The Egyptian Minister of Manpower, Mohamed Saafan, expected the participation of 3 million workers from his country in the reconstruction of Libya. He explained, during a telephone interview with the “Tahrir Hall” program broadcast on Sada Al-Balad channel, on Sunday evening, that the past ten years witnessed the return of 3 million Egyptian workers from Libya due to the internal turmoil in the western neighbor.
The Minister of Manpower stressed that no worker should be allowed to leave any country without guarantees, stressing the skill of Egyptian workers, considering them the best in the world, he said.
And last April, Egyptian Prime Minister Mostafa Madbouly visited the Libyan capital, Tripoli, accompanied by a high-level delegation comprising 11 ministers from his government.
Madbouly witnessed the signing of 11 documents with the Prime Minister of the Libyan National Unity Government, Abdel Hamid Dabaiba, to enhance bilateral cooperation between the two countries in various fields.
The joint cooperation documents included memoranda of understanding on technical and executive cooperation in the fields of transportation, health, electricity, communications, technical training and manpower.
It is expected that the Libyan Minister of Labor, Ali Al-Abed, will visit Cairo in the coming days to hold discussions regarding organizing the return of Egyptian workers to his country, as stipulated in the memorandum of understanding – regarding organizing and facilitating the movement of manpower – signed between Cairo and Tripoli, last March.
Before the outbreak of the Libyan revolution, in February 2011, Libya was one of the most important destinations for Egyptian migrant workers.
According to the Egyptian Central Agency for Mobilization and Statistics (an official body), the total number of Egyptian workers in Libya, in 2011, exceeded two million.
With the turmoil witnessed by the western neighbor, the number of Egyptians declined, but the Egyptian presence did not stop at all, despite the risks that this posed with the deterioration of the security situation there.
During the past years, Egyptian workers in Libya have been subjected to a number of kidnappings, torture and killings, including the massacre of 21 Egyptians – Copts – by extremist groups, in February 2015.
Unofficial statistics speak of a decrease in the number of Egyptian workers in Libya from two million to about 800 thousand.
The numbers of remittances from Egyptian workers abroad to their country amounted to $27.1 billion, during the period from January to November 2020, an increase of 11.9 percent year on year.
According to the data of the Central Agency for Mobilization and Statistics, the number of Egyptians expatriates outside their country is about 9.5 million, while the Minister of Immigration, Nabila Makram, stated that the number is about 13 million.
Cairo was quick to host Abdel Hamid al-Dabaiba after he was chosen at the head of the new political authority in Libya, last February, after it was the most prominent supporter of retired Major General Khalifa Haftar, and this was followed by signs of economic cooperation between the two countries.