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If greenhouse agriculture provides a net savings of freshwater that savings could be used for irrigation of cotton crops. Then relatively modest investments in used cloth looms and sewing machines yields a domestic clothing chain. Keep that up, undo two centuries of imperial economic domination, and Egypt's economy might get well. But the current US dependent military is unlikely to be enthusiastic about this unless it got the green light from Washington - which is doubtful. However a lot of progress could be made by staying under the radar and using Islamic finance. Just don't call it that when talking to Westerners.
"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
Iran under the Shah had substantial import substitution programs. Jane Jacobs reported visiting Iran, and having an Iranian show here Iranian made knives ... which had the handle fall apart from the blade. I don't know the details myself, but my first guess would be a situation where loyalty to the regime is sufficiently suspect that those advocating changes in the spirit of the instinct of workmanship are translated for higher ups into malcontents against the regime.
And that is not something that can be imported from some higher income country, as the means that higher income countries use to promote competence are adapted to their own cultures ... witness the struggles that Japanese senior management can have operating in Germany, and those are two cultures that in their own way are highly effective at encouraging competence.
How to effectively promote competence in the context of Egyptian society is something that has to be arrived at by the Egyptian people themselves. Now, surely, given that but a misguided economic development strategy they can still fail, but failing that the best economic development strategy in the world is likely to fall short.
I've been accused of being a Marxist, yet while Harpo's my favourite, it's Groucho I'm always quoting. Odd, that.
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