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[l] at 5/21/24 1:31pm
President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi met with the Board of Trustees of the Bibliotheca Alexandrina on Tuesday, highlighting the institution’s crucial role in fostering knowledge, science, and cultural engagement. This meeting underscores the library’s contribution to promoting dialogue and understanding across civilizations. The discussion opened up to the broader international and regional context, with the Board commending Egypt’s instrumental efforts in stabilising the region, including its initiatives to end the conflict in Gaza and provide humanitarian support to its inhabitants. President Al-Sisi reiterated Egypt’s commitment to halting violence in Gaza and emphasized the nation’s ongoing efforts to mediate regional crises. He stressed the importance of nurturing a culture of peace as a foundation for a stable and secure future both regionally and globally. The presidency’s spokesperson conveyed that Al-Sisi, during the meeting, recognized the value of human diversity and the principles of citizenship as cornerstones for societal cohesion. He called upon the library to continue its role in bridging cultural divides and fostering peace and development. Furthermore, President Al-Sisi expressed the government’s desire for the library to innovate and engage youth in science and culture, preparing them for future responsibilities through the use of cutting-edge technology and fostering a spirit of creativity and innovation in scientific pursuits. He also noted the library’s significant impact on knowledge creation and its role in linking scientific research with technological advancement, emphasizing the state’s support for cultural initiatives that offer innovative solutions for youth empowerment. The Board of Trustees expressed gratitude for the state’s unwavering support, which enables the library to maintain its historic cultural mission. They shared insights on how the library can continue to serve as a gateway between Egypt and the world, showcasing the nation’s rich culture and history. The Board comprises distinguished Egyptian and international personalities, including renowned Egyptian scientists Magdi Yacoub, Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu, Louise Mushikiwabo, and Miguel Moratinos, all of whom contribute to the library’s global cultural outreach.

[Category: Egypt, Politics, Gaza]

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[l] at 5/21/24 1:25pm
A 1.9-megawatt solar power plant was inaugurated at the Siemens Energy Egypt Service Center in the Suez Canal Economic Zone (SCZone) on Tuesday. The plant, comprising approximately 3,280 photovoltaic solar panels spread over 8,500 square meters, is expected to generate about 3 gigawatt-hours of electricity annually, covering 90% of the sites needs. The inauguration ceremony was attended by high-ranking officials, including Mohamed Shaker, Minister of Electricity and Renewable Energy; Walid Gamal El-Din, Chairperson of SCZone; Frank Hartmann, German Ambassador to Cairo; and Vinod Philip, Member of the Executive Board of Siemens Energy. Gamal El-Din emphasized SCZones commitment to sustainable development and encouraged all companies operating within the zone to adopt renewable energy sources. He highlighted the environmental benefits of this transition, such as reduced reliance on fossil fuels and lower carbon emissions, and noted that it would enhance the marketability of products manufactured in the zone, particularly in light of international regulations like the European Unions Carbon Border Adjustment Mechanism. Shaker hailed the solar plant as a significant step towards achieving Egypts Vision 2030 for renewable energy, which aims to establish the country as a regional and international hub for green energy production and trade. He stressed the importance of private sector participation in this effort and acknowledged the governments ongoing projects in partnership with global entities in various renewable energy fields. Ambassador Hartmann emphasized the expertise of German companies in green energy technologies and their role as essential partners for Egypt in its green transition. He cited wind and solar power plants, sustainable transportation projects, and other initiatives as examples of this collaboration. Philip affirmed Siemens Energys leadership in green energy technologies and its commitment to achieving net-zero emissions in its operations by 2030. He noted that the solar plant in Sokhna would reduce the Siemens Centers carbon footprint by 1,500 tons of carbon dioxide equivalent annually. The Siemens Energy Egypt Service Center, established to support Egypts regional energy hub ambitions, provides maintenance services for various types of equipment, including gas and steam turbines, electrical generators, and air compressors.  

[Category: Business, SCZone, Siemens Energy, solar power]

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[l] at 5/21/24 1:22pm
In line with its robust marketing strategies and developmental objectives, Banque Misr has awarded a long-term loan of EGP 990m to Edita Food Industries. This loan supports the national economy by fostering growth in various sectors. The agreement, signed by Banque Misr Chairperson Mohamed El-Etreby and Edita Chairperson Hani Berzi, spans eight years. It will finance the establishment of four new production lines at Edita, enhancing the company’s capacity. This initiative underscores Banque Misr’s commitment to economic development, as it continually backs projects that bolster the Egyptian economy and promote sustainable growth. El-Etreby highlighted Banque Misr’s pivotal role in economic support, noting that the bank, as a leading financial institution, funds a wide array of projects. He pointed out that providing loans with favourable terms and guarantees, coupled with a flexible financing approach, catalyzes investment. The food industry is vital for Egypt, contributing to export expansion, job creation, and competitive prowess in international markets, thereby benefiting the economy. Berzi expressed that the loan signifies Edita’s dedication to progress and market leadership. The funds will enable Edita to satisfy growing product demand and fortify its footprint in the Middle East and North Africa. Banque Misr is committed to collaborative efforts that align with the government’s economic enhancement strategies. The bank focuses on delivering banking and financial services efficiently and innovatively. It aims to sustain service excellence, achieve enduring success, and engage in customer-centric activities. Banque Misr’s ethos and strategies are firmly rooted in its pledge to Egypt’s sustainable development and prosperity.

