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Egyptian students hope to drive the economy

Monday, September 19, 2016 - 01:41

From hybrid cars to bulletproof vests, some of Egypt's young engineers are creating new business opportunities in a country with stalling economic growth. Sara Hemrajani reports.

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It may look like fun and games, but these students in Egypt are experimenting with eco-friendly technology. The young engineers in Cairo have designed an award-winning hybrid car that runs on both electricity and gas. The aim is a greener future with lower fuel consumption in one of the Middle East's most populous countries. The next step - securing financial assistance to take their project even further. (SOUNDBITE) (Arabic) AIN SHAMS UNIVERSITY STUDENT, ABDELRAHMAN IBRAHIM, SAYING: "We were able to reach a good level in electric cars and will start applying it to privately-owned cars that are actually being driven on the streets. But, we need financial help to expand the work." Other young people in Egypt are striving to create opportunities in a nation where more than 12 percent of the workforce is unemployed. Remon Ashraf says he's taken inspiration from the insurgency in Egypt's northern Sinai province. The 22-year-old is developing a new type of body armour that's both lightweight and relatively cheap to manufacture. And he's pitching his product to the Egyptian military. (SOUNDBITE) (Arabic) CHEMICAL ENGINEERING STUDENT, REMON ASHRAF, SAYING: "The war on terror often involves militants using lightweight weapons and explosives so keeping soldiers safe no longer requires traditional heavy armour." As these future graduates tinker away in their labs, their experiments could offer hope to the next generation of entrepreneurs. Egypt has been battling an economic squeeze with a growing budget deficit, rising inflation and cooling investment.

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Egyptian students hope to drive the economy

Monday, September 19, 2016 - 01:41