| Africatime
Thursday 30 March 2017
(Reuters (Eng) 02/06/17)
South Sudan rebels accused Egypt on Saturday of carrying out bombing raids against their positions, drawing an immediate denial from Cairo, and warned of the risk of a regional war. It was the first time either side had alleged Egyptian involvement in South Sudan's festering conflict, which pits President Salva Kiir's military against forces loyal to his former vice president, Riek Machar. The Egyptian air force on Friday dropped "more than nine bombs and explosions on the gallant SPLA-IO positions" near the northern village of Kaka, a rebel statement said, using an acronym for the rebel force. Egyptian foreign ministry spokesman Ahmed Abu Zeid denied the alleged air strikes, saying: "Egypt does not interfere in the internal affairs of other...
(Bloomberg 02/06/17)
Prem Watsa’s Fairfax Financial Holdings Ltd. is expected to raise about $500 million for its new African investment fund, attracting less than its original goal as investor interest in the region proved weaker than anticipated, according to people familiar with the matter. The Toronto-based insurer sought to raise as much as $1 billion at $10 a share for Fairfax Africa Holdings Corp. in an initial public offering on the Toronto Stock Exchange, according to a regulatory filing in December. Fairfax said it had secured as much as $416 million in commitments for the African venture from both its own funds and partners, including the Ontario Municipal Employees Retirement System, a Canadian pension fund and CI Investments Inc., according to the...
(AFP (eng) 02/04/17)
Cameroon and Egypt are both aiming to cap remarkable revivals by winning the Africa Cup of Nations when they meet in a final that few thought possible in Libreville on Sunday evening. These are two of the most successful nations in the 60-year history of the competition, with Egypt unrivalled on seven titles and Cameroon, four-time winners, just behind alongside Ghana. But at the outset of the tournament in Gabon it was the likes of Algeria, Senegal and defending champions the Ivory Coast who were considered the favourites, with Egypt no more than dark horses in their first appearance since 2010. Cameroon, meanwhile, came with what looked like their weakest ever squad, handicapped by the refusal of several leading players...
(AFP (eng) 02/04/17)
When Essam El Hadary, the Egypt goalkeeper who will start in Sunday's Africa Cup of Nations final, made his international debut, his current teammate Ramadan Sobhi had not yet been born. First capped in 1996, El Hadary was the man whose saves in a penalty shoot-out against Burkina Faso on Wednesday took the Pharaohs through to a date with Cameroon in Libreville. The combined age of the two Burkinabe players he thwarted -- Bertrand Traore and goalkeeper Herve Koffi are 21 and 20 respectively - still does not match that of El Hadary, who is unique in still going strong at 44. "All I have done all my life is train. I can't do anything without football," he said after...
(Daily News Egypt 02/03/17)
The defence minister noted during the meeting that the army leadership is interested in bolstering the border guards' military stationing points with modern weaponry and fighting systems, adding that they are also paying attention to their quality of life and morale. Defence Minister Sedki Sobhi met on Friday with a number of leaders, officers, and conscripts from the border guard forces. During the meeting he praised the efforts they exerted in fighting smugglers and terrorism, the army official spokesperson declared on Facebook. The defence minister noted during the meeting that the army leadership is interested in bolstering the border guards’ military stationing points with modern weaponry and fighting systems, adding that they are also paying attention to their quality of...
(Al-Monitor 02/03/17)
Egypt's female entrepreneurs are tackling their country's growing transportation issues with a number of out-of-the-box ideas. “Many female entrepreneurs have found that they can come up with creative solutions, just like their male partners in the transportation industry, to help reduce daily sufferings on the road,” said Rania Ayman, founder of Cairo-based nonprofit Entreprenelle, which supports women-run start-ups. At Entreprenelle's event, "Girls on Road," female entrepreneurs shared their success stories and ideas for solutions to transportation issues. Such issues include a lack of safe public transportation, and Egypt's adherence to traditional ways of commuting that have become too expensive due to high fuel costs. Samira Negm, a co-founder of the carpooling app Raye7, told Al-Monitor that the inspiration for the...
(Ahram Online 02/03/17)
A delegation of Russian aviation safety experts arrived in Egypt on Friday to inspect Cairo International Airport, a source at the airport told Russia state agency TASS on Thursday. "A delegation of ten high-ranking Russian experts has arrived in Cairo from Moscow," TASS reprted the source as saying. "They are scheduled to stay for three days but perhaps they will fulfill their mission in just one day. This matter is under consideration now, the final decision will be made on Friday,” the source added. On Monday, Al-Ahram Arabic news website reported that a delegation of Russian security experts were bound to arrive Egypt for what is expected to be the final security check of Egyptian airports before the resumption of...
