The Story of a Nation event, which started on Wednesday evening and is set to continue for three days, is being held at Cairo Masah Hotel under the auspices of the president.
Sisi presented a balance sheet on the achievements and projects implemented during the past four years and the challenges facing the country.
The president said that the state has been fighting to combat slum proliferation, building 25,000 housing units to provide safe housing in place of slums.
Overall, a total of 600,000 housing units worth 100 billion pounds have been constructed; and roads and bridges have been built at a cost of over 85 billion pounds, the president said.
Sisi said that the energy generation capacity of the High Dam has been increased 12-fold, and that total energy production has been increased eight-fold.
The president said that the expansion of the Suez Canal, which took place soon after Sisi took office in 2014, marked the start of the national projects in the country over the past four years.
The president, who has not yet decided whether to run for a second term in the March presidential elections, stressed that he was presenting the balance sheet out of a duty to inform the country of his achievements over the past four years regardless of all other considerations.
The nation and economic reform
The president explained that the economic reform programme, which started in 2014, has been successful in improving all economic indicators, including a substantial drop in inflation rates and unemployment.
He thanked the Egyptian people for their patience in dealing with the immediate impact of the reforms, saying “what has been achieved was not an accomplishment by a government or a leadership, but by a people who bore the burden of hunger and thirst with total patience.”
The Egyptian president said he did not hesitate to undertake economic reform measures, despite their potential negative implications on his popularity.
“The economic reforms have been delayed for 40 years; if I had not done them, I would be betraying you, which I would never do.”
The president also said the government has expanded aid to poorer Egyptian by raising allocations to the Takaful and Karama social solidarity programme by 30 percent and pensions by 15 percent.
The government has achieved a success rate of 97 percent in providing treatment to millions of Egyptians who were plagued with hepatitis C, the president said.
A modern, unified nation
On the war against terrorism in the last four years, the president said the people have confronted the forces of terror with courage and praised the sacrifices of the Armed Forces and the police in that fight.
The country was able to survive the dangers of falling into civil war and strife through the unity of its people, Sisi said.
“We laid the foundation for building a modern, democratic society,” Sisi said.
The president paid special tribute to the role of women in society, saying the Egyptian woman remains the backbone of the nation.
Egypt on Arab and world map
The revolutions that broke out in the Arab region aimed at changing the world for the better, Sisi said, but “they were hijacked by the forces of evil and darkness in the name of freedom, democracy and religion.”
The losses in countries like Syria, Yemen and Libya are estimated at 1.4 million people killed and injured, 15 million displaced, and nearly $900 in infrastructure damage.
In Egypt, the president said, the government was able to confront these forces and save a nation.
On Egypt’s foreign policy, Sisi affirmed that the country’s decisions are independent.
Four years ago, after the 30 June revolution, Egypt’s membership was suspended in the African Union, but today the country is back in its rightful place on the continent, Sisi said.
The president added that Egypt is also once again at the heart of defending the security, unity and interests of its Arab brethren.
“Thanks to Egyptians, no one can put pressure on Egypt’s decisions stemming from the will of its people,” Sisi said.
Egypt has regained its rightful international position, but maintains its sovereign, independent positions on all issues.
Source: Ahram online