Friday 23 June 2017
(The Associated Press 05/08/17)
Egypt expects to receive a second installment, worth $1.2 billion, of a three-year International Monetary Fund loan in the second half of June. Finance Minister Amr el-Garhy announced at a press conference Sunday that negotiations with the IMF delegation, which is visiting Egypt, are going "very well." The delegation arrived in Cairo late April and is set to stay until May 11 to review Egypt's progress in its economic reform program. Egypt secured the $12-billion, three-year bailout loan in November to support the program. A tough set of economic measures were required to qualify for it, including reducing subsidies, enacting the value-added tax, as well as the devaluation and subsequent floatation of its local currency. A first installment of $2.75...
(Bloomberg 05/08/17)
With its finances in tatters, a credit upgrade was out of the question for Egypt before it secured an IMF loan agreement. Fast-forward six months, and it’s already won promotion in the bond market. Egypt’s dollar bonds have sprung back this year, driving its borrowing costs to the lowest level since 2015. That has lifted the market perception of Egyptian risk above that of some ratings assessors. The nation’s debt has had an implied rating of B2 or better for almost three months, according to Moody’s Analytics, one level higher than its official grade. Foreigners began buying Egyptian assets again after the International Monetary Fund last year gave its support to President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi’s economic policies. Not only did...
(Reuters (Eng) 05/08/17)
Egypt expects to receive the second instalment of its loan from the International Monetary Fund in the second half of June, Finance Minister Amr El-Garhy said on Sunday. He told a news conference that the IMF's review of Egypt's economic reforms was going well. The IMF approved a $12-billion, three-year loan program to Egypt in November and paid out $2.75 billion of the first $4 billion tranche of the loan. An IMF team is in Cairo this week conducting a review of Egypt's reform efforts to decide when the next $1.25 billion will be disbursed. (Reporting by Abdel Rahman Adel,; Writing by Lin Noueihed; Editing by Giles Elgood)
(The Associated Press 05/08/17)
Archaeologists and conservation experts met in Cairo on Sunday to discuss the safe transportation of King Tutankhamun's throne, chests and bed from the Egyptian Museum in central Cairo to a new one being built on the other side of the Egyptian capital. The meeting, organized by the Egyptian Ministry of Antiquities, brought together experts from Egypt, France, Spain, Germany, Switzerland, Denmark and Japan. Tareq Tawfiq, a senior ministry official in charge of the new museum, told The Associated Press that the meeting's primary objective was to reach a "global consensus" on how to safely transport and display King Tut's items in the new museum being built close to the famed Giza Pyramids. The meeting also discussed methods to display the...
(CBS News 05/08/17)
CAIRO -- Twenty million people compete for space on the crowded roads of Cairo, Egypt -- and while getting a driver's license there is easy, many drivers have no formal training. But there soon could be change coming down the road. Eman Gatamiy tried getting driving lessons from her husband. But that didn't quite work out. "I ask the internet, okay," Gatamiy told us. Like many Egyptian women, Eman wasn't willing to be alone in a car with a male instructor. She even brought her husband to meet us. That lack of instruction gives women drivers a bad reputation in Egypt. Eman says she struggled behind the wheel for eight years. Then she heard an ad on the radio placed...
(AFP (eng) 05/06/17)
Egypt reopened the Rafah border crossing with the Gaza Strip for three days starting on Saturday to allow hundreds of stranded Palestinians to return home, officials said. The move, described by Palestinian border officials as a "humanitarian" gesture, will allow Palestinians stranded in Egypt and elsewhere, including students and sick people, to return to Gaza. "Egyptian authorities reopened the Rafah crossing for three days only, from Saturday until Monday, and only in one direction to allow those stranded on the Egyptian side to return home," a statement said. The Gaza Strip has been under an Israeli blockade for a decade. Palestinian militants in Gaza have fought three wars with Israel since 2008. The Rafah crossing is Gaza's only gateway to...