[Category: Business, Banque Misr]

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[l] at 5/21/24 1:11pm
  The Egyptian Authority for Unified Procurement, Medical Supply, and the Management of Medical Technology (UPA) has finalized an agreement with JMS Japan, a leading blood bag manufacturer, for a new production facility in Egypt. This came during a Tuesday meeting between UPA Chairperson Bahaa El-Din Zidan and Prime Minister Mostafa Madbouly to follow up on several important work files and the efforts made by the Authority during the past period. The blood bag production project is a partnership between UPA, represented by ECMI, JMS Japan, and Intervarma, the exclusive agent of JMS in Egypt. The agreement was signed in Singapore in the presence of the Egyptian ambassador. Zidan briefed Madbouly on the results of his recent visit to Singapore, where he finalized an agreement with JMS Japan; he also met with representatives from the Singaporean Ministry of Health, Ministry of Industry, and Chamber of Commerce. One outcome of these meetings was an agreement with a global wheelchair manufacturer to localize production in Egypt, to make the country a regional hub for wheelchair manufacturing. Zidan also discussed plans for Egypt to host the Africa Health Conference in June 2024. The conference, which will be held under the patronage of President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi, will bring together stakeholders from across the continent to discuss challenges and opportunities in the healthcare sector. In addition, Zidan updated Madbouly on the work of UPA committees focused on facilitating the establishment of medical device and supply factories in Egypt, as well as developing a unified strategy for localizing vaccine production. Madbouly expressed his support for UPAs efforts and reiterated the governments commitment to developing the healthcare sector and improving access to quality medical supplies for all Egyptians.  

[Category: Business, Egypt, Japan]

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[l] at 5/21/24 1:04pm
The Egyptian Finance Ministry is set to disburse EGP 8bn to exporters as part of the lump-sum export subsidy payment initiative. This move, scheduled for 6 June, is in line with presidential directives aimed at bolstering the productive and export sectors amidst current global challenges. Minister of Finance Mohamed Maait confirmed that this initiative’s seventh phase would commence on the announced date, benefiting companies that have finalized their documentation up to 30 June 2023. The disbursement schedule also includes 27 June and 8 August. Discounts on accelerated payments will be applied as follows: A 15% discount for shipments up to 30 June 2021. An 8% discount for shipments from 1 July 2021 to 30 June 2022. No discounts for shipments from July 2022 onwards. Maait emphasized the government’s commitment to stimulating economic growth through support programs, particularly for the industrial and export sectors. The upcoming fiscal year’s budget allocates EGP 40.5 billion for these initiatives, including EGP 23bn to address export-related challenges promptly. Over the past four years, the government has provided EGP 55bn in support to exporters, with an additional EGP 8bn slated for disbursement. Nevine Mansour, Advisor to the Deputy Minister for Financial Policies and Institutional Development, noted the high demand for the initiative’s seventh phase, with 2,500 companies applying between 10 March and 9 May this year. The Ministry of Finance, in collaboration with the banking sector, the Ministry of Trade and Industry, and the Export Development Fund, has successfully implemented previous initiatives to clear export support arrears. Export support payments are processed through the National Bank of Egypt (NBE), Banque Misr, Banque du Caire, and the Export Development Bank of Egypt (EBank).  

[Category: Business, Export]

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[l] at 5/21/24 12:58pm
  The inaugural Africa Tourism Forum opened Monday, bringing together tourism professionals from over 20 countries to discuss the continents vast potential and chart a path for sustainable growth. Egypts Minister of Tourism and Antiquities, Ahmed Issa, opened the forum by highlighting Egypts recent achievements in tourism, including a record number of visitors in 2023. He emphasized the importance of establishing unified policies to enhance intra-African tourism and promote collaboration among African nations. This forum serves as a professional gathering and an effective participatory platform to highlight the distinctive and unique tourism potential and products of the ancient African continent, Issa stated. The report described tourism in Africa as the fastest growing in 2023, which makes us all proud and motivates us to continue working on enhancing further mechanisms of joint African cooperation and integration to chart a roadmap for the tourism industry in Africa. Issa attributed Egypts recent success to the implementation of the National Tourism Development Strategy, which aims to achieve an annual growth rate of 25% to 30% and attract 30 million tourists by 2028. Selçuk Meral, the Founder and President of the Africa Tourism Forum, expressed his delight in hosting the event in Sharm El-Sheikh, noting Egypts crucial role as a gateway to Africa. He emphasized the importance of developing tourism in Africa and fostering collaboration between continents. Yasser Abbas, Vice President of Egypts General Authority for Investment and Free Zones (GAFI), discussed the investment opportunities in Egypts tourism sector and emphasized the importance of creating a welcoming environment for international tourists and investors. Additional speakers, including Khaled Fouda, Governor of South Sinai, and Yousry El-Sharkawy, President of the Egyptian African Businessmen Association, highlighted the forums significance for Africa and stressed the need for cooperation and investment to unlock the continents tourism potential. Fettah Tamince, the founder of Rixos, praised the significance of the African Tourism Forum and personally recommended Egypt as a tourist destination, suggesting that Egypt could attract 60 million tourists annually.  

[Category: Business, Egypt, tourism]

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[l] at 5/21/24 11:07am
  Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry and Dutch Foreign Minister Hanke Bruins Slot discussed the escalating humanitarian and security crisis in the Gaza Strip in a phone call Tuesday, expressing deep concern over a potential Israeli military operation in Rafah. Shoukry reiterated Egypts rejection of any policies that could displace Palestinians or undermine the Palestinian cause. He emphasized the urgent need for international efforts to end the ongoing conflict and initiate a political process leading to an independent Palestinian state based on international law. The Egyptian minister highlighted the dire humanitarian situation in Gaza, exacerbated by ongoing Israeli aggression and the obstruction of aid delivery. He stressed that Israel, as the occupying power, must fulfill its humanitarian responsibilities, including ensuring safe passage for aid through the Rafah border crossing, which it controls. Shoukry called for an immediate end to military operations near the crossing to create a safe environment for aid workers. Bruins Slot expressed appreciation for Egypts efforts to resolve the crisis and acknowledged the security risks it faces due to the escalation in Rafah. She affirmed the Netherlands call for an immediate ceasefire as the top priority, to increase aid access to Gaza and secure the release of hostages. The Dutch minister reaffirmed her countrys support for a two-state solution. Both ministers agreed to maintain communication with various parties to achieve an immediate ceasefire, enhance humanitarian aid access, and prevent further escalation and a wider conflict in the region.  

