CAIRO: Egyptian steel tycoon and CEO of Egypt Steel Ahmed Abu Hashima donated 50 million EGP (U.S. $7 million) to the Long Live Egypt fund to support Egypt’s economy. Hashima announced the donation during a Monday meeting with Prime Minister Ibrahim Mahlab, Mubasher Misr news website reported Tuesday.
“It’s our country, not only the president’s country, and we can build it together,” Hashima said in a Monday phone interview on Al Nahar TV channel, expressing his willingness to support the Egyptian economy in its difficult stage.
Hashima also said that he hopes for “a change in the culture of the ‘Tahya Misr,’ or Long Live Egypt, fund in a way that convinces all Egyptians to donate, including the poor and middle class.”
During the meeting, Hashima submitted two new investment projects to Mahlab, including the establishment of a coal-based sponge iron plant with a total production capacity of one million tons of iron per year and another coal-based cement plant for the production of four million tons of cement per year.
The Long Live Egypt Fund was launched after a speech given by President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi on June 24 calling on Egyptians to perform their duty towards their homeland and donate money to help build the nation’s future.
Sisi donated to the Long Live Egypt fund through the National Bank of Egypt on July 10, Al-Masry Al-Youm reported. He called on all Egyptians to donate to the fund to save the national economy, execute a large number of developmental projects, and achieve sustainable energy.
Furthermore, former Minister of Finance Ahmed Galal said the Long Live Egypt fund initiative is beneficial because the economy is going through a harsh period and needs more effort to improve, Al-Ahram reported. Galal added that the government should encourage people to donate by exempting donors from paying a proportional percentage of their taxes.
On Monday, Youm7 reported head of the Federation of Egyptian Industries (FEI) Mohammed el-Sewedy as saying, “the FEI will soon launch an initiative to gather one billion EGP for the Long Live Egypt fund in the upcoming period with the aim of helping Egypt overcome financial problems, flourish the economy, and provide part of the finances needed for current development projects.”
“Oh Egyptian businessmen, where are you for a long time? Where is Mohamed Mansour, Egyptian businessman and owner of Al Mansour Automotive Co. (Mansour Chevrolet), and where is Toshiba al-Araby, owner of Al Araby group for trade and industry?” asked @zahran_hussein on his Twitter account.
Total donations to the Long Live Egypt fund had reached 2.3 billion EGP Tuesday (U.S. $32 million), Mubasher Misr reported business tycoon Mohamed Farid Khamis as saying.