Saturday 19 August 2017
(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...
(Xinhuanet 08/03/17)
Trade between China and Africa reached 85.3 billion U.S. dollars in H1, surging 19 percent year on year as the two sides strengthened cooperation in a wide range of areas, official data showed Thursday. The data reversed the negative growth trend since 2015, according to Gao Feng, spokesperson with the Ministry of Commerce. During January-June, Chinese imports from Africa, including minerals, agricultural products and fruits, amounted to 38.4 billion U.S. dollars, jumping 46 percent from the same period last year, while exports gained 3 percent to 47 billion U.S. dollars. Transport equipment has become a bright spot in China's exports to African countries, with that of ships, trains and aerospace equipment up 200 percent, 161 percent and 252 percent respectively,...
(Bloomberg 08/02/17)
Egypt may exceed its $10 billion target for foreign direct investment this year as the weaker pound reduces the cost of doing business in North Africa’s largest economy and a new investment law comes into force, the investment minister said. Sahar Nasr told Bloomberg she had been approached by investors from Saudi Arabia, Singapore, China and the United Arab Emirates -- including Emaar Properties PJSC Chairman Mohamed Alabbar and Al Ghurair Group -- about potential investments. The pipeline for the fiscal year that began July 1 includes oil and gas, real estate, tourism and logistics investments
(Bloomberg 08/02/17)
Egypt’s foreign-currency reserves jumped to a record in July, as investor confidence surged since the country embarked on an International Monetary Fund-backed economic program last year. Net international reserves rose by $4.7 billion to $36.04 billion, according to central bank data released on Tuesday. Egypt’s reserves saw total inflows of $7.7 billion in July, including $3.7 billion in foreign investments and $4 billion from the local economy, Cairo-based Al-Mal newspaper reported, citing central bank Governor Tarek Amer. Egypt also received a $1.25 billion loan installment from the IMF in the month. Investors have poured money into Egyptian debt and equities since authorities removed most currency restrictions and raised interest rates in November to end a dollar-shortage and secure a $12...
(The Associated Press 08/02/17)
CAIRO — Egypt’s foreign reserves reached 36.036 billion dollars in July, a record high, which the prime minister described as “good news” as it shows that the economy is recovering, the central bank said Tuesday. The bank announced the increase in a brief statement saying that the figure is 4.7 billion dollars higher compared to the previous month. In December 2010, foreign reserves reached 36 billion dollars. Egypt’s Prime Minister Sherif Ismail hailed the increase of the foreign reserves saying, “this is an assuring message about the Egyptian economy and that we are capable of covering the needs of the Egyptian people.” “This means that the Egyptian economy has recovered,” he said. The rise comes after the government secured a...
(Bloomberg 08/02/17)
Julien Ochala can’t live without his morning cup of Joe. But not just any coffee will do. For the past five years, the 37-year-old physiology lecturer at King’s College London has visited the same store every week to grab a pack of his beloved Kenyan brew. And he’s not put off by the cost: at 37 pounds a kilogram ($22 a pound), it’s more than double a similar supermarket product. "I take Kenyan coffee every morning," said Ochala, who buys his beans from Monmouth Coffee Company in Borough Market. "I love it because of the relatively higher acidity level. It keeps me active in the afternoons." Customers willing to pay a premium for African brews, known for their floral, fruity...
(Reuters (Eng) 08/01/17)
Egypt's rising interest rates and soaring inflation have hit second-quarter profits at some of the country's food and drinks companies, providing evidence that consumers' purchasing power is being squeezed. Second-quarter net profits at Edita Food Industries , one of Egypt's largest snack food producers, fell 88 percent to 5.73 million Egyptian pounds ($319,888.27) from 47.42 million in the same period last year, even though sales rose 11.2 percent. Juhayna Food Industries, Egypt's biggest listed producer of packaged juice and dairy products, has reported an 8.6 percent drop in second quarter net profits despite an 18.27 percent rise in sales. Analysts said Edita's and Juhayna's results, published last week, showed that sales growth resulted from product price increases rather than actual...