[Category: Egypt, Politics, Region, Gaza]

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[l] at 5/21/24 11:00am
In the heart of Downtown Cairo, Bullion Trading Center BTC unveiled its latest gold collection “Aten Collection” in the Tahrir-based Egyptian Museum. With such an outstanding atmosphere, the event also witnessed the presence of the CEO of the National Museum of Egyptian Civilization, Ahmed Ghoniem, the Ambassador of Chile, Roberto Ebert, and the Ambassador of Italy, Michele Quarrone. In line with the company’s mission, BTC collaborated with the artist Mahinaz ElMessiry, an Egyptologist artist who has participated in various exhibitions around the world.  To meet their mutual vision to preserve and revive the ancient Egyptian heritage, both BTC and Mahinaz worked together to design an authentic collection, rich with its countless symbols and details from Ancient Egypt. The collaboration has resulted in the Aten Collection, representing the ancient Egyptian reverence for the sun as the source of life, and gold as a symbol of eternity. The collection features six designs in 21K gold coins including the Blossoming Lotus, the papyrus plant, Tut’s Golden Fan, the Guarding Palm, the Nile Flowers, and Gold of Honor (Golden Fly).  On each coin’s backside, Aten, warms the collection with its unique rays. “One of our main missions is to reclaim the historical reputation of Egyptian Gold, especially since the ancient Egyptians were the real pioneers of this industry.  We can see this clearly in the rich heritage our ancestors left us,” BTC Chief Executive Officer Hassan Nassar commented on the launch of the Aten Collection. “Aten Collection is a significant addition to our diverse sets of designs of more than 80 authentic designs, which are widely acknowledged in Egypt and across the GCC region,” Nassar added. BTC stands as a pioneer in the gold and precious metals industry, with an experience exceeding 88 years, as well as the first specialized company in manufacturing gold and silver. Today, BTC is expanding in different regions by delivering high-end quality products with exceptional standards and designs. With a wide network of authorized distributors across all of Egypt’s governorates, BTC is currently aiming to strengthen its presence in the Arab region, particularly in the Gulf countries.

[Category: Business, Culture, Ancient Egypt, BTC, Gold]

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[l] at 5/21/24 10:48am
Eng. Abdallah Sallam: Our real growth is not limited to the contruction of a spectacular commercial district, but by continually improving the standards of living of our community members which creates a positive environment and impact. Cairo, 20 May 2024 – Madinet Masr (stock code MASR.CA), one of Egypt’s leading urban community developers, has announced the launch of Tajed, the company’s first integrated commercial district at the heart of its flagship project, “Taj City”. Strategically located in New Cairo, “Tajed” marks a significant milestone in Madinet Masr’s growth and development journey, not only in terms of urbanization but also through providing exceptional experiences that cater to the community needs and enhance the quality of life in Taj City. Spanning over 39,000 sqm, “Tajed” represents an integrated commercial destination catering to all customer needs and various commercial activities. The district is divided into 9 zones overlooking the ring road, with direct access from the Cairo-Suez Road, making it effortlessly accessible to residents of New Cairo and neighboring areas where it offers an exceptional shopping experience, providing real value to customers. The first part of the high-quality commercial district Tajed features big boxes approximately 3,000 sqm each attracting a number of leading retailers and tenants, as B.TECH, due to its sustainable growth factors, as well as its prime location, integrated services, and modern design. “Tajed” also features a diverse range of facilities and services, including restaurants, cafes, banks and pharmacies. The second floor is designed to accommodate office spaces designed in accordance with the highest standards to meet the needs of the business community, making it an ideal destination for those seeking a productive work environment. Commenting on this milestone, Eng. Abdallah Sallam, President and CEO of Madinet Masr, stated: “At Madinet Masr, we believe that true growth goes beyond building projects; as it encompasses improving the living standards of the community members and creating a positive environment that fosters growth and communication, in line with our ambitious expansion plan and land portfolio. With the launch of Tajed, strategically located at the heart of Taj City, our flagship project, we aim to support the business and commercial community, promote cultural exchange, and encourage environmentally friendly practices by providing diverse spaces that meet our partners needs and deliver added value to our customers.” He added: Tajed represents one of the company’s significant successes that extends over 65 years, and we trust it will become a preferred shopping destination for residents of New Cairo and neighboring areas, which will significantly contribute to revitalizing commercial activity in the area as it has been carefully designed to become an integrated cultural hub. The integration of Tajed within Taj City reaffirms the companys vision of creating a vibrant community that caters to the diverse needs of all family members. With its strategic location in New Cairo on the ring road, Taj City is within close proximity of Cairo International Airport, and minutes away from East Cairo, Downtown, and Heliopolis. Developed over an area of 3.5 million square meters. The project infuses the attractive design of residential complexes with the best-in-class facilities, shopping concepts and modern lifestyle, and spectacular green landscape.

