| Africatime
Thursday 30 March 2017
(Itweb Africa 02/21/17)
Senior executives from Oracle met with Egypt's ICT Minister of Communications and Information Technology (MCIT) Yasser ElKady in Cairo in an effort to maintain a direct line of communication between the government leader and the computer software company in the North African country. Saleem Haque, the Vice President for Advanced Customer Support Global Delivery at Oracle USA and Oracle Egypt CEO Basil Mubarak, along with several other company representatives, met with ElKady where they briefed him on the company's local achievements and business plans. A statement from the ICT ministry says the meeting was within the framework of the ICT sector's strategy to export technological services and create a base of specialists in the field of technical support. "In this...
(Fox News 02/21/17)
An Islamic State affiliate released a video Monday vowing that Egyptian Christians are their "favorite prey," showing images of a suicide bomber who killed nearly 30 people inside a packed Cairo church in December. "God gave orders to kill every infidel," one of the militants carrying an AK-47 assault rifle says in the 20-minute video. The video shows footage of Egypt's Coptic Christian Pope, Christian businessmen, judges and priests who either speak of the need to protect the minority or use derogatory terms to refer to Egypt's Muslim majority. The narrator says Christians were no longer "dhimmis," a reference to non-Muslims in Islam who enjoy a degree of state protection. Instead, the group describes the Christians as "infidels" who are...
(Bloomberg 02/21/17)
Ashish Thakkar, who co-founded Africa banking conglomerate Atlas Mara Ltd. with ex-Barclays Plc head Bob Diamond, lost a ruling over the ownership of family assets in a London divorce case, with a judge questioning Thakkar’s truthfulness. Judge Philip Moor ruled that Thakkar, and not his mother and sister, was the owner of disputed assets in the divorce. He found that the 35-year-old owned 100 percent of Mara Group Holdings Ltd. and other corporate entities. The result will have ramifications in the proceedings where a judge will have to decide how much Thakkar -- described in videos posted on his foundation’s website as "Africa’s Youngest Billionaire" -- is worth. Thakkar says he has assets of 445,532 pounds ($553,000) while his wife,...
(AFP (eng) 02/20/17)
The Egyptian pound strengthened against the US dollar on Monday, regaining ground after record lows which followed the central bank's decision to float the currency in November. After plunging to 8.83 pounds against the dollar before the flotation to almost 20 in December, the pound has strengthened since last week to reach less than 16 against the dollar. Faced with plummeting foreign currency reserves since its 2011 revolution, the central bank floated the pound and the government cut fuel subsidies, in moves which helped secure a $12-billion loan from the International Monetary Fund. International investors, reacting favourably to the flotation, have since shown strong interest in government bonds and treasury bills. The inflows as well as the IMF loan's first...
(AFP (eng) 02/20/17)
An Egyptian court upheld Monday death sentences against 10 people convicted over rioting that claimed 74 lives at a stadium in Port Said in 2012, judicial and security officials said. The ruling by the Court of Cassation, which is final, excluded an 11th defendant who remains at large after his death penalty was also confirmed in June 2015 by another court. The court also upheld sentences of life imprisonment for 10 people and five years for 12 others, including Port Said's security chief at the time, said the officials who requested anonymity as they are unauthorised to speak to the media. Monday's ruling was welcomed by relatives of those who died in the rioting, who celebrated outside the court in...
(AFP (eng) 02/16/17)
Argentine superstar Lionel Messi postponed a visit to Egypt to promote a campaign to fight Hepatitis C in the wake of Barcelona's defeat by Paris Saint-Germain, Egypt's tourism ministry said Wednesday. "The visit has been officially postponed, (Messi) said he could not come at the last minute," said ministry spokeswoman Omaima al-Husseini. She said he was rescheduling the visit. Paris Saint-Germain defeated Barcelony 4-0 in the Champions League on Tuesday in a major upset for the Spanish giants.
(AL Jazeera 02/16/17)
The law is part of a wider crackdown on human rights groups, activists say. Egyptian human rights groups say they are being subject to a widening government crackdown targeting organisations accused [by the government] of threatening national security. The latest attempts to restrict the operations of non-governmental organisations that are mostly involved in human rights work took place last week when Egyptian authorities physically sealed shut the doors of the El Nadeem Centre, a prominent NGO that helps victims of violence and torture. "This is a big hit - a unique and significant one - in light of the government's crackdown against civil society in Egypt," Suzan Fayad, the centre's director told Al Jazeera. Al Nadeem Centre for the Rehabilitation...
