| Africatime
Friday 24 March 2017
(Financial Times 03/23/17)
After a radical reform, investors are returning, but can Cairo stay the course? It was the nettle that successive Egyptian governments had consistently shied away from grasping but could no longer avoid: the full float of the currency. Finally adopted in November 2016, the Egyptian pound halved in value against the dollar overnight, catapulting the country into a new era of risk and potential. The flotation of the pound — long overdue, according to analysts and businessmen — was the most radical of politically-sensitive measures implemented by the Egyptian government to clinch a deal with the International Monetary Fund for a $12bn loan. The aim was not just to shore up the country’s precarious finances...
(Bloomberg 03/23/17)
Since Egypt devalued its currency, life in Cairo has gotten a lot easier if you sell stocks for a living -- and a lot harder if you sell fruit. Mostafa Nagaty at Arqaam Capital says he’d begun to fear that “this profession was dying.” Investors had fled Egypt after the uprising of 2011, and strict exchange-rate controls helped keep them away. Then, four months ago, the central bank let the pound float. “Now I’m getting approached by all types of clients,” said Nagaty, who’s head of institutional sales. “It’s amazing how things have changed.” Across the Nile, and visible from Nagaty’s office window, is the working-class district of Embaba where Gamil Hassan has a market stall. Things have changed for...
(CBS News 03/23/17)
About $50 million worth of artifacts and antiques were shipped from both Egypt and Turkey to the United States in 2016 — the highest annual value from each of those countries in at least 20 years, according to U.S. Census Bureau documents. The artifacts, totaling about $100 million between the two countries, were imported “for consumption” and not for temporary display in a museum, the documents say. Most of the artifacts were shipped to New York City, where numerous antiquities...
(BBC News Africa 03/23/17)
Ten Egyptian soldiers have been killed by two roadside bomb blasts during a raid against jihadist militants in the Sinai peninsula, the military says. Fifteen militants were killed and seven others arrested during the operation, according to a statement. Soldiers also destroyed half a tonne of the explosive TNT and seized two vehicles containing hand grenades and hundreds of mobile phones, it added. An affiliate of so-called Islamic State (IS) is active in the Sinai peninsula. It has been blamed...
(AL Jazeera 03/20/17)
Detention of Al Jazeera journalist renewed for fifth time, as recent video footage shows him visibly exhausted. Egyptian authorities have renewed the detention of Al Jazeera journalist Mahmoud Hussein for the fifth time, announcing on Saturday that he will be held for another 45 days. Hussein, an Egyptian who lives in Qatar, was stopped, questioned and arrested by the Egyptian authorities on December 20 after travelling to Cairo for a holiday. Recent video footage of Hussein outside an Egyptian court...
(Voice of America 03/18/17)
Each year, the University of Southern California hosts the African Global Economic and Development Summit, bringing delegations from Africa to meet with business leaders, government officials and others in the U.S. But this year, the African summit has no Africans. All were denied visas. Visa issues are not uncommon for people traveling from African nations. During her prior three summits, Mary Flowers saw a high percentage of her attendees unable to attain visas. "Usually we get 40 percent that get...
(Financial Times 03/17/17)
Crucial deliveries to resume in sign frosty relations are thawing. Saudi Arabia is to resume crucial oil exports to Egypt in a sign that relations between the two regional heavyweights are thawing, six months after the kingdom abruptly halted the shipments. The Egyptian Petroleum Ministry said it expected deliveries of oil products to restart by the end of this month or early April, adding that it was working with Saudi Aramco, the kingdom’s state oil company, on a timetable. Saudi...
(Voice of America 03/17/17)
One of the enduring legacies of the Barack Obama presidency will be the relationship built between the United States and young Africans. As part of Obama’s Young African Leaders Initiative (YALI), each year 1,000 young people from sub-Saharan Africa travel to the United States to spend six weeks at a U.S. college or university. The program will continue this summer. But building enduring relationships is a two-way street, and many in Africa want to see Americans coming to their continent...
(Gulfnews 03/15/17)
Since the 2011 revolution, advocates have made slow — but steady — progress in raising awareness of violence against women and the pervasive culture of misogyny. Tackling the country’s sexual harassment epidemic was never a priority for the crowds that gathered, in 2011, in Cairo’s Tahrir Square. And yet unlike the largely unmet reforms they did demand, the fight against sexual violence is one area in which Egypt really has made strides in recent years. It’s been a collateral benefit,...
(The Wall Street Journal 03/15/17)
Ndalo Media founder Khanyi Dhlomo and Mara Group founder Ashish Thakkar on where the potential is and what’s blocking it How is innovation in Africa different from innovation in Silicon Valley? And how can innovation in Africa be encouraged? Dan Keeler, frontier-markets editor of The Wall Street Journal, discussed those questions with Khanyi Dhlomo, founder and chief executive of Ndalo Media, a publisher based in South Africa, and Ashish Thakkar, founder of Mara Group, a pan-African investment group with operations...