[Category: Business, Madinet Masr, Taj City, Tajed]

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[l] at 5/21/24 10:43am
Egyptian Prime Minister Mostafa Madbouly met with government and private sector representatives of the pharmaceutical industry on Tuesday to discuss strategies for expanding exports and addressing industry challenges. We recognize the challenges facing the pharmaceutical sector, Madbouly said, pledging government collaboration with the private sector to overcome any obstacles. We will face any problem together and work to solve it. The Prime Minister emphasized the sectors significance to the Egyptian economy and its potential for growth, particularly in exports. Egypts Minister of Health and Population, Khaled Abdel Ghaffar, highlighted the industrys stability and investment opportunities, underscoring the governments commitment to tackling challenges. Ali Ghamrawy, Chairperson of the Egyptian Drug Authority, presented data on pharmaceutical exports, detailing recent progress and ongoing efforts to support growth. These efforts include obtaining international accreditations, strengthening regional cooperation, and facilitating export procedures. Ghamrawy reported increases in exports to Zambia and Zimbabwe in 2023. Ghamrawy also noted a significant increase in exports of medicinal plants and herbs in 2023, reaching over $280m, as well as a rise in cosmetic exports to $700m in 2022 and 2023. Bahaa El-Din Zidan, Chairperson of the Unified Procurement Authority, outlined the work of specialized committees focused on simplifying factory establishment procedures and developing a unified strategy for localizing vaccine production in Egypt. Moreover, representatives from the industry, including Gamal El-Leithy of the Pharmaceutical Chamber of the Federation of Egyptian Industries, Riad Armanious from the Pharmaceutical Chamber, and Maged George of the Export Council of Medical Industries (ECMI), provided insights and suggestions. El-Leithy stressed the need for a clear drug pricing mechanism and emphasized that increasing exports requires modernizing factories and obtaining necessary approvals in target countries. George highlighted the ECMIs collaboration with the EDA to facilitate exports and discussed efforts to expand exports to African countries. Furthermore, Amr Mamdouh, chairperson and CEO of the Egyptian Medicine City Gypto Pharma, underscored the citys mission to cooperate with the private sector and announced ongoing efforts to attract international companies to manufacture in Egypt.  

[Category: Business, pharmaceutical]

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[l] at 5/20/24 5:39pm
Finance Minister Mohamed Maait has announced the commencement of a corrective phase in Egypt’s economy, aimed at mitigating the severe impacts of both domestic and international challenges. This initiative seeks to minimise potential risks, particularly in response to the ongoing conflicts in Ukraine and Gaza, as well as the broader instability across the Middle East, including tensions in the Red Sea region. During a seminar titled “Policy Making in Times of Increased Risk and Uncertainty,” Maait highlighted the government’s approach to managing public finances under these challenging conditions. “Our strategy involves flexible, balanced, and coherent policies, with a heightened focus on the private sector to drive the Egyptian economy towards sustainable growth,” he stated. The seminar, part of the annual scientific conference organised by the Cabinet’s Information and Decision Support Center (IDSC) in collaboration with Cairo University’s Faculty of Economics and Political Science, featured Maait’s speech. The event was attended by Cairo University President Mohamed Elkhosht, Assistant to Prime Minister Osama El-Gohary, and various experts, academics, and representatives from executive authorities, the private sector, and international organisations. Maait expressed concern over the economic slowdown, reduced trade, and the impact of restrictive policies aimed at curbing inflation, which has adversely affected both tax and non-tax revenues. He projected a significant drop in Suez Canal revenues, by approximately 60%, due to the Red Sea tensions, leading to increased public spending. The state’s financial burdens have been exacerbated by rising financing costs, attributed to higher interest rates and currency fluctuations. The minister also noted that the inflationary pressures from global and regional crises have escalated the monthly import bill by an estimated $4bn. He emphasized the substantial increase in expenditure on petroleum resources, nearing EGP 200bn, driven by global price surges, shipping expenses, and exchange rate shifts. Despite these challenges, Maait assured that the government remains committed to covering essential expenditures, including salaries, pensions, subsidies, development projects, healthcare, education, and meeting citizens’ needs, even under extraordinary global and local economic conditions. In conclusion, Maait underscored the government’s efforts to bolster agriculture, industry, and information technology sectors, stimulate production and exports, and implement initiatives conducive to a favourable business environment. The state is dedicated to attracting greater investment and has allocated EGP 120bn in financing facilities to support productive activities.  

[Category: Business, Economic challenges, finance minister]

