Tuesday 26 September 2017
(Al-Monitor 08/09/17)
“A year ago, I never would have envisioned myself sharing my home with a complete stranger, but desperate situations demand desperate measures,” Sherine Moustafa, a 45-year-old hotel sales executive and divorcee, told Al-Monitor. Struggling to cope with the soaring prices of goods and services prompted by the November 2016 flotation of the Egyptian pound and successive cuts in fuel subsidies, Sherine has had to look for new and innovative ways to boost her income. Since April, she has been renting out her spare bedroom through the holiday rental website Airbnb. “Before the harsh austerity measures, I lived comfortably and could even put some money aside for an emergency. But I found it increasingly difficult to manage my budget; my paycheck...
(Al-Monitor 08/09/17)
CAIRO — While Egypt’s tourism industry faces troubled times, one lawmaker is thinking of innovative ways to bring in revenue to some of the country’s top destinations. Parliamentarian Mohamed al-Massoud announced July 26 that he had completed a monumental and wide-reaching study on the establishment of a free trade zone in Sharm el-Sheikh. The study, he said, was conducted in accordance with the new law on foreign and local investments, which was issued June 1. Massoud, a member of parliament's tourism committee, said he would submit his study to the government and Minister of Investment Sahar Nasr, who decides whether cities can become free trade zones. Sharm el-Sheikh is among the most beautiful tourist attractions in the world, located along...
(Xinhuanet 08/09/17)
The United States Trade Representative (USTR) on Wednesday affirmed the commitment of his country to Africa and saw "great potential to grow and deepen trade relationship." Robert E. Lighthizer expressed this in opening speech of the ministerial plenary as part of the 16th Forum of the Africa Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA), on Wednesday here in Togolese capital Lome. "The United States is committed to Africa. We see great potential to grow and deepen our trade relationship, with the goal of establishing a true partnership for the future", Lighthizer said. "By lowering barriers and tackling other constraints that impede trade and investment, we are poised to see U.S.-Africa trade flourish", he said, underscoring that "much more work needs to be...
(AFP (eng) 08/08/17)
Saudi Arabian billionaire Prince Alwaleed bin Talal is to invest more than $800 million in hotels in Egypt, the investment ministry in Cairo said on Monday. The announcement came after parliament in May adopted a new law aimed at attracting foreign investment as the authorities seek to reinvigorate the North African country's struggling economy. The ministry said in a statement that Bin Talal told Investment Minister Sahar Nasr in the Red Sea resort of Sharm el-Sheikh that he would invest in hotels in several locations. Tourism in the Arab world's most populous nation has yet to bounce back from before the 2011 uprising
(Bloomberg 08/08/17)
In five decades of importing steel wires, Zahar Benmoussa’s company never worried about currency risks -- until Morocco announced plans to float the dirham. “For the first time in our history, we started to hedge” in the currency market, said Benmoussa, managing director at Casablanca-based Grillages Marocains. Across Morocco, fears of a weaker dirham triggered a rush for dollars and euros, causing a $3 billion drop in its reserves in just three months this year. Then in June, the government put its plans on hold again. It was at least the second time it stalled on a move supported by the International Monetary Fund and a centerpiece of Morocco’s ambitions to become North Africa’s dominant financial hub. By delaying, it...
(Reuters (Eng) 08/08/17)
Egypt's top national security prosecutor has ordered the transfer of an Egyptian man who stabbed three foreign tourists to death at a Red Sea resort in July to a mental hospital for psychiatric evaluation, state news agency MENA said on Monday. Security sources told Reuters that Abdel Rahman Shaban Abokorah had tried to join Islamic State and investigators had initially recommended he face charges of terrorism, in what was the first major attack on foreign tourists since a similar assault on the same resort more than a year ago. Abokorah was caught by hotel staff and arrested after he killed two German women and a Czech woman and wounded three other tourists. He will remain under psychiatric evaluation for 45...
(Reuters (Eng) 08/08/17)
Tuesday's action at the World Athletics Championships sees two of the most intriguing races of the program as South Africa's Wayde van Niekerk bids for the first half of his 400/200 meters double and Nigel Amos goes for gold in the men's 800m. World record holder and defending champion Van Niekerk should be unbeatable in the 400m but faces a stiff challenge, not least from Botswanan duo Isaac Makwala and Thebe Baboloki. Another Botswanan, Amos, will also have to be at his best in the 800m, where a clutch of athletes are suddenly dreaming of glory in the absence of Kenya's injured champion David Rudisha. Kenya is expected to continue its dominance of the men's 3,000m steeplechase - though American...