(AL Jazeera 03/13/17)
Public prosecutor orders release of former president as early as tomorrow following court acquittal. Hosni Mubarak, who was overthrown as president of Egypt in an uprising in 2011, will be released from detention in a military hospital after a six-year legal battle over accusations of involvement in the killing protesters. "He will go to his home in Heliopolis," Mubarak's lawyer Farid El Deeb said, adding the ageing former president would likely be released Tuesday or soon after, but would be barred from leaving the country pending an ongoing corruption investigation.
(The Associated Press 03/10/17)
Islamic militants detonated a roadside bomb in Egypt’s northern Sinai, killing two officers and wounding four in the latest attack in the restive peninsula, the Interior Ministry and security officials said Friday. The explosion took place when a security patrol came upon a militant planting the device by a road in the town of el-Arish on Thursday evening. Security forces fired and killed the militant while his accomplices fled, setting off the device, according to the statement. The two slain...
(Bloomberg 03/09/17)
Egypt’s inflation accelerated to 30 percent in February, one of the highest levels across emerging markets, but the data carried signs that the aftershocks of the decision to abandon currency controls may be fading. Consumer prices in urban parts of the most populous Arab country climbed to an annual rate of 30.2 percent from 28.1 percent in January, according to data released by the state-run statistics agency on Thursday. The cost of food and beverages rose 40.5 percent. The pace...
(Bloomberg 03/09/17)
Egypt’s government on Wednesday partly reversed an earlier move to lower bread subsidies, trying to avert further protests in a country reeling from rising prices. The Supply Ministry said it would raise, but not fully restore, the amount of bread that can be bought under the so-called “gold card” scheme that’s used by a small minority of Egyptians who don’t hold a plastic smart card for purchasing cheap loaves. A day earlier, ministry chief Ali Al-Moselhi had defended cuts to...
(Middle East Monitor 03/09/17)
Former Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi’s son Osama is being abused in the notorious Scorpion prison, statement released by his family said yesterday. A security source dismissed the family’s accusations as “false”. The family attributed Osama’s arrest on 8 December to a statement he had published a few days earlier outlining the limitation on family visits to see his father. He had called on the United Nations and other international organisations to intervene to allow the family to see the deposed...
(Middle East Monitor 03/09/17)
In a statement to commemorate International Women’s Day, head of the Egyptian Revolutionary Council (ERC), Dr Maha Azzam, said Egyptian women have been at the forefront of the Egyptian revolution, despite the threat of arbitrary arrest, torture, rape and disappearance. Azzam added: “Let us remember that women stood in their thousands in Egypt’s squares to resist tyranny and were harassed and shot dead. They stood in Tahrir in 2011 and they stood in Rabaa in 2013, a peaceful sit-in against...
(CNN 03/09/17)
These were the last words 45-year-old Medhat Saad Hakim heard before he was shot in the head on his doorstep last month. The gunmen dragged Hakim's screaming mother outside the house before going back inside and shooting his father dead. The attackers then looted the house before torching it. His mother, Nabila Halim, survived the attack. Medhat Saad and Saad Hakim are the sixth and seventh Christians killed in the North Sinai town of Al-Arish in just over a month...
(Bloomberg 03/06/17)
Economic activity for Egypt’s non-oil private sector accelerated the most since 2014, a sign that growth may be recovering after authorities abandoned currency controls and secured a $12 billion IMF loan deal. The Emirates NBD Purchasing Managers’ Index for the whole economy climbed for the third month in a row to 46.7 in February from 43.3 in January. The New Orders sub-index rose to 44 from 39.2. While readings below 50 indicate the economy is still in contraction, the magnitude...
(AL Jazeera 03/06/17)
University campuses remain a site of opposition to the new authoritarianism and its policies. In the wake of the 2013 military coup, students affiliated with - and sympathetic to - the Muslim Brotherhood demonstrated in public universities to demand the return of the deposed President Mohamed Morsi. Their demonstrations turned universities into a new battleground between security forces and students as Egypt's new rulers moved to crackdown on student activism. The clampdown has been harsh. Egypt's ruling generals have used...
(BBC News Africa 03/06/17)
An Egyptian company's attempt to tackle gender stereotypes has backfired after its latest advertising campaign was accused of reinforcing negative attitudes towards women. "Are you a spinster?!" reads one billboard promoting Sunny cooking oil, alongside a picture of a young woman looking down in resignation while several fingers point at her from the back. Other billboards in the campaign use Egyptian proverbs, including one that says: "Break a girl's rib and she will grow 24 more." In a much smaller...

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