| Africatime
Sunday 30 April 2017
(AFP (eng) 04/25/17)
Sudan's pro-government journalists' union on Tuesday urged Khartoum to expel Egyptian reporters from the country after Cairo refused entry to two Sudanese journalists who had travelled to Egypt. The call comes with Khartoum and Cairo trying to improve their ties, which deteriorated after Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir accused Egyptian intelligence services of supporting opposition fighters. The Sudanese Journalists' Union said Cairo had denied entry to two Sudanese journalists and deported them back home, and in response it demanded the expulsion of all Egyptian journalists based in Sudan. The union named the two deported Sudanese journalists as columnist Al-Tahir Satti and reporter Eman Kamaleddin. Satti is a known critic of the Egyptian authorities. Kamaleddin was deported from Cairo airport on Monday...
(Bloomberg 04/25/17)
Egypt plans to promote religious, medical and luxury trips, and develop new markets in India and Eastern Europe, as it pushes to revive its vital tourism industry to pre-2011 revolution levels within two years. In addition to more diverse tourism offerings, the home of the pyramids will ease travel for residents of the Gulf Arab nations through an e-visa program as part of a broader plan to boost visitors and encourage longer stays and more spending, Tourism Minister Mohamed Rashed said in an interview in Dubai. The effort marks the latest attempt by Egyptian authorities to kick-start a sector that had been a primary source of foreign currency, and the broader economy, which has struggled since the 2011 uprising that...
(AFP (eng) 04/24/17)
An Egyptian court on Monday sentenced 20 people to death for the killing of 13 policemen in the aftermath of the ouster nearly four years ago of Islamist president Mohamed Morsi. On August 14, 2013, a month after Morsi was overthrown by the army, security forces forcibly dispersed two pro-Morsi protest camps in Cairo in an operation that killed more than 700 people. Hours later a furious crowd attacked a police station in the Cairo suburb of Kerdassa, where 13 policemen were killed. A year later a Cairo court sentenced to death 183 Islamists but a higher court scrapped the verdict last year, amid an international outcry
(AFP (eng) 04/24/17)
A new malaria vaccine will be tested on a large scale in Kenya, Ghana and Malawi, the World Health Organization said Monday, with 360,000 children to be vaccinated between 2018 and 2020. The injectable vaccine RTS,S could provide limited protection against a disease that killed 429,000 people worldwide in 2015, with 92 percent of victims in Africa and two-thirds of them children under five. "The prospect of a malaria vaccine is great news. Information gathered in the pilot will help us make decisions on the wider use of this vaccine," said Dr Matshidiso Moeti, the WHO's regional director for Africa. The vaccine should be used alongside other preventative measures such as bed nets, insecticides, repellants and anti-malarial drugs, the WHO...
(AFP (eng) 04/22/17)
Israel reopened a border crossing into Egypt's Sinai region Friday after a more than week-long closure due to security threats, but urged its citizens to avoid visiting the peninsula. A statement from the prime minister's office said that based on an assessment at the counter-terrorism bureau, "it has been decided to allow the exit of Israeli citizens to Sinai via the Taba crossing." "At the same time the counter-terror bureau stresses that the threat to Israelis in Sinai remains severe, concrete and immediate," the statement added, calling on citizens to avoid visiting the area and for those already there to leave.
(AFP (eng) 04/21/17)
The "world's heaviest woman" has shed half her weight -- around a quarter of a tonne -- in the two months she's been in India for treatment, doctors said. Egyptian national Eman Ahmed Abd El Aty weighed 500 kilogrammes (1,100 pounds) when she arrived in Mumbai in February on a specially modified plane to undergo emergency weight-loss surgery. In videos provided this week by the Saifee Hospital, where the 37-year-old successfully had bariatric surgery last month, Abd El Aty can be seen sitting up and smiling while listening to music. "She looks a happier and slimmer version of her past self. She can finally fit into a wheelchair and sit for a longer period of time, something we never dreamt...
(Xinhuanet 04/21/17)
Sudan and Egypt on Thursday agreed to leave their dispute over Halayeb area to be discussed at presidential-level meetings. "We have agreed to discuss Halayeb issue in meetings of the two countries' presidents and to leave the consultations at the leadership level," said Sudanese Foreign Minister Ibrahim Ghandour at a joint press conference with his Egyptian counterpart Sameh Shoukry. He added that the two sides also discussed the issue of armed movements and agreed that both should completely avoid supporting any opposition in the two countries. For his part, Sameh Shoukry said "Halayeb issue is of the powers of the two countries' leadership. There is understanding between the two presidents on what must be done." Meanwhile, a statement by Sudan's...
