Updated! Since Nerro asked. Here is my take on http://www.youm7.com/News.asp?NewsID=1149794
While I think it is nice that the business community is excited about contributing I have some concerns about the format.
1. As far as I can tell, it is a privately set up fund. I am yet to hear any commentary from the transitional government in that regard (if you’ve heard anything please share it in the comments & I’d be more than happy to update the post). So I am not quite sure how the dynamics will work in terms of spending that money.
2. I am a bit on the paranoid side, I don’t like investing in “elfankoush”. Some transparency is in order. This would have been a much better initiative (in my opinion) if instead of setting up a fund they identified 3 flagship projects. Then each of these projects would have had a definitive objective, OWNER, plan and targeted start up costs. I am modelling this after the success of the 57357 hospital. People felt encouraged to donate because they associated it with a real project with tangible results.
3. While I believe in quick wins, spending this money on consumption rather than investment activities would be such a shame. It would be like flushing the money down the drain, one time usage only. I would really like the spending criteria to be linked to SUSTAINABILITY and RETURN ON INVESTMENT. The people are digging out of their own savings, the least you could do for them is assure them that they are teaching you to fish rather than feeding you that day. Moreover, I am biased towards any endeavor that results in job creation since it drives towards greater sustainability and prosperity through the consumption multiplier.
4. I am all for healthcare & education, but it isn’t the time yet. These need far more sophisticated & well orchestrated reform plans.
5. The ability of the nation to export or attract foreign expenditure is key moving forward. So extra points if the project tackles logistics, tourism or enables us to export.
6. I would suggest projects along the lines of:
- Renewable energy power generation facility
- Revamping the railway system
- A metro system
- A chain of publicly owned bakeries ensuring good quality affordable bread around the nation
- Production facilities
- A Tourism related project
Those are my thoughts ya Nerro. The project suggestions draws on popular support expressed by fellow economists on my FB wall.
Naguib Sawiras echoed these very views during his ONTv interview here: http://youtu.be/PFC7M4pO-Qo?t=21m58s