Watching Her Neighbourhood: An MBA Grad In Cairo
Could political change encourage talented Egyptians to return to their country?
A glimpse into the complex economic and business problems facing Egypt from Malak Draz, who is in Cairo right now.
Draz, who works for the IFC (International Finance Corporation, part of the World Bank) graduated with an MBA from IE Business School in 2006.
She took some precious time to share her thoughts before heading out for her turn on neighborhood night watch. People in Cairo are guarding their own homes since the police disappeared from the streets on Saturday.
Malak Draz, IE Business School MBA 2006
On the business impact of the unrest
“People are guarding their houses at night and sleep in the morning during the few hours of daylight before the curfew is lifted, before heading out to get food, medicine or gas, so productivity is really low,” she says. A curfew, running from 6pm to 7am, was imposed on Cairo, Alexandria and Suez on Friday.
The Egyptian economy under Mubarak
"Economically, many improvements and developments were made, especially by the last government under Prime Minister Ahmed Nazif, although it has received criticism on the social side, for example for decreasing fuel subsidies, and having more Public-Private Partnerships and more FDI (Foreign Direct Investment)." The first was unpopular, and the latter two were not welcomed by some people.
The brain drain from Egypt
Draz thinks political change would help to slow the exodus of talented Egyptians to the US, Europe and the Gulf.
“Unfortunately, the Egyptian authorities have not done a good job of encouraging or recognizing the great work of their citizens. This has lead to a brain drain. We only recognize then... after the West has recognized them. Then we are proud to say, ‘He's Egyptian’".
"However", she adds, "With the current political instability, this brain drain will probably increase".
Draz ends her message: “Hope this helps... can't seem to focus now...”
Watch out for more views from Egyptian MBA students in the coming days.
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