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[l] at 5/20/24 5:33pm
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu faces escalating pressure to articulate a post-war strategy for Gaza, as political rivals criticize his perceived indecision and the US warns of a power vacuum in the devastated Palestinian territory. Israeli Defence Minister Yoav Gallant and former military chief Benny Gantz have publicly urged Netanyahu to establish a Palestinian governing body as an alternative to Hamas, arguing that failure to do so could necessitate a risky Israeli occupation of Gaza. Netanyahu has retorted that the priority should be eliminating remaining Hamas fighters in Rafah. The escalating tensions have exposed divisions within Netanyahus wartime government, with Gallant and Gantz suggesting that the prime minister is prioritizing political survival over national security. They demand that Netanyahu choose between leaving Gaza under Israeli military control or establishing a Palestinian alternative to Hamas with international support. Netanyahu responded by asserting that the immediate focus of the Israel Defence Forces (IDF) should be on eliminating the remnants of Hamas in Rafah, a city in southern Gaza. On the ground, Hamas is regrouping in parts of Gaza, prompting the Israel forces to redeploy troops to areas such as the Jabaliya refugee camp in the north, previously declared clear of Hamas fighters months ago. This tactic has drawn criticism, including from former U.S. General David Petraeus, for not maintaining a troop presence to secure cleared areas. From March to April 2024, the IDF demobilised nearly all the 300,000 reserve soldiers called up in late 2023. At the height of the Israeli counteroffensive in December, around 28 IDF brigades were operating in Gaza. By the end of April, only two or three conscript brigades remained active. However, with the recent escalation in fighting, three IDF divisional task forces, each comprising several brigades, have returned to Gaza: one at Jabaliya and two around Rafah. The primary challenge for the IDF is the re-emergence of Hamas squads in areas previously cleared by the army, particularly around Gaza City. Internationally, tensions have risen between Israel and the US, and between Israel and Egypt. American officials, including President Joe Biden, have cautioned against an invasion of Rafah without adequate humanitarian provisions. The US has suspended a shipment of bombs to Israel and threatened a wider arms embargo if Israel proceeds with its plans to conquer the city without ensuring the protection and sustained humanitarian aid for its residents and the over one million refugees who have fled from northern Gaza. This announcement signifies a significant shift in US policy, influenced by pressure from the progressive wing of the Democratic Party and student protests across American and European universities. Netanyahus Political Considerations Netanyahus reluctance to empower the Palestinian Authority and the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) stems from his opposition to a Palestinian state, which he perceives as a threat to Israels existence. Such a move would likely necessitate Israeli withdrawal from the West Bank and the dismantling of illegal settlements, alienating his right-wing coalition partners. The West Bank settlers, numbering between 500,000 and 700,000 depending on the inclusion of some Jerusalem suburbs, are a core base for Netanyahu’s right-wing coalition partners. Promoting Palestinian statehood would likely lead these partners to exit the coalition, resulting in the collapse of Netanyahus government and triggering general elections. According to current opinion polls, these elections could result in Netanyahus ouster and possible conviction on bribery and fraud charges, potentially leading to his imprisonment. Many Israelis believe Netanyahu is prolonging the Gaza conflict to maintain power, with the wars conclusion potentially triggering elections. His actions, they argue, are motivated by personal political survival rather than the national interest.  

[Category: Politics, Region, Gaza, Israel]

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[l] at 5/20/24 5:28pm
Egypt’s Minister of Health and Population, Khaled Abdel Ghaffar, held a meeting with the Advisory Committee for Kidney Diseases, to follow up on the implementation of the “National Project to Automate the Dialysis System.” The meeting discussed what was implemented in implementing the national project to automate the dialysis system during 8 working weeks since its launch in April of this year, as the first phase includes implementing the project in private dialysis centres affiliated with civil society associations. Hossam Abdel Ghaffar, the official spokesperson for the Ministry of Health and Population, explained that the minister reviewed a detailed presentation of the project’s implementation in private dialysis centres and civil society associations, through implementing the system that separates the operating cost from the supplies that are provided by the ministry to private and civil society centres. Abdel Ghaffar revealed that the system was actually implemented in 99 centres distributed in the governorates of Cairo, Giza, Sharqia, Qalyubia, and Damietta, where these centres conducted 23,200 dialysis sessions, and 6,640 patients were registered on the system. He added that the preparation of 55 centres is being completed, and workers in 116 centres are being trained on the system in preparation for these centres to join the system. The minister also followed up on the ongoing preparations to start implementing the system in government dialysis centres, which will take place within 3 months according to the work plan. Abdel Ghaffar said that the Minister stressed the importance of the system for following up with patients after the dialysis process and evaluating the procedures and services provided and the health impact, as well as periodic oversight and control over the application of the system in the centres that actually operate within the project.  

[Category: Egypt, Politics, automation project, health]

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[l] at 5/20/24 5:19pm
Noqood Finance, a Noqood Holding subsidiary, has secured the final licence from the Financial Regulatory Authority (FRA) to finance small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). This initiative aligns with the private sector’s commitment to bolster the national economy and supports the FRA’s mission to aid emerging companies in their growth and contribution to the influential Egyptian economy. The company is dedicated to offering customized financial investments, innovative solutions, and advisory services to SMEs. These efforts aim to address community needs, foster sustainable development, and uplift the economic and social framework of Egypt. Hazem Anbar, CEO of Noqood Finance, remarked, “We pledge to deliver financing services that adhere to the utmost standards of quality and transparency. Our goal is to assist SMEs in realizing their ambitions and business goals. As a specialized platform, we’re equipped to cater to the varied financial requirements of these enterprises, providing a spectrum of innovative and accessible financial solutions.” He further noted, “The steady increase in SMEs underscores the critical need for suitable financing. Noqood Finance’s licensure signifies a vote of confidence in our capacity to offer market-aligned, superior financial services, reinforcing the Egyptian government’s objectives for financial inclusion and digital progression.” Abdelrahman Ali, CEO of Noqood Holding, added, “This licensing is a strategic enhancement to our portfolio. We’re committed to devising financial strategies that propel the national economy forward, equipping clients with tools to expand their ventures. We’re invested in the success of startups and prioritize their support as they navigate the burgeoning Egyptian business landscape.”  