(AFP (eng) 02/16/17)
Rival powers in Libya have agreed to form a committee to explore amending a UN-backed deal to end the country's political turmoil, Egypt announced on Wednesday after hosting talks. The head of Libya's unity government Fayez al-Sarraj and rival army chief Marshal Khalifa Haftar had been in Cairo this week for talks mediated by the Egyptian army. They agreed to set up "a joint committee" to formulate amendments to the deal that set up the unity government, the military said in a statement. Libyan media reported that Sarraj and Haftar did not meet face to face during the talks in Cairo. Sarraj's UN-backed Government of National Accord has struggled to assert its authority across the North African country since starting...
(Bloomberg 02/16/17)
Back in early November, Egypt and Nigeria were in the same situation, crying out for dollars to revive their sinking economies and trying to curb rampant currency-trading on the black market. Egypt’s tactic was to ditch a currency peg, leaving its pound open to market forces. The move helped secure a $12 billion International Monetary Fund loan for Africa’s third-biggest economy. This week, Managing Director Christine Lagarde praised the government for restoring “economic sanity.” Egypt is still short of dollars, but the situation is changing, and investors are gradually returning. Nigeria, in contrast, isn’t letting the naira trade at its market value, insisting that’s the only way to protect the poor from a further surge in inflation, which is already...
(AFP (eng) 02/15/17)
Egyptian billionaire Naguib Sawiris said on Tuesday that he is returning to politics to press for more freedoms in the North African country after staying away out of frustration. "To the esteemed people who are listening to us... we have the right to give advice. Let the public space to be open and allow us to speak," Sawiris told a news conference in Cairo. Egypt's second-richest man with a net worth of $3.8 billion according to Forbes, Sawiris founded the liberal Free Egyptians party soon after the 2011 uprising that toppled longtime president Hosni Mubarak. "I was very sad and distant... (but) not sad about the Free Egyptians party. I'm sad about the whole system," he said. Sawiris, who runs...
(AFP (eng) 02/15/17)
Egypt's parliament on Tuesday approved a cabinet reshuffle that includes a merger of the ministries of investment and international cooperation, as the country pushes ahead with major economic reforms. The reshuffle, presented by President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, comes at a critical time for Egypt following a spike in consumer prices since the central bank floated the pound in November and the government cut fuel subsidies. The revamp brought the ministry of investment under the ministry of international cooperation, according to a statement on the parliament's website. It also brought eight new ministers into the government of Prime Minister Sherif Ismail to oversee the portfolios of supply and internal trade, planning, agriculture, parliamentary affairs, education, transport, higher education, and local development...
(Xinhuanet 02/15/17)
Thirteen Egyptian workers kidnapped in Libya were freed by the Egyptian Armed Forces in cooperation with Libyan military, a military statement said on Tuesday. The workers were kidnapped by militants who asked for ransom, official news agency MENA reported. "Measures have been taken to bring them home," military spokesman Tamer El Refaei said in the statement. Another criminal gang has also kidnapped 23 Egyptians in Ajbabia area in Libya in August and released them after receiving ransom. Thousands of Egyptians defy the unrest in Libya for employment despite of government's warning to avoid the war-torn country.
(AFP (eng) 02/15/17)
Sub-Saharan Africa, where more than a half billion people live without electricity, trails the world in government policies that promote sustainable energy, according to a new World Bank report Wednesday. Much of the rest of the world, however, has made strides toward making energy broadly available, developing renewable power sources and increasing efficiency, the inaugural Regulatory Indicators for Sustainable Energy report said. In a survey of 111 countries, the World Bank found that through 2015 nearly 80 percent had begun to adopt policies to expand electrical grids, connecting them to solar and wind generation, and to help make electric utilities creditworthy and financially viable while keeping energy prices down. More than a third of countries, home to 96 percent of...