(AFP (eng) 04/20/17)
Egypt and Sudan said on Thursday they will not harbour or support opposition groups fighting their respective governments, as top diplomats of the two countries vowed to boost bilateral ties. Relations between neighbours Cairo and Khartoum have been tense, with Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir accusing Egyptian intelligence services of supporting Sudanese opposition figures fighting his troops. The Egyptian media has also accused Khartoum of offering refuge to members of the Muslim Brotherhood movement, which was declared a "terrorist group" by Cairo following the ouster of Islamist President Mohamed Morsi in 2013.
(AFP (eng) 04/20/17)
US Secretary of Defence Jim Mattis arrived in Cairo Thursday on the latest leg of a regional tour, as ties with Egypt continue to warm under President Donald Trump. After touching down at Cairo airport, Mattis set off to meet President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, who was hailed by Trump during a White House visit earlier this month. Sisi's visit marked a shift in relations after Trump's predecessor Barack Obama had given the Egyptian leader the cold shoulder for staging the military overthrow of Islamist president Mohamed Morsi in 2013. Obama temporarily suspended military aid to Egypt following a bloody crackdown on Morsi's supporters.
(AFP (eng) 04/20/17)
The Egyptian military said Thursday it killed a senior Islamic State group cleric and 18 jihadists in air strikes in the Sinai Peninsula where the extremists are waging an insurgency. The announcement came after the jihadists claimed a series of attacks, including a shooting near a monastery this week and twin church bombings on April 9 that killed dozens. Among the jihadists killed was "one of the prominent leaders of the so-called Ansar Beit al-Maqdis, the head of the religious affairs committee in the group," the military said, without saying when the strikes occurred. Ansar Beit al-Maqdis was the name used by the jihadists in the Sinai before they pledged allegiance to the Islamic State group in November 2014. The...
(AfricaNews 04/20/17)
Ethiopia’s Prime Minister, Hailemariam Desalegn, has told local media that north African neighbour Egypt had agreed to stop the activities of anti-peace forces who are behind protests in Ethiopia. The premier was speaking at a press briefing to address major issues in the country. He said Egypt had pledged to stop any persons and activities related to fomenting violence in Ethiopia. The state-owned ENA said the PM revealed that the two countries were committed to halting activities of media networks, specifically mentioning the Oromo Media Network and others that are considered terrorist institutions by Ethiopia. We will not harm the Egyptian people, but they should also help us in making use of our natural resources. I am here today to...
(Voice of America 04/20/17)
U.S. Defense Secretary Jim Mattis arrived in Egypt Thursday, continuing Washington’s warming of relations with Cairo during the Trump administration’s first 100 days. Mattis met with Egyptian Defense Minister Sedki Sobhy and President Abdel Fattah el-Sissi, whose White House visit earlier this month was the first by an Egyptian leader since former U.S. President Barack Obama hosted Hosni Mubarak in 2009. Political upheaval in 2011 ousted Mubarak and started years of turmoil that brought the authoritarian former general Sissi to power. Middle East expert James Gelvin, a professor at the University of California in Los Angeles, told VOA much of the Trump administration’s policy is aimed at being anti-Obama. “In other words, [Trump] looks at what Obama did and says,...
(Reuters (Eng) 04/20/17)
Egypt has unveiled a massive granite statue of Ramses II, the most powerful and celebrated of the ancient Pharaohs, after completing its restoration. Standing 11 meters (36 feet) tall and weighing 75 tons, the statue was presented in a floodlit ceremony at the Luxor Temple on the banks of the Nile on Tuesday evening. When the statue was discovered between 1958 and 1960, it was in 57 pieces. Ramses II, also known as Ramses the Great or Ozymandias, reigned more than 3,000 years ago. He led several military expeditions and expanded the Egyptian empire to stretch from Syria in the north to Nubia in the south. The statue was displayed just hours after archaeologists unveiled the tomb of a nobleman...
