For the past two years, Egyptians have faced electricity shortages resulting in rolling black outs across the country. While this has been hard on households, the power outages have also been detrimental to industry, which is operating at only 60 to 70 percent of capacity, constraining an already weakened economy. The issue is not supply—Egypt’s electricity consumption is only about half of what its megawatt capacity can produce—rather, obtaining sufficient inputs. Electricity is generated mostly by using oil and gas, and depleted foreign reserves mean that the country is struggling to pay for them.
This timely event will explore these issues and how al-Sisi and his government can mitigate the looming crisis. The first panel, “Why Egypt is Facing an Energy Crisis: Demand vs. Supply,” will address the roots of the crisis and its impact on economic performance. The second panel, “Energy Security and Political Stability,” will tackle how these problems can be mitigated, the role of external assistance, and the effect these pressures will have on political stability.
9:00 a.m. – 10:45 a.m. Panel I: Why Egypt is Facing an Energy Crisis: Supply vs. Demand
Egypt has far more energy capacity than it currently uses, but it is struggling to meet its energy needs because of lack of foreign exchange and critical inputs to generate electricity. Why is this happening? What is the impact of the energy shortages on consumers, the private sector, and the country’s economic performance?
Mihaela Carstei, Acting Director, Energy and Environment Program, Atlantic Council
Joshua Volz, Economic Advisor, US Department of State
Mohsin Khan, Senior Fellow, Hariri Center, Atlantic Council
Mohab Hallouda, Senior Energy Specialist for MENA, World Bank
President el-Sisi acknowledges that addressing the energy crisis is a critical priority for the country, but is likely to persist for the foreseeable future. What immediate measures can be taken by the current government and private industry? What is the likely impact of continued shortages on political stability? Will economic aid from Gulf donors be sufficient to ameliorate the crisis?
Mirette F. Mabrouk, Deputy Director, Rafik Hariri Center for the Middle East, Atlantic Council
Waleed Saleh Alsuraih, Director Energy Economics, World Bank
Robert J. Johnson, Director, Global Energy and Natural Resources, Eurasia Group