Wednesday,13 December, 2017
Current issue | Issue 1206, (17-23 July 2014)
Wednesday,13 December, 2017
Issue 1206, (17-23 July 2014)

Ahram Weekly

Divide, and rule

Egypt is to be split into more governorates, reports Reem Leila

map
map
Al-Ahram Weekly

Minister of Local Development Adel Labib told journalists during a visit to Qena that a reshuffle of provincial governors would soon be announced. Between 10 and 15 governors are expected to be changed.

Governors whose performance is deemed satisfactory will be retained. Otherwise they will be replaced by new faces in what is widely perceived as a move to introduce a younger generation of public officials. “Each governor will also be obliged to appoint three assistants, not expected to more than 37. They will be chosen from among different political affiliations in order to representative of society,” said Labib.

Some of the new appointees are expected to be drawn from the military, especially in border governorates.

“There is a dire need for decisiveness in order to put everything under control. New governors will have to focus on interacting with citizens in the street and addressing the problem of price hikes after the increase in fuel prices, and controlling the price of basic commodities in the market,” explained Labib.

Governors will also be expected to promote employment opportunities, providing up to one million new jobs for young workers. Some new jobs will be created through micro-grants for small projects.

Labib refuted reports that Helwan and Sixth October would return as independent governorates. “Helwan is still affiliated to Cairo governorate, and Sixth October to Giza governorate,” he said.

Speculation surrounds the future of the governors of Daqahliya, Damietta, Gharbiya, Assiut, Minya, and Sohag. There are also rumours of change in a number of border governors as well as in Cairo, Giza and Alexandria. The reshuffle is also thought to include Fayoum, Luxor and the newly created governorates of Al-Alamein, Al-Wahat Al-Bahareya and mid-Sinai.

According to Labib the committee assigned to re-draw governorate borders is currently considering suggestions from serving governors. New boundaries are expected to be announced within two months.

“There are ongoing discussions about adding three new governorates and remapping three existing governorates,” revealed Labib.

A new map of governorates, says Labib, could be ready as early as next week.  The re-demarcation will then be open to public discussion before any final approval. The redrawn boundaries will ensure each governorate has enough desert land to allow for urban expansion and preserve existing agricultural areas. Geologists and engineers have been employed in determining the new boundaries. “Thorough discussions are taking place in order that the demarcations need not be revised in the future,” said Labib.

The new demarcation will increase the number of regional units from seven to 11. Egypt’s population is expected to reach 106 million by 2027. Of the current population of 91 million the vast majority, 83 million, live on six per cent of Egypt’s land mass. The idea of adding new governorates was first mooted in 2005, and again in 2008, by the then minister of local development. The new boundaries will increase the number of governorates to 29 to 32.

 

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