(AFP (eng) 08/04/17)
From the Giza pyramids to the pharaonic tombs of Luxor, Egypt's ancient monuments are holding onto mysteries which researchers now aim to unravel with cutting edge technology. For more than 200 years since Napoleon Bonaparte landed in Egypt with a retinue of scholars who laid the groundwork for modern Egyptology, experts have used science to unlock the secrets of the country's ancient treasures. In the 21st century, the scientists have been using electronic devices and chemical testing to date artefacts. Chemical testing still requires small samples...
(AFP (eng) 08/04/17)
An Egyptian court has jailed 50 policemen for three years after convicting them on charges related to a strike earlier this year, state media reported. The low-ranking policemen were also fined 6,000 pounds (roughly $330) by the South Sinai court on Thursday, the state-owned Al-Ahram newspaper reported on its website. The policemen had gone on strike in January to protest reduced holidays and allegedly "threatened violence" against superior officers, the newspaper said. Egyptian policemen held several demonstrations and strikes after the 2011 overthrow of president Hosni Mubarak. The authorities have shown little tolerance...
(Sudan Tribune 08/04/17)
Sudanese Foreign Minister Ibrahim Ghandour has called the Egyptian government to cooperate on ways to stop the support provided by some Libyan parties to the rebel groups from Darfur region. Ghandour and his visiting counterpart Sameh Shoukry held Thursday the joint political consultations meeting where they discussed the implementation of outcomes of the joint presidential cooperation committee, held last June, including the strategic cooperation document, the consulate cooperation, border crossing committee, coordination at regional and international forums as well as regional developments. Speaking at a joint press conference after the end of the meeting, the two minister pointed to the progress achieved in different areas stressing that the hostile media campaign has been stopped. But they didn’t mention the dispute...
(AfricaNews 08/04/17)
Sudan and Egypt have reinstated their talks after a short-lived diplomatic row in May that resulted in the cancellation of a trip by the Sudanese foreign minister to Cairo. The age-old tension was sparked following accusations by President Omar al-Bashir that Egypt is arming rebel groups to topple his government. Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi also rejected the claim saying saying “Egypt does not conspire” against anyone. On Wednesday, Egyptian foreign minister Sameh Shoukry visited Khartoum for the continuation of the bilateral talks with his Sudanese counterpart Ibrahim Ghandour which started four months ago. The talks between the two countries aim to boost bilateral ties in the areas of politics and trade, among others. The talks were agreed upon by...
(Reuters (Eng) 08/04/17)
A policeman and a civilian were killed and three people wounded in an attack late on Thursday on a patrol in Esna, south of Luxor, the Interior Ministry said. The police patrol had stopped a vehicle and when stopped, two gunmen fired on the patrol, the ministry said in a statement. One of the perpetrators were arrested while the other fled, the ministry said, adding that the wounded have been transferred to hospital. Attacks on security forces have been common in Egypt since the army, led by general-turned-President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, ousted Muslim Brotherhood President Mohamed Mursi in 2013 following mass protests against his rule. In recent months, attacks have expanded to target Egypt's Coptic Christians, the country's largest minority...
(Ahram Online 08/04/17)
Lieutenant General Mahmoud Hegazy held talks with rival Libyan delegations to discuss reconciliation. Egypt’s army chief of staff, Lieutenant General Mahmoud Hegazy, held meetings with rival Libyan delegations in Cairo this week to discuss reconciliation, the official military spokesman announced on Thursday. Hegazy, the head of the committee assigned to mediate between the Libyan factions in Egypt, met Libyan delegations from the cities of Misurata and Barca, and held talks with them for three days this, according to military spokesman Tamer El-Refai. Hegazy held separate meetings with each delegation, then a joint meeting without pre-conditions with both delegations. The talks were focused on achieving reconciliation and the two delegations agreed on the need for a roadmap to end the current...