(Xinhuanet 02/14/17)
Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah al-Sisi received on Monday his visiting Lebanese counterpart Michel Aoun at the Ittihadia Palace in Cairo, reported the state-run MENA news agency. Both leaders discussed recent developments in their respective countries as well as the Middle East region, including the Syrian crisis. During the press conference following the meeting, Sisi congratulated the Lebanese people for their successful presidential elections in addition to forming a government which met their aspirations. Sisi also conveyed Egypt's full support of Lebanon's stability, and lauded relations binding both countries
(AfricaNews 02/14/17)
Egypt’s silky soft cotton prized by makers of luxury bedding and clothing, has become so scarce as production has fallen that most supplies sold under its brand name last year were fake. But a surge in local cotton prices ahead of next month’s planting season, and a crackdown on ersatz Egyptian cotton worldwide, are reviving interest in cultivating the long-neglected crop. “There’s a lot of attention at the moment, especially from the trade ministry, to improve the whole supply chain of Egypt’s textile industry. So, we’re expecting that Egyptian cotton will return this season, after reaching its worst record in its history last season, to what it was before,“Executive Director of Cotton Egypt Association, Khaled Schuman said. Farmers, spinners, and...
(Irish Times 02/14/17)
Minister for Foreign Affairs says is ‘deeply disappointed’ over latest adjournment The trial of Ibrahim Halawa, the Irishman detained in Egypt for more than three years, has been delayed for the 19th time. March 22nd has been set as the new date for the hearing. Minister for Foreign Affairs Charlie Flanagan said he was “deeply disappointed”, while Amnesty International said Egypt is ignoring human rights laws. Mr Halawa, from Firhouse in south Dublin, was arrested in August 2013 at the Fateh mosque in Cairo during protests against the ousting of then-president Mohamed Morsi. Mass trial He and 493 others were put on mass trial on serious charges which could result in life imprisonment or the death penalty. About 80 of...
(The Independent 02/14/17)
Hundreds of burial chambers in the north Sudanese desert reveal a hidden history. Sudan has more than twice the number of pyramids you’ll find in Egypt. I know – I couldn’t believe it either. Which is why I had to see for myself. Sure, mention Sudan and most travellers will admit to dismissing it as a war-torn stretch of bland desert – plagued by the genocide and refugee crisis in Darfur, and the ongoing civil war in the new Republic of South Sudan following a north-south split in 2011. Yet most of the Foreign and Commonwealth Office map of the country is a lovely shade of (safe) green. But the promotion of African antiquities isn’t a priority for Omar al-Bashir,...
(Voice of America 02/14/17)
U.S. President Donald Trump made his first phone calls to African heads of state Monday, speaking with Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari and South African President Jacob Zuma. Nigeria and South Africa said the calls were made at the request of the U.S. president, who until now has said little about Africa or African issues since assuming office last month. The Nigerian presidency said Trump and Buhari discussed issues of terrorism, and said Trump assured Buhari the United States is ready to make a new deal to help Nigeria "in terms of military weapons." The statement said Trump also commended Buhari for the strides Nigeria is making against Islamist radical group Boko Haram, and invited Buhari to come to Washington at...
(Xinhuanet 02/13/17)
Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah al-Sisi received on Monday his visiting Lebanese counterpart Michel Aoun at the Ittihadia Palace in Cairo, reported the state-run MENA news agency. Both leaders discussed recent developments in their respective countries as well as the Middle East region, including the Syrian crisis. During the press conference following the meeting, Sisi congratulated the Lebanese people for their successful presidential elections in addition to forming a government which met their aspirations. Sisi also conveyed Egypt's full support of Lebanon's stability, and lauded relations binding both countries
(Xinhuanet 02/13/17)
Nigeria and Egypt will lead 14 other African countries to this year's International Table Tennis Federation (ITTF) World Championships holding in Dusseldorf, Germany. The qualification of the participating teams was based on their attendance of continental tournament held in Agadir, Morocco in 2016, while other African countries that will join Nigeria and Egypt for the tournament are Algeria, Botswana, Cameroon, Congo Brazzaville, Cote d'Ivoire, Gabon, Libya, Morocco, South Africa, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Sudan, Togo and Tunisia. According to the list of eligible teams to enter players for the championships, Europe dominates the list of participants with 45 nations while world champions China will lead 37 Asian countries and regions to the tournament. Also, Nigeria and Egypt will benefit from Aruna...

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