A number of sources told Al-Masry Al-Youm that the Egyptian government is currently developing a program to involve citizens from across the nation in the decision-making process on certain budgetary issues, Egypt Independent reports.
The nation-wide program is reportedly slated to be piloted in Alexandria in October, with the slogan ‘Act positively and help Alexandrians’, sources told Al-Masry Al-Youm.
Sources said the initiative would include citizens from each governorate in discussions on national and municipal projects listed in the state’s budget, and solicit their opinions on budgeting priorities. Sources also added that later stages of the initiative would incorporate civic education and awareness training, in accordance with Egypt’s Vision 2030. It is unclear, however, whether citizens’ recommendations in those meetings would be binding.
The participatory budgeting initiative comes after the Ministry of Planning, Monitoring and Administrative Reform issued recommendations stressing the importance of citizen’s participation in municipal development.
According to Shorouk News, the program is a joint initiative by the Ministry of Finance, the Ministry of Planning, Monitoring and Administrative Reform, and municipal authorities in Alexandria. A number of civil society representatives from Alexandria and members from different political parties would also be participating in the initiative, according to a statement by the Ministry of Finance.
Members of both ministries have reportedly held preparatory meetings with authorities in Alexandria for the launch of the pilot project. Also in attendance was Alexandria University President Essam El Kordi who expressed his support for the initiative, adding that he was looking forward to involving the university’s students in the participatory budgeting workshops.