Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Egypt's social and media contract future

David interviewing the former director of Chatham House

Under Chatham House rules I am unable to tell you about the speakers who attended this high level talk on UN development report in Egypt, or their affiliations.

As Egypt stands primed for a new leader, attention is weighted towards kick starting the economy.

A couple of interesting stats emerged from the UN report whose key indecis is a new social contract,  and the protection of the weak.

  • The banks of Egypt we heard had $450bn in liqidity for funds they are waiting to spend upon.
  • Tax as pecentage of GDP is the lowest in the world
  • Water shortages is a real issue
  • The oil industry is the main foreign currency earner
  • The military uses twice as much fundings as that put in health and education
  • Jobs are not being created and the hardest hit are women.
  • Payments to the political cliques should end and the exclusion model had run its course.

Middle east watchers may have heard all of this before, but I wanted to know how accountability could be procured to keep a watch on political and economic changes.

In the last four years working with MDLP and Tarek Atia, we've been working within the state TV, Nile TV to institute a new journalism of probity, taking in videojournalism.

The response was that this was much needed, but the failings of the current model, even those on the left we heard was that anti-goverment journalism leans so far to the left that it become the equivalent of "gotcha journalism".

Clearly journalism has a role in the new democracy