopian_dam.pdf




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