(Bloomberg 04/20/17)
WorldRemit Ltd., a British money-transfer operator, sees revenue from transactions involving Africans doubling by 2020 as more people on the continent access mobile-payment platforms and expatriates send cash home. The seven-year-old company, in which Facebook Inc.-backer Accel Partners LP invested $40 million in 2014, will this year open a regional office in South Africa, its largest market on the continent in terms of money-transfer value, founder and Chief Executive Officer Ismail Ahmed said in an interview. Another site will start operating in Kenya, where the London-based business sees Africa’s highest number of individual transactions. “In the next two years we should be doubling our volume every year,” Ahmed said in Kenya’s capital, Nairobi. The continent accounted for half the company’s...
(Bloomberg 04/19/17)
The International Monetary Fund lowered its 2017 growth forecast for Egypt, reflecting the economic toll from the government’s decision last year to float the pound and introduce a reform program. Egypt’s real gross domestic product will expand 3.5 percent this year, less than the IMF’s 4 percent projection in October, the lender said in its latest World Economic Outlook on Tuesday. Growth will rebound to 4.5 percent in 2018, the report said -- close to the government’s target in its new budget. The Nov. 3 decision to float the currency was pivotal in helping Egypt secure a $12 billion IMF loan, though it also caused inflation to surge above 30 percent. That’s a severe burden in a country where around...
(Bloomberg 04/19/17)
An influx of foreign cash into Egyptian debt securities isn’t denting yields that remain the highest in emerging markets amid a government borrowing binge. Offshore investors boosted holdings of government Treasury bills to 79 billion pounds ($4.4 billion) as of April 4, compared with less than 1 billion pounds before a currency devaluation in November, according to Finance Ministry data. Average yields on Egyptian debt have climbed 84 basis points this year to 17.5 percent, compared with a 13-point rise to 4.73 percent for the average of 31 countries in the Bloomberg Emerging Market Local Sovereign Index. Africa’s third-biggest economy, also the most-populous Arab nation, is facing a widening budget deficit and growing debt pile that is costing more to...
(Reuters (Eng) 04/19/17)
Gunmen attacked security forces near St. Catherine's Monastery in Egypt's south Sinai on Tuesday, killing at least one police officer and injuring four others, the Health Ministry said, just a week after two deadly church bombings killed 45. Islamic State claimed responsibility for the attack on a police checkpoint about 800 meters (yards) from the entrance to the monastery, one of the world's most important Christian sites. The attack comes just 10 days before Pope Francis is scheduled to visit Egypt and just over a week after two deadly suicide bombings on Christian churches, also claimed by Islamic State
(The New York Times 04/19/17)
Gunmen attacked a checkpoint near the iconic St. Catherine’s Monastery in Sinai, one of the oldest Christian monasteries in the world, killing one police officer and wounding four others on Tuesday evening, Egypt’s Interior Ministry said. The Islamic State claimed responsibility for the shooting through its Amaq news agency, according to the SITE Intelligence Group, which monitors jihadist communications. Although comparatively small by the standards of the Sinai insurgency, the assault was a relatively rare instance of violence in the southern part of the province, and it came just nine days after Islamic State suicide bombers killed 45 people in attacks on two churches — in Alexandria and Tanta — on Palm Sunday. In a statement on its Facebook page,...
(Bloomberg 04/19/17)
The Islamic State’s Egyptian affiliate claimed responsibility for an attack on a police checkpoint near St. Catherine’s Monastery in south Sinai, the latest strike by the group against Egypt’s Coptic Christian minority and the country’s vital tourism industry. One policeman was killed and three others were wounded when militants opened fire at the checkpoint, the Interior Ministry said in a statement late Tuesday. Several militants were also injured in the shootout. The Islamic State claim was reported by SITE Intel Group, which monitors jihadist channels on social media. Authorities had already declared a three-month state of emergency and vowed stronger anti-terrorism measures after twin church bombings on Palm Sunday left at least 45 dead and dozens wounded. The Islamic State...
(Reuters (Eng) 04/19/17)
Telecom Egypt will on Wednesday sign an agreement with Orange Egypt to offer 2G and 3G mobile services through Orange Egypt, one Telecom Egypt source and one source from the telecommunication ministry told Reuters. Telecom Egypt, the state's fixed-line monopoly, was the first company to take up the state's offer to buy a 4G license in August for 7.08 billion Egyptian pounds ($392 million) to enter the mobile market directly for the first time. (Reporting by Ehab Farouk; Writing by Asma Alsharif, editing by David Evans)

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