The New Suez Canal project that aims to more than triple the efficiency of the existing Suez Canal is the largest construction project on the face of the planet today. To measure that potential improvement in operational efficiency of the Canal one needs to consider the difference between current waiting time that ships have to wait in order to pass through the Canal and the estimated waiting time after completion of the project. Current waiting time is eleven hours, and the estimated waiting time after completion of the project is projected to become only three hours. The positive impact of this giant project on international trade and the benefits to shipping companies, exporters and importers around the globe as well as the increase of Egypt’s revenue from tolls are enormous.
The Egyptian government (i.e. El-Sisi’s government) introduced the project to the Egyptian people and asked them to provide the necessary funding for the project. President Abdul-Fattah El-Sisi put his personal credibility on the line – for the third time, I might add – when he declared that this new giant project will be undertaken and completed by Egyptian workers, Egyptian knowhow, Egyptian expertise, and Egyptian funding. When the estimated amount of funds required was announced to be about sixty billion Egyptian pounds (EP 60,000,000,000), many self-appointed experts on Egyptian affairs claimed that the Egyptian people could not – and if they could, would not – raise that huge amount of money. We are talking about a little less than ten billion American dollars; that is US$10,000,000,000.
Today is the third working day since the “Suez Canal Investment Certificates” have been put on the market for sale to Egyptians only. The Suez Canal Authority announced that by the end of business day today, the value of certificates sold to Egyptians reached twenty-eight billion pounds (EP 28,000,000,000). This meant that almost half of the funds required for the entire project have already been raised. Only in three days, the Central Bank of Egypt has already raised half the entire funding required for the greatest construction project on Earth in CASH, and not one piastre (1% of a pound) was from a foreign source. President El-Sisi did not offer false promises to the Egyptian people; he did not give them empty hopes or phony dreams; he challenged them to rise up and individually contribute to the success of this latest project that will soon become a new symbol of Egyptian national pride. Individual Egyptians went on their own to financial institutions across the country and responded to El-Sisi’s challenge by willingly giving their life savings to contribute to the funding of this project.
This is the most practical way to measure Egyptians’ confidence in both their government (El-Sisi’s government) as well as in the economic viability of the project. This time, Egyptians voted with their savings. Their vote, which is still going on, represents the best sign of their support to, and confidence in, their government. Egyptians want their government to succeed. For that purpose, they readily and willingly handed over their hard-earned money to their government in order to finance the New Suez Canal Project that promises to be Egypt’s latest great achievement as she crosses the line leaving behind decades of economic dependency on others.
Egyptians trust their government, and want it to succeed. The evidence is their overwhelming vote with their savings. The challenge is open to anyone who disagrees to offer any other explanation as to what else would make millions (if not tens of millions) of Egyptians to so easily hand over their savings to the government in order to fund such a huge construction project.
In the midst of the darkness that seems to engulf the entire Arab World, once again a ray of hope comes from Egypt with the promise that yes indeed, WE CAN. What a wonderful time to be an Egyptian!
Hope is the stuff from which life is made!