(AFP (eng) 05/06/17)
No traces of explosives were found on the remains of French victims from an EgyptAir plane that crashed into the Mediterranean in May 2016, a source close to the French investigation told AFP on Friday. The revelation, the source said, "closes the door" on a theory advanced by Egypt that the Airbus A320 was blasted out of the sky as it made its way from Paris to Cairo, killing all 66 people on board. EgyptAir MS804 disappeared from radar over the Mediterranean on May 19, crashing into the water between Crete and the coast of northern Egypt. "There were no explosive charges" aboard the plane, the source said
(Reuters (Eng) 05/05/17)
Islamic State's leader in Egypt has warned Muslims to stay away from Christian gatherings as well as government, military and police facilities, suggesting that the militant group will keep up attacks on what he referred to as "legitimate targets". In April, two Islamic State suicide bombers killed at least 45 people at churches in the cities of Alexandria and Tanta, one of the bloodiest attacks the country has experienced in years. "We are warning you to stay away from Christian gatherings, as well as the gatherings of the army and the police, and the areas that have political government facilities," the leader, who was not named, said in an interview in Islamic State's Al Naba weekly newspaper published on Telegram...
(Voice of America 05/05/17)
As Africa grapples with a severe drought, and famine threatens millions of people, experts at the World Economic Forum on Africa this week in the South African city of Durban say food security needs to be a major part of discussions on advancing the continent economically. The annual World Economic Forum in Switzerland is usually a high-powered event, but at this week’s Africa meeting of the international organization, the continent’s big players are welcoming the humble farmer, now known as the “agripreneur.” Agricultural economist Paul Makube, with South Africa’s First National Bank, told VOA it makes sense to talk about farming when discussing building competitive markets, and boosting innovation and technology. “For business to prosper, you need a situation where...
(AFP (eng) 05/04/17)
An Egyptian appeals court overturned on Thursday death sentences for 25 people over deadly tribal clashes in the country's south and ordered a retrial, a judicial official said. The men had been convicted of taking part in 2014 clashes in the southern Aswan province that killed 28 people, in some of the deadliest tribal violence in years. The court of cassation which handles appeals also threw out 18 life sentences for defendants in custody, out of the 21 handed down in the first trial in 2016. The remaining three defendants sentenced to life would have to turn themselves in for their appeal to be considered.
(AFP (eng) 05/04/17)
Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi arrived in the United Arab Emirates on Wednesday for talks with top officials, state media said. Sisi's visit comes 24 hours after the UAE brokered a meeting between Fayez al-Sarraj, head of Libya's UN-backed Government of National Accord, and military strongman Field Marshal Khalifa Haftar who refuses to recognise the GNA. State-run news agency WAM said Sisi, who was accompanied by Egypt's foreign and investment ministers on his two-day visit, met with Abu Dhabi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Zayed Al-Nahyan for talks on cooperation and the crises in Yemen, Syria and Libya.
(The Associated Press 05/04/17)
Egypt's antiquities ministry says that a Spanish archaeological mission has discovered a nearly 4000-year old funerary garden in the southern city of Luxor. In a Wednesday statement, the ministry said the rectangular-shaped garden was found during excavations in an open courtyard of a rock-cut tomb belonging to the Middle Kingdom of ancient Egypt. The garden is divided into four squared sections. Each covers 30 square centimeters and is believed to have contained different kinds of plants and flowers. The head of the Ancient Egyptian Antiquities Sector, Mahmoud Afifi, says the discovery is the first of its kind in the area.
(The Independent 05/04/17)
Egyptian police and soldiers are now attacked daily and civilians are disappearing, either for fear of Isis or because they are seized by the army’s ‘collaborators’. Counter-insurgency wars – struggles against “terrorism” – always breed corruption and counter-murder. And now the Egyptian army is following the same contaminated path as many of its neighbours by using a killer-militia in its war against Isis in Sinai. Most armies have proxy allies who can act as informants and treat civilians with brutality. The Syrians, the Iraqis, the Turks – and the Israelis when they co-opted their own Lebanese militias between 1976 and 2000, and the Americans in Iraq – all ended up shamed by the cruelty of their supposed allies. But now...
(Xinhuanet 05/04/17)
The World Economic Forum (WEF) Africa Competitiveness Report 2017 released in Durban Thursday called for urgent policy reforms if the continent intends to create more jobs for its growing young population. According to the report issued at the 27th WEF on Africa, fewer than one-quarter of the 450 million new jobs required in the next 20 years will be created if current policies remain unchanged. The report called for structural reforms in the economies to create more jobs for the youth entering the market. African countries have to prioritize improving infrastructure, skills and adoption of new technology and quality of institutions. To improve competitiveness in the short term Africa needs to increase housing construction through investment, better urban planning and...
