Egypt’s ministry of scientific research faces funding cuts, after failing to spend most of this year’s budget.
The Egyptian ministry of scientific research has failed to spend 82% of its annual budget, according to Al-Ahram, an Egyptian Arabic daily newspaper. The budget will be cut as a result, which may affect staff at government research institutions.
The 2011 Tahrir Square uprising prompted an increase in science funding, and since then Egypt’s annual budget for research has risen by over a third to 1.3 billion Egyptian pounds (£122 million). But Nadia Zakhary, the current minister of scientific research, now says the budget will be reduced next year, after the majority of this year’s was returned unspent.
The reasons for the underspend are unclear. The ministry says it spent all the money made available by the National Investment Bank. But critics, including the president of Egypt’s Academy of Scientific Research and Technology (ASRT), have accused the ministry of poor management for failing to allocate the whole budget or prepare the right paperwork to secure access to funds.