Egypt
Egyptian Tank in the streets of Cairo, February 2011 in the aftermath of the 2011 Egyptian Revolution. Graffiti by protesters on Tank (near wheels) were masked or painted.[ Source: Essam Sharaf]

Recent spending patterns in Egypt pose a dilemma. While experiencing the worst economic crisis in decades, which involves a dwindling of resources, a sharp currency devaluation and an acute shortage of foreign exchange, levels of military spending in Egypt have dramatically increased. How can the two trends be reconciled? Why would a cash-strapped government spend massively on guns when its population of 90 million needs more bread and jobs and services?

The newly signed Tripartite Free Trade agreement bears great opportunities, especially in the areas of information technology, agriculture, social and intellectual capital. However, as with previous and future agreements its success depends highly on political will and stability in the countries involved.

Russia is looking to extend its footprint in Africa by supporting the construction of a huge nuclear power plant in Egypt. Nuclear energy is seen as a viable option for African economies.

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As Egyptian President Sisi calls for more support in the fight against NATO-funded militias in Libya, the West’s refusal to back him raises the question of their ultimate aims in entering the region. The West is complicity in enabling ISIS to gain a strong foothold and further destabilise Libya, Syria and, potentially, Egypt.

The arrest and trial of the women once again highlights unacceptable state repression. The seven have been denied release pending hearing of their case, which resumes in September

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