Tuesday 23 May 2017
(Standard Digital 04/06/17)
Kenya has given an Egyptian company “impossible” terms to keep operating the century-old local railway business, including clearance of a Sh2.76 billion debt by June 30. Rift Valley Railways, owned by Qalaa Holdings of Egypt, was last Friday ordered to pay the contested debt, rehabilitate the track and significantly raise the uptake of freight from Mombasa within 90 days. Termination of the concession could have huge ramifications for thousands of RVR employees and the investors who have never reported a profit since taking over in 2006. It would also complicate the ongoing negotiations between Qalaa Holdings and prospective investors who are expected to inject about Sh10 billion into the business. Equity Bank is among the lenders exposed as its Sh2...
(Daily News Egypt 04/06/17)
Experts believe there are no other options but to ask for more loans, while national and foreign debt is equally dangerous. At the beginning of April, the Central Bank of Egypt (CBE) announced that the Egyptian public debt has increased significantly. The CBE’s statement showed that the size of Egypt’s foreign debt increased by $19.522bn in 2016, recording $67.322bn by the end of December 2016, compared to $47.8bn by the end of December 2015. Foreign debt amounted to 37.6% of Egypt’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) in December 2016, compared to 13.6% in December 2015. The reason for this increase is because of the government expanding its obtainment of direct foreign loans from several countries and international financing institutions, as well...
(AFP (eng) 04/05/17)
Kuwait said on Wednesday it has signed a new a multi-billion-dollar deal to supply Egypt with crude oil and petroleum products for the next three years. Under the deal, Kuwait will supply Egypt with two million barrels of crude per month and 1.5 million tonnes of petroleum products annually over three years, state-owned Kuwait Petroleum Corp. said in a statement. It said the deal is worth over $4 billion (3.75 billion euros) based on current market prices. The previous three-year deal, signed after Egypt's military removed Islamist president Mohamed Morsi, expired in December. Kuwait was among the Gulf countries that offered Egypt several billion dollars
(Libya Herald 04/05/17)
The Egyptian General Petroleum Corporation (EGPC) and Egypt’s petroleum projects construction company Petrojet are looking to reactivate their presence on Libya. Both had meetings today to that effect with Presidency Council deputy leader Ahmed Maetig as well as with Mustafa Sanalla, the head of the National Oil Corporation. In a statement following his meeting with the visiting heads of both EGPC and Petrojet, Maetig stressed the importance of economic cooperation with Egypt. It was also agreed to form a joint team from the National Oil Corporation and the Egyptian General Petroleum Corporation which would study possible projects.
(CNN 04/05/17)
Leaders of repressive governments, like Egypt's and China's, have long braced themselves for bilateral visits with American presidents and Cabinet officials, because they know they will be hearing about human rights and freedom of speech. They have to worry about protests, about the response from civil society and the uncensored press. This fear has long given American leaders of both parties the leverage to send a strong message to foreign leaders in support of our values. Not anymore. This week President Donald Trump is hosting two very different presidents -- Abdel Fattah el-Sisi of Egypt and Xi Jinping of China -- with two things in common. They govern countries that stifle human rights and freedom of expression, and they have...
(Fox News 04/05/17)
An excavation team in Egypt has found what appears to be the interior of a buried pyramid dating back 3,700 years to the 13th dynasty. The antiquities ministry says that both a corridor and a block engraved with 10 lines of hieroglyphics are in good condition, reports the BBC, and the team will continue digging in an attempt to estimate its size and glean whatever other details they can. So far they've unearthed not only the interior corridor that leads to the inside of the pyramid but a hall that extends to a southern ramp, as well as a room to the west, reports Ahram Online. The structure was found near the Dahshur royal necropolis 25 miles south of Cairo,...
(Voice of America 04/05/17)
A Red Cross report says African countries are failing their internally displaced people. Reversing that trend was the subject of a high level meeting of the International Red Cross and the African Union that wrapped up Tuesday in Zimbabwe. Africa has about 13 million internally displaced people, a third of the global number of IDPs, and more than double the amount of refugees on the continent. By definition, refugees flee across a national border, while IDPs leave their homes but stay within their own country. African Union Commission head of humanitarian affairs, refugees and displaced people Olabisi Dare says the situation of IDPs in Africa is very critical, dire and worsening. "...The issues that are generating internal displacement [are] multiplying...