[Category: Business, Noqood]

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[l] at 5/20/24 5:12pm
  Egypts Prime Minister Mostafa Madbouly, accompanied by Transport Minister Kamel El Wazir and other officials, inspected the progress of Cairo Metro Line 4s first phase on Monday. The line is a key project aimed at connecting the 6th of October City and New Cairo to the metro network, serving densely populated areas and expected to transport 1.5 million passengers daily upon completion of both phases. During the inspection, Madbouly visited the Ahramat (Pyramids), Grand Egyptian Museum, and El-Rimaya stations, with civil work completion rates at 34%, 42%, and 37%, respectively. El Wazir reported that 83% of the restoration work around the museum had been completed in preparation for the Grand Egyptian Museums opening. Line 4, spanning 42 kilometres with 39 stations, is being built in two phases. The first phase, currently under construction by Egyptian national contracting companies, will stretch 19 kilometres with 17 stations, starting from the western Ring Road and ending in Fustat, Old Cairo. The minister added that 29% of the civil work for the first phases western part is complete, with tunnelling for the metros two tunnels ongoing. Later in the day, Madbouly and his entourage oversaw the trial passenger operation of the third segment of Cairo Metro Line 3s third phase. This segment, which began trial operations last Wednesday, spans 7.1 kilometres and includes five stations. Madbouly and his companions boarded a metro train from Cairo University station to El-Tawfikeya station, observing passenger movement and the impact of the new stations on commutes. The prime minister emphasised the governments commitment to developing public transportation using modern systems and expanding green transport options, highlighting President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisis directives to continuously improve public transport services. El Wazir explained that Line 3 serves as a crucial east-west connection in Greater Cairo and links various electric rail transport components. It will intersect with several existing and planned lines, including Line 1, Line 2, the light rail, monorail lines, and Line 6. Line 3 will be supported by three maintenance workshops, including one of the largest in the Middle East and Africa, built on 65 acres and dedicated to light and heavy maintenance.  

[Category: Business, Cairo Metro]

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[l] at 5/20/24 2:43pm
Bassil Rahmi, CEO of the Micro, Small and Medium Enterprise Development Agency (MSMEDA), emphasised the agency’s commitment to supporting owners of MSMEs and assisting them in developing and upgrading their products for export. This strategic focus aligns with the directives of the political leadership and Prime Minister Mostafa Madbouly, aiming to enhance the quality of local products, reduce imports, and boost export rates. Recently, a group of young entrepreneurs who received funding from MSMEDA participated in the Tripoli International Fair, held from 15 to 21 May 2024, in Libya. The Egyptian pavilion at the exhibition was supervised and managed by the Egyptian General Authority for Exhibitions and Conferences. MSMEDA actively engages its clients in various exhibitions—both local and international. This approach allows entrepreneurs to directly market their products to consumers in these markets and explore contractual export opportunities. By participating, they gain insights into market needs and can innovate products that better meet customer demands. The agency’s involvement in the Tripoli International Fair represents an ongoing collaboration with Arab countries, particularly Libya. The fair serves as a promising market for Egyptian exports, fostering new channels to enhance trade exchange between the two nations. During the fair’s 50th edition, the Libyan Minister of Economy and Trade, Mohamed Al-Hawaij, inaugurated the exhibition. Egypt’s ambassador to Libya, Tamer Al-Hafni, inspected various pavilions, including MSMEDA’s, and praised the high quality of the displayed products. MSMEDA’s clients showcased a diverse range of products at the Tripoli International Exhibition, spanning engineering, chemical, and heritage projects. The positive reception from the public highlighted the excellence and variety of these offerings. The exhibition featured participation from over 300 Libyan companies, as well as international representation from Egypt, Tunisia, Italy, Turkey, Algeria, Indonesia, Saudi Arabia, and Iran across various fields.  

[Category: Business, MSMEDA]

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[l] at 5/20/24 2:03pm
  Egypts Prime Minister Mostafa Madbouly chaired a meeting on Monday to discuss procedures for implementing the EGP 1trn cap on public investments for the fiscal year (FY) 2024/25 fiscal year. The move aims to curb inflation rates, according to the Prime Minister. The meeting was attended by key officials including Minister of Planning and Economic Development Hala El-Said, Head of the Central Auditing Agency Hisham Badawi, and Deputy Minister of Finance Ahmed Kouchouk. Madbouly emphasized the role of the newly formed Committee for the Governance of Total Public Investments in the State, which is tasked with collecting data on investment plans from all state entities and ensuring adherence to the spending limit. The committee, chaired by the Central Auditing Agency, will be supported by a technical secretariat comprising representatives from the Ministries of Planning, Finance, and Economic Development. El-Said provided an update on the committees work, noting an agreement to establish the secretariat to expedite decision-making. The Ministries of Planning, Finance, and the Public Enterprises Sector were also instructed to ensure timely reporting of investment data to the committee. The meeting also touched upon the draft law for the FY 2024/25 economic and social development plan, which has been submitted to the House of Representatives for approval. El-Said highlighted that the plans targets will be aligned with the allocated investment resources. The Central Auditing Agency will play a crucial role in monitoring the implementation of the investment cap across all ministries and agencies. The governments decision to set a ceiling on public investments reflects a broader strategy to manage public finances and stabilize the economy amidst inflationary pressures.  

[Category: Business, Investment]