(Bloomberg 08/01/17)
Egypt’s foreign-currency reserves surged to a record in July, as investor confidence surged since the country embarked on an International Monetary Fund-backed economic program last year. Net international reserves rose by $4.7 billion to $36.04 billion, according to central bank data released on Tuesday. Egypt received a $1.25 billion loan installment from the IMF in July. Officials at the central bank were not immediately available for comment. Investors have been pouring money into Egyptian debt and equities since authorities removed most currency restrictions and raised interest rates in November to end a dollar-shortage and secure a $12 billion IMF loan. The government has also tapped international bond markets, twice, raising $7 billion. More than $13 billion has flowed into Egyptian...
(The Guardian 08/01/17)
Travellers passing through al-Shohada station are being offered chance to get advice from religious scholars inside booth. Sheikhs from Egypt’s highest Islamic authority have opened a fatwa kiosk in the Cairo metro to offer religious advice to commuters in what they say is an effort to counter extremism. The idea is proving popular with travellers passing through Cairo’s al-Shohada metro station, a busy transport hub, who queue up to sit with a group of religious scholars inside a green patterned booth, sheltered from the bustle of the metro. “We usually talk about the issues of daily life, and what religion says about such things. The topics we mostly discuss are marriage, divorce and inheritance,” said one sheikh staffing the booth...
(Bloomberg 08/01/17)
British American Tobacco Plc faces a formal probe by the U.K.’s Serious Fraud Office following reports that the maker of Dunhill cigarettes bribed African government officials to influence tobacco legislation. BAT said Tuesday it is running its own investigations, via external legal advisers, into allegations of misconduct and is cooperating with the U.K. prosecutor. A BBC report two years ago said BAT had a lobbyist arrange bribes totaling $26,000 for three public officials in Rwanda, Burundi and the Comoros Islands in 2015. The British broadcaster said the bribery was revealed by a former employee, Paul Hopkins. At the time, BAT said “we do not tolerate corruption in our business, no matter where it takes place.” The SFO investigation adds to...
(AFP (eng) 07/31/17)
Ghada Tosson waits anxiously outside an Egyptian high school in the Helwan district south of Cairo as her daughter with Down's syndrome sits her end-of-year exam. Winning the chance to sit standard high school tests took years of fighting in a country where people with mental disabilities are often marginalised and receive little assistance. "I'm so proud. We've been fighting for 18 years for this moment. She sat the exam like any other high schooler," says Tosson. "No matter the result, it's proof that it can happen." She is visibly...
(Financial Times 07/31/17)
Resolution of one problem triggers new set of challenges. Egyptian entrepreneurs, like Ibrahim Soudan, were forced to scour the black market for dollars a year ago to pay for imports as they battled a crippling foreign currency shortage. But today the country’s banks are flush with greenbacks and the black market for dollars has been wiped out — the result of Cairo’s decision to float the pound eight months ago to clinch a $12bn International Monetary Fund loan. The devaluation was one of several politically sensitive measures the government took that has earned it plaudits from the IMF and helped
(Daily News Egypt 07/31/17)
Euromoney’s annual gathering, the Euromoney Egypt Conference, will return to Cairo on 18-19 September for its 22nd edition to discuss growing opportunities for investment and partnership in Egypt. Victoria Behn, director of the Middle East and Africa at the Euromoney Conference, said that the conference is delighted to be working with the government of Egypt … Euromoney’s annual gathering, the Euromoney Egypt Conference, will return to Cairo on 18-19 September for its 22nd edition to discuss growing opportunities for investment and partnership in Egypt. Victoria Behn, director of the Middle East and Africa at the Euromoney Conference, said that the conference is delighted to be working with the government of Egypt on an agenda that gives a comprehensive and compelling...
(Daily News Egypt 07/31/17)
Reshuffle included a new department for illegal immigration and hiring of new security directors for North and South Sinai. President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi praised the efforts of the Ministry of Interior in countering extremism in the latest period, according to the Egyptian presidency. During a meeting with Minister of Interior Magdy Abdel Ghaffar, Al-Sisi was briefed on the latest security updates in the country, a statement by the presidency said, adding that the president asserted that the ministry has to emphasise its role into monitoring markets and prices “to limit the pressures of the citizens.” Meanwhile, the ministry announced on Saturday a widespread reshuffling of the ministry, extending to promotions, transfers, and dismissals of various police chiefs and officers. Assistant...

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