(AfricaNews 08/04/17)
Egypt has nominated former family and population minister Moushira Khattab to contest for the director-general position of the United Nations’ cultural agency UNESCO. This is the second attempt by Egypt after it nominated former culture minister Farouk Hosni who lost the election in 2009 to Irina Bokova. Egyptian Moushira Khattab seeks to be the next woman director-general after Bokova, and also be the first from the African region. She is a human rights advocate known for championing women’s and children’s causes. Khattab is also on the board of the National Museum of Egyptian Civilization. She is among nine nominees aiming for the top job which has had only ten directors in its 72-year history, seven of whom have come from...
(AfricaNews 08/04/17)
Egypt will chair the United Nations Security Council this month and it has promised to review sanctions on some countries over sale of weapons to terrorist groups. The Egyptian foreign ministry said in a statement cited by local media Ahram Online on Monday that the review will be done to evaluate the effectiveness of earlier sanctions imposed by the council. Egypt says it will work as the chair to eliminate the supply of weapons, ammunition and military equipment to terrorist groups as part of UN resolution 2253. This is the second time Egypt is chairing the UN Security Council since it gained non-permanent membership in 2016.
(Al-Monitor 08/04/17)
CAIRO — Egypt’s Cabinet completed July 5 the drafting of the new water resources and irrigation bill, which calls for penalizing farmers who grow water-intensive crops, especially rice, outside the land plots authorized by the government on an annual basis. The sanctions come amid a water crisis in Egypt, which is expected to exacerbate with the opening of the Ethiopian Renaissance Dam. Article 32 of the bill states, “The Ministry of Water Resources and Irrigation specifies the surface areas and regions allocated for rice cultivation yearly by virtue of a decision issued by the minister. The decision will also determine the areas and regions allocated for growing water-intensive crops yearly. The growing of rice and crops that require high water...
(Xinhuanet 08/03/17)
Sudan and Egypt on Thursday reiterated commitment to enhancing cooperation and overcoming any barriers obstructing their historical ties. Meetings of the joint political consultation committee between Sudan and Egypt on Thursday convened in the Sudanese capital Khartoum, chaired by Sudan's Foreign Minister Ibrahim Ghandour and his Egyptian counterpart Sameh Shoukry. Speaking at a joint press conference, the two ministers regarded the meetings as evidence of willingness of the two countries' leadership to enhance bilateral relations.
(Xinhuanet 08/03/17)
Egypt hosted over the past three days two delegations from the Libyan eastern region of Barqa and the northwestern port city of Misrata to outline a roadmap for inter-Libyan national reconciliation, the Egyptian army said in a statement on Thursday. Led by Egypt's Chief of Staff Mahmoud Hegazy, the Egyptian Committee on Libya held separate talks with the two delegations, followed by joint talks with their representatives without preconditions, said military spokesman Tamer al-Refaay in the statement. The participants agreed on a time-scheduled roadmap including mechanisms for future meetings "in order to achieve true reconciliation that enhances means of coexistence between Libyans
(Daily News Egypt 08/03/17)
Egypt’s foreign reserves rose by $US 4.73 billion, reaching $36.0 in total which is the highest level recorded since the 25 January 2011 revolution, according to Egypt’s Central Bank data. Egypt has been suffering from a shortage of hard currency due to the political turmoil that resulted in fewer investments and tourists who are a key source of dollars. Several analysts have tied the increase to the International Monetary Fund (IMF)’s payment. In 2011, Egypt started its economic reform program backed by the IMF after it had taken several measures, including the imposition of Value Added Taxes (VAT) and gradual removal of subsidies, to receive the $US 12 billion loan. This is the figure’s first time to exceed this level...
(Reuters (Eng) 08/03/17)
The average yields on Egypt's six-month and one-year treasury bills fell in an auction on Thursday, data from the central bank showed. The average yield on the 182-day bill fell to 19.574 percent from 21.175 percent at the last sale on July 27, and the yield on the 364-day bill fell to 19.348 percent from 20.952 percent. Egypt has raised key interest rates by 700 basis points since November when it floated its currency, encouraging foreign investors to buy up its debt. Total foreign holdings in Egyptian securities stood at 250.7 billion Egyptian pounds ($14.10 billion) as of Aug. 1, an 8 percent increase from the amount after the previous auction, head of public debt at the finance ministry, Sami...

Pages