(BBC News Africa 02/03/17)
Egypt goalkeeper Essam El Hadary foresaw that he would save the penalties that took his side through to the Africa Cup of Nations final. The 44-year-old kept out Burkina Faso's last two spot-kicks to win the shootout for Egypt in Wednesday's semi-final. "I had a feeling that I was going to save the final two penalties," he said. "When we went to the shootout, our 2006 title win crossed my mind," he added, recalling his penalty shootout save from Didier Drogba to beat Ivory Coast. El Hadary is playing at his seventh Nations Cup and has won four titles. At this tournament he became the oldest player at a major continental championship, and on Wednesday he made his 150th appearance...
(Xinhuanet 02/03/17)
T20 Africa Conference, the meeting for the G20 think tanks and African countries, ended on Friday in Johannesburg with a commitment to accelerate cooperation between the G20 and Africa. The three-day conference aimed to chart a course for the future cooperation between Africa and the G20. The day ended with the formulation of the communique which will be given to the current G20 chair Germany. The communique will also be the reference for further discussion between Africa and T20. T20 comprises of the G20 think tanks. Dr. Christine Hackenesch, researcher at the German Development Institute (DIE) said, "There was an agreement that there must be a continuous and sustained engagement between G20 and Africa because there is a strong dependence...
(Reuters (Eng) 02/02/17)
African leaders have backed a "strategy of collective withdrawal" from the International Criminal Court (ICC), but it came with unspecified reservations, an African Union official said on Wednesday after this week's African Union summit. The official did not give details about the strategy or the reservations, but it highlights broad antipathy towards the court among Africans who feel the ICC unfairly targets them. A document seen by Reuters before the summit proposed a co-ordinated withdrawal unless the ICC was reformed. It included a call for "regionalization" of international law, a reference to proposals for an African war crimes court. Almost a third of the ICC's 124 members are African, and a withdrawal by a large number of them would cripple...
(Financial Times 02/01/17)
Cairo’s ability to sell a 30-year bond shows investors willing to take a long-term bet. For Amr El-Garhy, Egypt’s minister of finance, winning over international bond investors meant convincing them that last year’s sharp currency devaluation marked a turning point for the country’s economy. The former investment banker led a lengthy roadshow for a $4bn sale, which took him to Dubai, New York, Los Angeles, Boston and London, to pitch Egypt as a viable addition to investor portfolios. By the time bankers closed their books on the deal last week, more than 790 bondholder accounts had placed orders of some $13.5bn. The figure suggests that Mr El-Garhy successfully sold the story of a country willing to enact long-resisted reforms and...
(Middle East Monitor 02/01/17)
Recordings aired on opposition news channel claim to show that Iran overruled US to get Egypt invited to key Syria peace talks last year. The inner circle of Egypt’s President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi has been hit by a fresh wave of leaked alleged audio recordings, casting doubt on the security of the president's confidants. The purported leaks, first broadcast by opposition news channel Mekameleen on Tuesday night, appear to contain significant revelations about the level of internal opposition to Sisi from within the upper echelons of his political circle. The discussions – with voices attributed to Sisi himself, as well as his foreign minister, Sameh Shoukry – relate to recent events, including a bombing in December 2016 and a meeting...
(Bloomberg 02/01/17)
Foreign holdings of Egyptian treasury bills have grown since the pound was floated three month ago, while renewed trust in the currency has sent billions of dollars into local banks. Foreigners held 10.2 billion pounds ($540 million) worth of T-bills in December, state-run news agency MENA reported, citing central bank data and without specifying how much of that sum came from new inflows. That’s more than 10 times the 989 million pounds of foreign holdings reported in October, though still a fraction of the 60 billion pounds held before the 2011 uprising against then-President Hosni Mubarak. Meanwhile, the central bank said commercial lenders were able to attract $9 billion since the float, largely from households and private businesses selling foreign...