(Voice of America 05/03/17)
African military expenditures have finally slowed down after more than a decade of steady increases, according to a new report on global defense spending. The main reason, the report found, is a drop in oil prices. “The sharp decreases in oil prices has affected quite a number of African countries, namely South Sudan and Angola. This has kind of driven almost the entire regional trend,” said Nan Tian, a researcher at the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute’s (SIPRI) Arms and Military Expenditure Program, the organization that authored the report. The SIPRI report found military spending in Africa in 2016 was down by 1.3 percent from the previous year and totaled about $37.9 billion. Despite the drop, Africa’s military spending remains...
(AFP (eng) 05/02/17)
Unidentified gunmen attacked an Egyptian police convoy near the main ring road around Cairo, killing three officers and wounding five others, the interior ministry said early on Tuesday. "Armed elements riding in two vehicles approached a moving security convoy" around 11:45 pm Monday, the ministry said in a statement. The convoy was crossing a roundabout that intersects with the main ring road that surrounds the capital, separating New Cairo and newer real estate projects from the city. Police returned fire at the attackers' vehicles, which police were pursuing "in an effort to apprehend the perpetrators," the ministry said. While no one claimed responsibility for the attack, Egypt has been fighting an insurgency by a local affiliate of the Islamic State...
(Reuters (Eng) 05/02/17)
An International Monetary Fund (IMF) delegation will arrive in Cairo on Sunday to review Egypt's progress on economic reforms before it disburses the second installment of a $12-billion loan program, the Finance Ministry said. The IMF delegation will stay until May 11 and meet with officials from the ministry and the central bank, the ministry said in a statement. Egypt agreed the three-year program with the IMF in November, after floating its Egyptian pound currency in a dramatic move aimed at unlocking foreign inflows and boosting exports after a long-running dollar shortage threatened to paralyze the economy. It promised a raft of tough reforms, including narrowing its budget deficit, in return for the $12-billion loan package from the IMF and...
(Reuters (Eng) 05/02/17)
U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra'ad al-Hussein said on Monday that heavy-handed security measures by Egypt were fostering the very radicalisation it was looking to curb. Egypt last month was shaken by one of the bloodiest attacks in years when Islamic State suicide bombers targeted two Christian churches, killing 45 people. President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi declared a three-month state of emergency hours later. Zeid condemned the church attacks at a news conference in Geneva but said that Egypt's approach to combating Islamist militants was exacerbating the problem. "...a state of emergency, the massive numbers of detentions, reports of torture, and continued arbitrary arrests
(The Observer 05/02/17)
Egyptian foreign minister, Sameh Shoukry is to meet Ugandan President, Yoweri Museveni to discuss management of the R.Nile waters. According to a brief statement released by the Egyptian foreign ministry, Shoukry will deliver a letter to the president from his Egyptian counterpart, Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi, on dealing with water-security issues and the Nile Basin Initiative (NBI). The meeting is also aimed at boosting bilateral cooperation between Uganda and other countries within Nile Basin. In March, Mohammed Abdel-Atti, Egypt's minister of Water Resources and Irrigation attended the extraordinary Nile Council of Ministers (Nile-Com) where Egypt's demand for greater control of activities related to the flow of the river Nile were rejected. Sam Cheptoris, the Nile-Com chairman, also Uganda's minister of Water and...
(The Associated Press 05/02/17)
Gunmen armed with machineguns attacked a police patrol in Cairo, killing three policemen and wounding five before fleeing the scene of the late night drive-by shooting, Egypt's Interior Ministry said on Tuesday. The ministry said the attack took place in the neighborhood of Nasr City where gunmen in two cars approached the patrol and opened fire at the policemen. The statement said two of the three policemen killed had the rank of captain. The patrol exchanged fire with the attackers, the ministry said but did not specify how many assailants were involved or if any of them were wounded. An investigation is underway, it said. No group immediately claimed responsibility for the brazen attack in the Egyptian capital. Apart from...

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