Friday 19 January 2018
(AFP (eng) 01/04/18)
Egypt's grand mufti has said that bitcoin is forbidden in Islam, warning the digital currency could be used for criminal purposes. Bitcoin, launched in 2009 and based on a peer-to-peer payment system, poses "high risks to individuals and states," Shawqi Allam said in a published ruling. It could provide "stable and secure financial resources for terrorists and criminal groups," said Allam, who acts as the country's official interpreter of Islamic law. Minting and issuing currency is an "absolute right" of monetary institutions and "one of the most specific functions of the state," he said. Bitcoin is a virtual currency created from computer code.
(AFP (eng) 12/30/17)
Canadian aircraft manufacturer Bombardier on Friday announced the sale of 12 C Series aircraft to EgyptAir in a deal worth $1.1 billion. The company said it signed a letter of intent last month for the sale of the 160-seat CS300 planes, with an option for another 12, and that was converted into a firm purchase agreement. The deal would be worth nearly $2.2 billion if EgyptAir buys the additional 12 planes, according to a statement from Bombardier Commercial Aircraft. This order, together with another for 31 aircraft from an unidentified European company in early November, has given a boost to the Canadian manufacturer after seeing delays and the doubling of costs in the C Series program. "The aircraft is performing...
(AFP (eng) 12/20/17)
The International Monetary Fund on Wednesday approved the third installment of a $12 billion, three-year loan for Egypt, bringing the total released to date to just over $6 billion. The IMF board approved the latest $2 billion disbursement under the deal signed in November 2016, after a fund team last month praised Cairo's progress on "bold" economic reforms. In order to obtain IMF approval for the loan, the country has implemented a set of drastic reforms, adopting a value-added tax,...
(AFP (eng) 12/11/17)
The World Bank on Friday signed a $1.15 billion loan with the Egyptian government, a final tranche of funds to support economic reforms in the country, the international lender said. The deal was sealed on the sidelines of the "Africa 2017" investment conference which President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi inaugurated Friday afternoon in the Red Sea resort town of Sharm el-Sheikh in Sinai. The loans are provided to support "Egypt's home-grown reform program aimed at powering job creation, ensuring energy security,...
(AFP (eng) 12/11/17)
In Egypt's eastern desert, roads are being carved across vast expanses of sand where the government is building a new administrative capital, a long-cherished project that has failed in the past. The city will be complete with luxury hotels, upscale residential districts, a modern airport and a 345-metre (1,140-foot) tower, touted as Africa's tallest. The work is being carried out about 45 kilometres (28 miles) east of Cairo, between roads connecting the metropolis to the canal city of Suez and...
(Reuters 12/11/17)
Russian state nuclear company Rosatom said on Monday a power station it will build in Egypt will cost up to $21 billion and is expected to be finished by 2028-2029. Russian President Vladimir Putin and his Egyptian counterpart Abdel Fattah al-Sisi will sign an agreement on the project on Monday, the Kremlin said. Moscow and Cairo signed an agreement in 2015 for Russia to build a nuclear power plant in Egypt, with Russia extending a loan to Egypt to cover...
(AFP (eng) 12/06/17)
The World Bank on Tuesday approved the latest loan for Egypt of just over $1 billion to support the country's economic reform program and reduce poverty. The loan is the last in a three-part package worth a total of $3.15 billion that started in 2015, the World Bank said in a statement. The loan will support "home-grown inclusive reforms" aimed at shoring up the economy and creating jobs, the bank said. "We are privileged to support the country on its...
(Reuters (Eng) 11/28/17)
CAIRO (Reuters) - Egypt’s central bank removed caps on deposits and withdrawals of foreign currency for importers on Tuesday, lifting some of the last currency controls put in place after a 2011 uprising. The move is another sign that bank liquidity is improving as a result of Egypt’s $12 billion, three-year International Monetary Fund program and a currency flotation that halved the pound’s value and helped crush the black market for dollars. Egypt imposed strict controls on the movement of...
(Reuters (Eng) 11/14/17)
KIGALI (Reuters) - The global airline industry has $1.2 billion blocked in nine dollar-strapped African countries, the International Air Transport Association (IATA) said on Monday. The global commodities price crash that began in 2014 hit economies across Africa hard, particularly big resource exporters such as Angola and Nigeria. Low oil and mineral prices have reduced government revenue and caused chronic dollar shortages and immense pressure on local currencies. The fiscal slump has meant governments have not allowed foreign airlines to...
(Reuters (Eng) 11/10/17)
CAIRO (Reuters) - Egypt has reached a staff-level agreement with the International Monetary Fund for an installment of about $2 billion more from a three-year, $12 billion loan program, the IMF said on Friday. The payment, still subject to IMF executive board approval, will bring total disbursements under the program to about $6 billion. Egypt is pushing through ambitious economic reforms under the loan deal. As part of a second review, the IMF said broad reforms, which included a floatation...
