The IMF on 11 November finally approved a long-discussed $12bn loan for Egypt after Cairo the previous week fulfilled two key preconditions: devaluing the currency and hiking oil products prices.

But this is only the beginning of a long and difficult road, albeit one that Egypt had little choice but to take as aid from wealthy Gulf benefactors began to dry-up after two years of low oil prices.

Both the IMF and Cairo are, not surprisingly, bullish on Egypt’s prospects. The IMF says...