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[l] at 5/20/24 1:56pm
  The United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO), in partnership with Egypts Ministry of Trade and Industry, organised a forum Monday at the Dusit Thani Hotel to foster sustainable industrial development in Egypt by promoting Eco-Industrial Parks (EIPs). The event, part of the Global Eco-Industrial Parks Programme (GEIPP) Egypt, aimed to mobilise national stakeholders and businesses around the transition of Egyptian Industrial Parks to EIPs. The forum served as a platform to raise awareness among stakeholders about developing EIPs in Egypt and highlight related policy achievements. It also sought to engage the national business sector to ensure active participation and commitment in the transition process, while promoting investment in sustainable industrial development among investors and the financial sector. Various sessions provided insights into the GEIPP and its significance in promoting sustainable industrial development. A roadmap for transitioning Egyptian industrial parks to EIPs was introduced, and successful EIP projects in Egypt were showcased. A session on financing informed attendees about the options available for EIP projects in Egypt, and international experiences highlighted best practices from around the world. An exhibition area dedicated to participating industrial parks, including Orascom Industrial Park, Robbiki Leather Cluster, and Polaris Parks, facilitated networking opportunities and showcased successful projects and initiatives. EIPs offer numerous benefits compared to conventional industrial parks, including a reduced environmental footprint, efficiency gains, community cohesion, access to finance, and enhanced business competitiveness. The GEIPP-Egypt project, funded by the Swiss State Secretariat of Economic Affairs (SECO) and implemented by UNIDO in partnership with the Ministry of Trade and Industry, aims to demonstrate the viability and benefits of EIPs in scaling up resource productivity and enhancing the economic, environmental, and social performance of businesses. With a total budget of approximately EUR 1.6 million and a duration of three years (2022-2024), the project is being carried out at three industrial parks: Orascom Industrial Park, Polaris Parks, and Robbiki Leather Cluster. Other main stakeholders include the Suez Canal Economic Zone (SCZONE), the Industrial Development Authority (IDA), and the General Authority for Investment and Free Zones (GAFI).  

[Category: Business, UNIDO]

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[l] at 5/20/24 12:17pm
Mahmoud Mohieldin, Executive Director at the International Monetary Fund and U.N. Special Envoy on Financing the 2030 Sustainable Development, is engaging in the inaugural edition’s discussions, highlighting the complex issues at hand. He presented the stark realities with statistics: only 15% of the global agenda for achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) is on track for fulfilment by 2030, while a significant 55% is severely off track. Moreover, 35% shows progress that is worse than in 2015. Mohieldin pointed out that current growth rates are insufficient for achieving the Sustainable Development Goals. He stressed the need to significantly increase growth rates by investing strategically in human capital, technology, infrastructure, and sustainability. He noted that the financing gap to meet these goals is between $4-6trn annually. He emphasised that closing this gap is a collective responsibility, requiring collaboration at all levels, starting with localising development nationally. Mohieldin highlighted the importance of green initiatives in tackling climate change, advocating for a comprehensive approach that considers the interdependencies of various factors and industries. He underscored the need for financing, trade facilitation, and private sector stimulation, noting that without international cooperation, mitigating the effects of climate change would be unattainable. He also discussed the sustainable development agenda’s goal of food security, mentioning that 78% of Africans lack adequate diets. He underscored Africa’s potential to lead in sectors like electric vehicles, pharmaceuticals, and green hydrogen, stressing the need to leverage raw materials and increase production, especially in solar and wind energy. These insights were shared during the United Nations Global Compact’s annual forum’s inaugural session, themed “Towards Sustainable Africa,” hosted by the Egyptian Network of the UNGCNE. The forum seeks to encourage collaboration and cooperation among stakeholders, creating an environment for companies to actively and responsibly engage in sustainability efforts. This is in line with Egypt’s Vision 2030 and the U.N. Sustainable Development Goals, aiming for a joint commitment to sustainability in the region. The European Union (EU) Ambassador to Egypt, Christian Berger, spotlighted the EU’s new strategy for partnering with low-income countries to foster sustainable investment. He indicated that several agreements will be signed to support this goal. Berger commented on the significant economic challenges faced globally, with 2022 being notably difficult. He called for solidarity among stakeholders to address these issues, highlighting the complexities of global finance and the hurdles faced by investors. Berger mentioned that sustainable investment and strengthening the private sector are central to the EU’s relationship with Egypt. He noted the signing of an agreement this year to improve business operations significantly. Berger acknowledged the over 40-year relationship between the EU and Egypt, with European companies showing strong investment interest in Egypt, accounting for more than 32% of foreign investments. Berger detailed the EU’s work with the Egyptian government, the Central Bank, and local banks to shift the financial system toward green financing. He also previewed an investment conference in June, co-organized with the EU, expecting participation from over 300 European companies. He stated: We are working with the Central Bank of Egypt and Egyptian government banks to change the financial system and transition towards green financing. Berger also mentioned an upcoming investment conference slated for June, organized in partnership with the European Union, where over 300 European companies are anticipated to participate.” Elena Panova Meanwhile, Elena Panova, the United Nations Resident Coordinator in Egypt, underscored the critical need to enhance cooperation among various stakeholders and to significantly alter strategies to realize SDGs She stated: “According to United Nations reports, only 15% of the sustainable development goals are progressing towards attainment, with Egypt particularly impacted by regional tensions and exacerbated economic and climate challenges.” Panova highlighted the urgency of focusing efforts on advancing sustainable development goals in six essential areas: strengthening food systems, broadening energy access, and reducing the effects of climate change. She pointed out the significance of improving job opportunities, education, and digital connectivity, noting that while these are longstanding United Nations priorities, the emphasis must now be on channelling investments for concrete results. Panova insisted that sustainable development in Egypt and Africa requires active participation from the private sector and the creation of innovative solutions, depending on cooperative partnerships across sectors to overcome challenges and build a more sustainable future for both regions. Rania Al-Mashat Rania Al-Mashat, Minister of International Cooperation, emphasized the Ministry’s partnership with various development partners to support the private sector, small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), and burgeoning businesses and entrepreneurs. She stressed the importance of providing concessional development financing, direct investments, and technical advice and consultations to enable sustainable financing. Al-Mashat pointed out that achieving sustainable financing demands unity among all stakeholders and global collaboration to tackle the issues facing the world economy. She highlighted the Ministry’s role in offering soft financing and technical support to a broad spectrum of private sector firms, startups, and entrepreneurs in Egypt, in cooperation with development partners like the World Bank, the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, the European Investment Bank, the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank, the French Development Agency, the African Development Bank, and the Islamic Development Bank. She revealed that in the past four years, these multilateral and bilateral development partners have collectively provided around $10.3bn in soft development financing and investments to Egyptian private sector companies. The Minister of International Cooperation pointed out that the Ministry’s current portfolio includes 36 projects in innovation, digitization, and entrepreneurship across different sectors, with a total value of about $1bn. She underlined that the Ministry is diligently working on the implementation of 11 sustainable development goals. She mentioned the existence of various mechanisms through partnerships to aid emerging companies, entrepreneurship, and the private sector in Egypt, including direct investments, soft financing, guarantees, technical advice, and lines of credit to commercial banks. Al-Mashat noted that development partners significantly contribute to enhancing the entrepreneurship ecosystem by addressing the funding gap in the startup sector. She underscored that over 42% of venture capital fund financing for startups in Egypt comes from development partners, including organizations like the World Bank, the International Finance Corporation, the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, the Saudi Fund for Development, and the Egyptian American Enterprise Fund.