(AFP (eng) 11/08/17)
As Egypt's mobile operators thrive, state-owned Telecom Egypt is entering the market in an effort to boost state revenues. In a country with more mobile phone subscriptions than residents, Egypt's only fixed-line operator is hoping to get in on the action with its new mobile service, WE. But some established players say they fear the state-owned firm, which already owns 45 percent of top existing operator Vodafone Egypt, will enjoy unfair advantages. Egypt, with around 96 million residents, had nearly...
(Xinhuanet 10/19/17)
Ministers of Water and Irrigation of Ethiopia, Sudan and Egypt on Wednesday discussed on ways to continue the two commissioned studies on the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD), which are not progressing at the required level. Egyptian Irrigation Minister, Mohamed Abdel-Aty, Sudanese Minister of Water Resources, Irrigation and Electricity Affairs, Muataz Musa, and Ethiopian Minister of Water, Irrigation and Electricity, Sileshi Bekele, have on Tuesday visited the dam's construction site in Ethiopia's Benishangul-Gumuz regional state on the Blue Nile River,...
(AFP (eng) 10/18/17)
Rent-a-room giant Airbnb said Tuesday that it had provided accommodation for 1.2 million visitors to Africa over the last year -- double the previous year as tourism expands across the continent. The website now offers more than 100,000 accommodation options in Africa, global public affairs director Chris Lehane said on a visit to Johannesburg. "It's an incredibly rich and diverse continent, an incredibly dynamic place, certainly a big part of our future," Lehane told AFP. Airbnb was founded in 2008...
(APA 10/16/17)
APA-Dakar (Senegal) - The president of the African Development Bank, Akinwumi Adesina, will deliver the Norman Borlaug Lecture on Monday 16 October as part of the World Food Prize events taking place from October 16 to 20, 2017 in Des Moines, Iowa, USA. The Norman Borlaug Lecture under the title: “Betting on Africa to Feed the World”, will be held on World Food Day, October 16, in conjunction with the annual World Food Prize celebration. AfDB President Adesina will receive...
(Reuters (Eng) 10/11/17)
CAIRO (Reuters) - Uber is committed to Egypt despite challenges presented by sweeping economic reforms and record inflation, the company said on Tuesday as it announced $20 million of investment in its new support center in Cairo. The Egyptian pound has lost half its value and fuel prices have jumped by up to 50 percent since the North African country floated the currency in November as part of reforms demanded by the International Monetary Fund in exchange for a $12...
(AFP (eng) 10/10/17)
Economic growth in sub-Saharan Africa is set to accelerate to 3.4 percent next year, the International Monetary Fund said Tuesday, citing Nigeria's recovering oil and agricultural sectors. The IMF said in its latest World Economic Outlook report that the region would grow by 2.6 percent this year after 1.4 percent in 2016. "Growth is expected to rise gradually," it said, while noting that the rate would be uneven and "barely above population growth". GDP in the west African powerhouse Nigeria...
(APA 10/05/17)
APA- Cairo (Egypt) - Egypt will sign a $500 million loan agreement with the African Development Bank (AfDB) before the end of 2017, which is a part of a $1.5 billion agreement reached in 2015 to support economic development, the Minister of Investment Sahar Nasr said on Wednesday. During a meeting with AfDB officials, Nasr discussed the bank’s proposal to fund the Abu Rawwash water treatment plant in Giza with $150 million. For his part, Vice President of the bank,...
(Reuters (Eng) 10/05/17)
NAIROBI (Reuters) - Hilton Worldwide Holdings Inc. (HLT.N) plans to spend $50 million over the next five years to add 100 hotels to its chain in Africa, it said on Thursday, joining other chains keen to tap growing business and international travel on the continent. One property will open in the Kenyan capital Nairobi by the end of this year and another in the Rwandan capital Kigali in 2018, it said in a statement. There was 11 percent growth in...
(Reuters (Eng) 10/02/17)
CAIRO (Reuters) - Egypt aims to raise its revenues from taxes imposed on tobacco by 7 billion Egyptian pounds ($397.50 million) in the 2017-18 fiscal year that began in July, a government document said. The country is targeting around 54.545 billion Egyptian pounds ($3.10 billion) in revenues from tobacco taxes, according to a document released by the finance ministry on Monday. Egypt has been increasing taxes and cutting subsidies to narrow its budget deficit as part of economic reforms tied...
(AFP (eng) 09/29/17)
Government shutdowns of the internet have cost sub-Saharan Africa about $237 million since 2015, according to a study released Friday, as authorities increasingly implement planned disruptions. At least 12 countries have had internet shutdowns, often before elections or when protests erupt, with mobile internet networks most recently suspended in Togo during opposition demonstrations. "Internet disruptions, however short-lived, undermine economic growth, disrupt the delivery of critical services, erode business confidence, and raise a country’s risk profile," the CIPESA report said. The Collaboration on International ICT Policy for East and Southern Africa (CIPESA) released its...

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