The Canada Egypt Business Council (CEBC) and the Egyptian Council for Sustainable Development (ECSD) hosted a panel discussion featuring H.E. Dr. Galal Mostafa Saeed, Governor of Cairo and Dr. Hossam Badrawi, Chairman, Takatof Association for Development, to discuss the topic: “Cairo and the Challenges of Development”.
In his opening remarks, Eng. Motaz Raslan said “It is a fact that Cairo faces a bunch of chronic challenges especially with the proliferation of slums and the worsening problems of hygiene, traffic and education, leading to a threat on the future of the capital especially in terms potential investments. This calls for finding urgent solutions based on a clear vision and specific strategies that have to do with elevating the level of education, health, and addressing the concerns of the citizens”, from here the idea arose to hold such an important meeting trying to find solutions to the discussed points.
The attendees represented CEBC’s and ECSD’s esteemed members, guests, businessmen and few government officials. This event was coordinated in cooperation with “Takatof Association for Development”. Takatof works on enhancing the quality of life in poor and deprived areas through projects, programs and services.
In his speech, governor Galal Saeed talked about the preservation of some of the efforts of Cairo Governorate in the field of organization and development of the streets of Cairo, adding that the province has developed a plan in this context, at a cost of seven and a half billion pounds.
Saeed also added that the Cairo governorate raises around 15 thousand tons of waste out of Cairo on a daily basis, that is side by side to providing neighborhoods with equipment for brushing and cleaning, as well as vacuuming and washing the streets daily with water and Dettol. He also encouraged people to wake up early to watch this cleaning daily operation.
During the discussions, the idea of the involvement of the private sector and civil society to take part in the efforts exerted from the government to find solutions to the daily life problems face by the ordinary citizen was set clear and inevitable. One of the reputable organizations that is dedicating its efforts to enhance the quality of life in poor and deprived areas is “Takatof Association for Development” chaired by Dr. Hossam Badrawi.
One of the main areas where Takatof’s activities focus is on education. Commenting on the issue of education the governor mentioned that there 4200 schools in the governorate of Cairo alone and that there is still a need to build 10,000 more in the coming five years where Cairo needs 1000 out of this total, “the main problem in Egypt is education, education then education” commented the governor.
He also stressed on the importance and the urgent need for a real development in the transport system especially in terms of increasing the number of the local transport buses totaling 1300 especially that this number has not increased since 2008. The current plan that the governorate is working on is increasing this number until next April to reach 1350 bus.
Dr. Hossam Badrawi took over the podium highlighting the lastest activities of “Takatok” and the last projects they inaugurated in El “Gamaleya” and “El Darb El Ahmar” areas, and currently working on renovating “Mohamed Ali School”.
Dr. Hossam listed some of the challenges the association faces when working specifically on the issue of slums, “if we succeed to move the citizens to somewhere else providing them with homes we face the problem of others hurrying to inhabit the recently freed ones, and if we try to enforce them to leave for their own safety we get attacked by the human rights associations and so on.” Said Badrawi. “However we should keep on working and developing hand in hand with partners from the civil society who takes part of this social responsibility either through donating funds or providing expertise or through both”.
The floor was then opened for a questions session where important topics were raised concerning the Cairo governorate’s challenges and problems as well as issues facing the educational system and the development of schools.