(AFP (eng) 04/04/17)
US President Donald Trump set human rights scandals aside to welcome Abdel Fattah al-Sisi to the White House Monday, the first such visit from an Egyptian president in almost a decade. Greeting Sisi warmly in the Oval Office, Trump heaped praise on the former general's leadership as he sought to mend ties strained by crackdowns, revolution and counter-revolution. "You have a great friend and ally in the United States and in me," Trump told Sisi, sweeping aside his predecessor Barack Obama's concerns about Sisi's purge of political opponents and rights activists. The meeting symbolizes the Egyptian leader coming in from the cold, after years of being kept at arm's length by Washington. Trump is betting that Egypt can be a...
(AFP (eng) 04/04/17)
President Donald Trump put human rights controversies aside to warmly welcome Abdel Fattah al-Sisi to the White House Monday, the first such visit from an Egyptian president in almost a decade. Greeting Sisi in the Oval Office, Trump heaped praise on the former general's leadership and embarked on a charm offensive designed to fix ties strained by revolution and security crackdowns. "You have a great friend and ally in the United States and in me," Trump told Sisi, sweeping aside his predecessor's concerns about democratic abuses in Egpyt. "I just want to let everybody know that we are very much behind President al-Sisi, he has done a fantastic job in a very difficult situation," Trump added. The meeting symbolizes an...
(The Associated Press 04/04/17)
President Donald Trump signaled a new era in U.S.-Egypt relations Monday, assuring his Egyptian counterpart that years of tepid relations will now give way to a “great bond” between their two nations. Trump reunited with President Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi for talks ranging from collaboration against the Islamic State group to bolstering Egypt’s flailing economy. In Trump, el-Sissi sees new opportunity after years of lukewarm relations with President Barack Obama. “This is my first state visit to the United States since my inauguration and this is the first visit in eight years for an Egyptian president to the United States,” el-Sissi pointed out at the start of his remarks. Obama never invited the Egyptian leader to the White House and Egypt’s government...
(Financial Times 04/04/17)
Countries should develop policies to attract labour-intensive production leaving China. China’s initial wave of investments in Africa focused on natural resource extraction. Their demand for metals and energy was so large that it actually boosted global commodity prices overall, which in turn accelerated growth across the African continent. These times of China propping up global commodity prices are now over, as it has built up excess capacity in many sectors and now faces slow investment growth. This lower demand has contributed to the overall slump in global commodity prices since 2014, making it unlikely that China will again fulfil the role of driving commodity prices. Rather, its position has now shifted to becoming the largest exporter of capital. This provides...
(AFP (eng) 04/03/17)
US President Donald Trump meets his Egyptian counterpart Abdel Fattah al-Sisi in Washington on Monday, welcoming a strongman leader who has faced harsh criticism for his human rights record. For Sisi, the first foreign leader to congratulate Trump following his surprise election victory, the Oval Office meeting will have special meaning -- he was never invited to the White House by former president Barack Obama. The thorny issue of the Palestinian-Israeli peace process is expected to be on the agenda as is the fight against the Islamic State jihadist group. Egypt and Jordan are the only two Arab states to have signed peace
(AFP (eng) 04/03/17)
The parents of Giulio Regeni, the Cambridge University student tortured to death in Egypt last year, appealed Monday to Pope Francis to raise their son's unexplained killing when he visits Cairo this month. "We are sure that the pope will not be able to not remember Giulio during this trip and will share our concrete demand for the truth so that we can finally find peace," Regeni's mother, Paola Regeni, said in a press conference at the Italian Senate. Francis is due to travel to the Egyptian capital on April 28 for a two-day visit that will include meetings with President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi and the grand imam of the Al-Azhar mosque and university complex. Raising Regeni's case publicly would...
(AFP (eng) 04/03/17)
Egypt's military said Sunday a founder of a militant faction in North Sinai that pledged allegiance to the Islamic State jihadist group was killed in an air strike. A total of 18 "extremely dangerous" insurgents were killed and others wounded in raids carried out on March 18, it said. Among those killed was Salem Selmi el-Hamadeen, known as Abu Anas al-Ansari, a founder and top member of Ansar Beit al-Maqdis, the military said on its official Facebook page. Ansar Beit al-Maqdis is the name used by the group before it pledged allegiance to IS in November 2014. IS reported the death of the militant, active in the Sinai peninsula ever since the mid-2000s, in its weekly newsletter Al-Nabaa last Thursday...
