Only 6% of Egyptians donated LE 1 daily to Tahya Masr fund: Baseera

A poll conducted by the Egyptian Center for Public Opinion Research (Baseera) has shown a low response to the recent presidential campaign.

“Say Good Morning to Egypt”, the newly launched campaign, called on people to donate LE 1 every morning to boost the struggling economy.

“If ten million Egyptian mobile phone owners donated LE 1 via text each day, the Tahya Masr (Long Live Egypt) fund would garner 10 million pounds daily, 300 million monthly and 4 billion per year” said the Egyptian president Abdel Fatah el-Sisi in his speech at the “Egypt’s vision in 2030” conference.

But according to the poll, at least 21 percent of Egyptians had not heard about the campaign. Sixteen percent of those who the campaign did not reach live in urban areas.

The poll indicated that two-thirds of people who knew about the campaign believed it may improve the economic situation of Egypt. Of the remainder of poll participants, 21 percent believe the campaign will be ineffectual. Others were undecided.

Two-thirds of the poll respondents said that they did not donate via text. Four percent said that they sent one message, 23 percent have sent more than one message. but only 6 percent have sent a message per day since the initiative has been launched.

The poll disclosed that men have been more proactive in responding to the campaign than women: Thirty-seven percent of those who sent at least one message were men, as opposed to only 29 percent of women.

Moreover, it appears that the over-50s have responded better than the 18-30s. Thirty-seven percent of those who participated in the initiative were above the age of 50, while only 27 percent of participants fell into the youth category.

Interesting to note, the public's participation does not seem to have been driven by economic status. Thirty-eight percent of respondents were from the highest economic levels of society and 31 percent were of low economy income.

“This low participation rate was expected due to the unclear vision of the campaign," economic expert and president of AlKhebra company for economic consulting, Magdy Toulba, told Egypt independent. "It has no set strategy, and no designated project to channel the money into”.

Toulba drew a comparison with the huge turnout for the recent purchases of the Suez Canal investment certificates. “The high turnout was thanks to a clear vision and target,” he said.

In August 2015, Sisi declared the construction of a new 72-km canal alongside the Suez Canal, with the aim to increase Egypt's economic output. For this project, the government reached its LE64 billion (US$8.5 billion) funding target, which it financed by issuing investment certificates on the domestic market.
Toulba believes that it was "inappropriate” for a president to urge people to donate money he should have made through other means. Speaking to Egypt Independent, the economic expert listed decisions Sisi could otherwise have made boost the economy, instead of asking the public to dig into their pockets.

“These decisions could include amendments to the taxation law, developing the mining resources and rationalizing imports. All these would increase the economy resources of the country with no need for donations,” he said.

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