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Building Democracy One Conversation at a Time

Posted on the 26 May 2011 by Center For International Private Enterprise @CIPEglobal

The world is anxiously watching Egypt: How will the country reconcile more than 80 million voices so that it can proceed along the path of democracy?

Egyptians now widely recognize that the difficulty of toppling Hosni Mubarak – once seen as an insurmountable challenge – pales in comparison to the complexity of building consensus on the steps necessary to construct institutions of democratic governance for a new Egypt.

CIPE Egypt office staff and partners recognized this challenge early on. From February 22-24 CIPE partners Al Masry Al Youm and the Federation of Economic Development Associations (FEDA) organized a conference at which more than 200 representatives of business associations, political parties, youth and other political movements, think tanks, media outlets, academia, government, and the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces itself presented a set of recommendations on the transitional period and future reforms.

As part of this series of seminars to foster an inclusive discussion on Egypt’s future, CIPE co-sponsored a roundtable with Al Masry Al Youm last week to discuss the relationship between political and economic freedoms and the connection between democratic governance and market-oriented reform. As featured speaker, CIPE Executive Director John D. Sullivan stated,

Our purpose today was to gather together some important thought leaders and to begin to identify the most fundamental issues that Egypt has going forward.

Journalists, academics, political party leaders, youth movement leaders, and business association representatives sought to answer: Why did Egypt’s earlier attempts at market-oriented reform fail to deliver for most Egyptians? And, what democratic institutions will need to be in place for the majority of Egyptian citizens to share in the country’s economic growth and prosperity?

Watch the video below to learn what prominent Egyptians have to say about the need for institutions that support transparency and accountability in Egypt, public awareness about the functions of democratic institutions, and more by watching Al Masry Al Youm’s segment on the roundtable discussion.


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