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 The Post-Arab Spring Egyptian Banking Sector: the Benefits of Reforms

Omar Ismael ABDOURAHMAN *** Économiste, Bureau Afrique du Nord, Commission économique des Nations unies pour l'Afrique. Contact :
Nabil JEDLANE ** Professeur, École nationale de commerce et de gestion de Tanger, Université Abdelmalek ESSAÄDI. Contact :

** Professeur, SKEMA Business School, Université Côte d'Azur. Contact :

Since 2016 and with the support of international donors, Egypt has embarked on an ambitious program of economic reforms. The fluctuation of the Egyptian Pound and budgetary reforms have helped to slow down the deterioration of public finances. These measures have improved the country's economic prospects but at a high social cost. To reduce this cost and improve the socioeconomic indicators, we study the strengthening of the access of the private sector to the financing through the promotion and the diversification of the sources of financing. But despite the development of the Egyptian banking system, the banking penetration rate which was 14% in 2014 and rose to 33% in 2017 remains one of the lowest in the region. Only 4% of adults save in a formal financial institution. The contribution of the Islamic banking system and microfinance to the Egyptian economy could potentially alleviate social and financial exclusion, especially that of young people and women. The fight against social exclusion is therefore one of the major objectives of the Egyptian government and the international financial institutions. It would allow marginalized categories to participate in economic life and benefit from basic banking services. These individuals could thus contribute to growth, notably by reducing unemployment and poverty.