[Category: Business, SDGs]

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[l] at 5/20/24 12:11pm
Karim Khan, the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court (ICC), has reportedly submitted requests for the issuance of arrest warrants. These warrants pertain to allegations of war crimes and genocide in the context of the ongoing conflict in Gaza, and the events of 7 October.   Presenting evidence at the ICC headquarters in The Hague, Khan implicated Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Defence Minister Yoav Gallant in the perpetration of crimes against humanity within Gaza. He asserted that the collected evidence indicates a systematic effort by these officials to strip Palestinians of essential life necessities, contributing to civilian suffering and starvation.   Khan emphasised the universality of the law, insisting on accountability for all, irrespective of status or title, including presidents.   The Prosecutor of ICC also said that there are reasonable grounds to believe that the head of the Hamas movement in Gaza, Yahya Al-Sinwar, the military commander of the Al-Qassam Brigades, Muhammad Al-Deif, and the head of the Hamas Political Bureau, Ismail Haniyeh, are responsible for committing war crimes and crimes against humanity in Israel.   Conversely, the Islamic Resistance Movement (Hamas) criticised Khans approach, and condemned his alleged attempts to draw parallels between victims and aggressors. This criticism centred on the issuance of arrest warrants against Hamas resistance leaders, which the movement claims violate UN charters and resolutions. They called for the annulment of all such warrants.   Hamas said that the arrest warrants against Netanyahu and Gallant were seven months late. It called on the ICC Prosecutor to issue arrest and detention orders against all war criminals, including occupation leaders, officers, and soldiers.   Meanwhile, the Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu described the International Criminal Courts prosecutors request as a “scandal.”   “They will not stop us,” Netanyahu said during a meeting of the Likud Party bloc, referring to his determination to continue his war on Gaza.   In addition, US President Joe Biden described the ICC prosecutor’s application for arrest warrants against Israeli leaders as “outrageous.”   “Let me be clear: whatever this prosecutor might imply, there is no equivalence — none — between Israel and Hamas.  We will always stand with Israel against threats to its security,” Biden stated.   In another context, the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA) announced on Monday that Israel forced 810,000 Palestinians to leave Rafah to the southern side of Gaza Strip during the past two weeks.   Before the Israeli attacks on Rafah, there have been approximately 1.5 million Palestinians in Rafah, including approximately 1.4 million displaced from other areas in the Strip, fleeing the continuous Israeli bombing for seven months.   Meanwhile, the Ministry of Health in the Gaza Strip also announced that the Israeli occupation committed 10 massacres against civilians during the past 24 hours, leaving 106 dead and 176 injured, confirming that the toll of the Israeli aggression on the Strip had risen to 35,562 dead and 79,652 injured since 7 October.   On the ground, the Al-Quds Brigades, the military wing of the Islamic Jihad Movement, announced that it had detonated an explosive device with an Israeli foot force east of Rafah, in the southern Gaza Strip, and fired bombs at it, killing and wounding its members.   The Al-Quds Brigades also said that they bombed with a barrage of mortar shells a gathering of occupation vehicles at the civil administration site east of the Jabalia camp in the northern Gaza Strip.   For its part, the Al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades, the military wing of the Palestinian National Liberation Movement (Fatah), said that it bombed with mortar shells a gathering of Israeli occupation army vehicles and soldiers east of the Jabalia camp in the northern the Strip.    

[Category: Politics, Region, hamas]

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[l] at 5/20/24 9:13am
Over 500 runners participated in the One Run half marathon in Giza on May 19, as Egypt joined 15 other countries in the global event organized by the Hero League.   The race, supported by the Egyptian Athletics Federation and the Ministry of Youth & Sports, offered distances of 1, 5,10, and 21.1 kilometres. All routes began near the Great Pyramid of Giza, offering participants a sunset tour of the Giza Plateau.   To be the sixteenth country to host this event is a special honour for us here in Egypt, said Ayman Hakky, CEO of The TriFactory, the local organizer of the event.   Members of the Egyptian Ministry of Youth & Sports, the Supreme Council of Antiquities, the Russian Embassy, and professional athletes attended the One Runrace.   The Giza Plateaus unique terrain challenged runners with inclines and declines, exacerbated by unexpectedly high temperatures. Despite this, 99% of participants completed the race and received their medals in front of the pyramids.   In total, the One Run global event attracted more than 180,000 participants from Russia, China, Brazil, Serbia, Belarus, Bahrain, Qatar, UAE, Cameroon, Nepal, Armenia, Pakistan, Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan, and Uzbekistan.

[Category: Sports]

As of 5/21/24 5:58pm. Last new 5/21/24 2:57pm.

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