(Daily News Egypt 02/01/17)
In the 1970s, the alliance between Egypt and Saudi Arabia was formed as a result to the countries’ mutual interests and threats. The ties between the two countries were stronger than ever, especially after Egypt had led the Arab participation in the international coalition against former Iraqi president Saddam Hussein in the early 1990s, after … In the 1970s, the alliance between Egypt and Saudi Arabia was formed as a result to the countries’ mutual interests and threats. The ties between the two countries were stronger than ever, especially after Egypt had led the Arab participation in the international coalition against former Iraqi president Saddam Hussein in the early 1990s, after the Kuwait invasion. Egypt, which has been plagued by...
(Xinhuanet 02/01/17)
Newly elected senior officials of the African Union (AU) Commission, including Chairperson and Deputy Chairperson of the AU Commission, were sworn in on Tuesday at the conclusion of the 28th AU summit in Ethiopia's capital Addis Ababa. In addition to the two top officials, other officials took the oath for positions including, peace and security; political affairs; trade and industry; social affairs; infrastructure and energy; and rural economy and agriculture. The 28th AU summit also elected Alpha Conde, President of the Republic of Guinea, for a rotating chairmanship of the African Union. In his acceptance speech on Monday, Conde said, "It is with honor and humility that I accept to preside at the destiny of our Organization during the year...
(AFP (eng) 01/31/17)
Weariness will worry Egypt as they seek to extend an Africa Cup of Nations semi-finals winning streak to six matches by beating Burkina Faso in Libreville Wednesday. Surprise survivors Burkina Faso overcame Tunisia in the first quarter-final last Saturday evening, more than 24 hours before Egypt edged Morocco in the last. Many pundits believe this could give the west Africans an advantage at Stade de l'Amitie in the Gabonese capital, especially if the match went to extra time. Argentina-born Egypt coach Hector Cuper admitted he was concerned about the shorter recovery time his team have compared to Burkina Faso. "It is not an ideal situation, but we have no choice but to adapt," said the greying 61-year-old former Valencia and...
(Sputnik 01/31/17)
Trade turnover between Russia and Egypt reached $3.5 billion in 2016, Russian Trade Representative to Egypt Fedor Lukashin told Sputnik. Russia is one of Egypt’s biggest trade partners among the Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU) member states, more specifically, Russia has the 97-percent share in EAEU export sales to Egypt and 94-percent share in import from Egypt, according to Lukashin. “The turnover between Russia and Egypt increased by almost 14 percent by December 2016, totaling $3.5 billion over three-month period. Russia’s export grew by 10 percent and the import from Egypt decreased by 10 percent. I hope that we have reached some $4 billion as of the end of the year,” Lukashin said. Lukashin added that the 11-percent increase of the...
(Reuters (Eng) 01/31/17)
A delegation from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) has arrived in Egypt to prepare for a review required before disbursing the second installment of a three-year $12-billion loan, sources at the Finance Ministry told Reuters on Tuesday. The IMF said earlier this month that Egypt was on track to receive the second tranche, expected to be $1.25 billion, pending a visit at the end of February to review progress on its economic reform programme. The IMF originally approved the loan, intended to jumpstart an economy battered by years of turmoil that have driven away investors and tourists, in November when it released the first $2.75 billion installment. "There are currently two delegations from the International Monetary Fund in Egypt. The...
(Sputnik 01/31/17)
Air traffic between Russia and Egypt is likely to be resumed in late February. Air traffic between Russia and three Egyptian cities is likely to be resumed in late February if all security requirements are fulfilled, Russian Izvestia newspaper reported Tuesday citing sources. "Flights between Russia and Egypt will be resumed in February. The designated date is February 23. However, this will happen only in case the Egyptian side complies with all the security requirements," a source from the Russian foreign policy circles told the news outlet. The source added that the resumption would concern charter and regular flights between Russia and three Egyptian cities, namely, Cairo, Hurghada and Sharm El-Sheikh. The Russian Transport Ministry did not confirm the information...
(Al-Monitor 01/31/17)
Senior Hamas official Ismail Haniyeh went home to the Gaza Strip after a 4½-month sojourn in Qatar. Haniyeh decided to return from Qatar even though the process of his appointment as Hamas leader had not yet been finalized. Hamas' supreme body, the Shura Council, had elected Haniyeh to replace current political bureau chief Khaled Meshaal. Residents of the Shati refugee camp in Gaza welcomed Haniyeh with great excitement on Jan. 27, hoping to hear good news from him regarding Hamas-Egypt relations after the series of meetings he held with Egyptian intelligence heads in Cairo. However, Haniyeh kept mum. In the near future, he will have to make one of the most difficult decisions of his life: whether to accept the...

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