(Usa Today 04/03/17)
At first glance, software engineer Ahmed Elhaz, psychiatrist Mohammed El Shami and furniture maker Mahmoud Shaaban have little in common: One writes computer code, another provides counseling and the third uses carving tools to ply his trade. Yet all three are benefiting from an unexpected turnaround in Egypt’s long-suffering economy. The country recently made a deal with the International Monetary Fund for a $12 billion loan that saved it from bankruptcy but also required tough austerity measures. Those demands are helping President Abdel Fatah el-Sisi — who visited President Trump at the White House on Monday — sweep out decades of dust in Egypt's state-dominated economy and spur new businesses. Trump's meeting with Egyptian leader to push human rights to...
(AL Jazeera 04/03/17)
The ruling invalidates a January decision that blocked the handover of two Red Sea islands to Saudi Arabia. An Egyptian court ruled on Sunday that a controversial deal to hand over two strategic Red Sea islands to Saudi Arabia can go forward, voiding an earlier ruling that blocked the transfer. The Court of Urgent Matters ruled against a verdict of the High Administrative Court in January that halted the handover of the uninhabited islands of Tiran and Sanafir to Riyadh, Egyptian state television reported on its website. The urgent matters court ruled "in favour of disregarding the ruling of the high administrative court", as "the judiciary doesn't have the authority to interfere with matters of sovereignty", Ashraf Farahat, the lawyer...
(Bloomberg 04/03/17)
Egypt’s president beat all other world leaders to the punch when he became the first to call Donald Trump to congratulate him on his election. Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi will log another first on Monday when he becomes the first Arab head of state to visit the Trump White House. The objective, the administration has said, is to rebuild relations strained during the Obama years by Egypt’s crackdown on the Muslim Brotherhood, whose 2013 ouster from power El-Sisi led. For El-Sisi, a warm embrace by the new U.S. leader, who shares his antipathy toward political Islam, could provide the financial and military support he needs to revive his country’s economy and to restore its standing as a regional power broker. In addition...
(Reuters (Eng) 04/03/17)
A leader in Islamic State's Egyptian affiliate was killed in an air raid last month, the Egyptian military said on Sunday. "Following the results of the air raid on March 18... and upon the security apparatus's investigation, it was revealed that Salem Salmy al-Hamadeen, Aka Abu Anas al-Ansari, was killed," the military spokesman said in a statement. Hamadeen was one of the founders of the group which was formerly called Ansar Bayt al-Maqdis, now called Egypt's Sinai Province, and was responsible for arming and training militants. He died after being wounded in the air raid, the statement said. The group announced in their latest weekly newsletter that he was killed by shrapnel from a missile that fell beside him. The...
(AFP (eng) 04/03/17)
The remains of an Egyptian pyramid built around 3,700 years ago have been discovered near the well-known bent pyramid of King Snefru, the antiquities ministry announced Monday. The pyramid from the 13th dynasty was found in Dahshur's royal necropolis, 30 kilometres (20 miles) south of Cairo, it said. "An alabaster... block engraved with 10 vertical hieroglyphic lines" was among the finds, the ministry said, citing Adel Okasha, director general at the necropolis. It said "granite lintel and stoney blocks showing the interior design of the pyramid" were also found. Excavation is still in its early stages and the size of the pyramid has not yet been established. Blocks of stones and the beginning of a corridor which were discovered are...
(The East African 04/03/17)
Nairobi — The 2017 Mo Ibrahim Foundation annual Governance Weekend will be held in Marrakech - Morocco from April 7-9. A press release from the Foundation identifies the Palmeraie Resort as the venue for this year's meeting. The three-day event brings together prominent African and Africa-focused leaders, civil society representatives, multilateral and regional institutions and Africa's international partners to identify policy challenges and possible solutions. Violent extremism The conversation is normally extended to a wider audience through music, art and sport at major public events, showcasing some of Africa's brightest talent. The Foundation has released a report that sets the stage for high-level discussions in Morocco. The priority areas for the Marrakech talks, according to the report, include violent extremism...

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