Opinion – Daily News Egypt https://wwww.dailynewssegypt.com Egypt’s Only Daily Independent Newspaper In English Thu, 16 Jul 2020 00:12:12 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.9.1 Opinion| Rapists, TikTok Girls, and the State of Law https://wwww.dailynewssegypt.com/2020/07/06/opinion-rapists-tiktok-girls-and-the-state-of-law/ Mon, 06 Jul 2020 14:16:51 +0000 https://wwww.dailynewssegypt.com/?p=735438 Under which laws are these women being prosecuted or sued? And is that law so vague that it can be used to incarcerate people living in our society without strong legal bases?

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Personal freedom, with respect to the boundaries of society, is a forever a debatable and tension-filled topic. The advocates of freedom, libertarians me being one, would argue that the limit of individual freedom is nonexistent.

We were born free and shall remain free, for our freedom is our true source of strength and our path for prosperity and acceptance of one another. Libertarians believe that individuals are the centre of existence, their prosperity, liberty, and well-being should be the focus of any governing body and economic system.

That being said, the line limiting individual freedom should only be drawn to protect others’ freedom, and this line should be drawn ensuring the well-being of every member of society.  In order to achieve that, the people must be represented while setting that boundary and in agreement on the principles that boundary protects. This process is the drafting of law by an elected legislative body, the parliament for example.

Throughout the course of the past few weeks, I have been observing a series of arrests against self-proclaimed female models, using social media platforms such as Instagram, Facebook, and TikTok. After looking into their strategy, I realised that their objective is gaining as many followers on these platforms as possible, then using their accounts as a marketing platform for paying customers, making their objective strictly financial, not for the spreading of prostitution or sin as claimed by their prosecutors.

Under which laws are these women being prosecuted or sued? And is that law so vague that it can be used to incarcerate people living in our society without strong legal bases?

How are these prosecuted women invading the boundaries of others’ freedom, even though that following them on these platforms is a choice? The answer is that the line is drawn to protect certain norms in our society, not the freedom of individuals living in this society.

A good example of how law should protect the people’s well-being and freedom would be the arrest of the notorious rapist Ahmed Bassam Zaki. Ahmed was involved in a series of sexual harassment and rape assaults.

Due to the vague interpretation and application of our laws, Ahmed was able to get away with prior sexual harassment attempts, but since the situation turned into a matter of public opinion, last week, Ahmed was finally arrested.

The law governing our state drafted by our elected legislators should clearly differentiate between individuals harming others, mentally and physically, and individuals simply divergent of the majorities’ norm.

When the law is that vague in its interpretation it can be used against any of us when we break standing social or political norms, invading our freedom of speech, beliefs, and even our right to disagree with those more powerful than us.

How do we forge better laws capable of protecting our liberty? We do that by being politically active and aware, and when the time is right electing legislators capable of protecting our god given freedom, essential freedom to work, believe, express ourselves, organise in pursuit of collective goals, and to pursue happiness.

Pilot Mohamed El-Seidy: member of the Coalition of Party Youth Leaders and Politicians (CPYP)

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Opinion| How socially-led innovation can bring positive change in unchartered times https://wwww.dailynewssegypt.com/2020/07/06/opinion-how-socially-led-innovation-can-bring-positive-change-in-unchartered-times/ Mon, 06 Jul 2020 14:11:45 +0000 https://wwww.dailynewssegypt.com/?p=735440 As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to unfold, it’s been inspiring to support and work with start-ups who are adapting their businesses and creating new platforms to support relief efforts

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There’s an old, and somewhat overused, saying attributed to Winston Churchill that is nevertheless appropriate in these uncertain times: never let a good crisis go to waste.

A global pandemic certainly qualifies as a crisis, but what good can we generate from this exceptional challenge?

In my work with Microsoft 4Afrika, I have had a front row seat to the innovation and creativity many African start-ups have employed to address pressing economic and social gaps and needs. Whether it’s using agri-tech to improve farmer crop yields, using technology to deliver finance solutions to the previously unbanked or pairing solar power and IoT [Internet of Things’ to solve power reliability issues, African innovation is alive and thriving, and the COVID-19 pandemic has only fanned these flames of ingenuity.

Crisis drives socially-drive innovation

As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to unfold, it’s been inspiring to support and work with start-ups who are adapting their businesses and creating new platforms to support relief efforts. We offer technical and business support to start-ups, hackathons and ideation sessions hosted by our partners, and work with partners throughout Africa to help them adapt and develop their solutions to address the current situation.

In Egypt, the local angel investor network Cairo Angels’ ‘We’ve got your back’ campaign has helped one start-up develop a platform that connects vulnerable elderly people with volunteers who do their shopping and run errands for them. A three-day Wild Card hackathon Microsoft 4Afrika supported saw SMEs and start-ups participating head to head to develop response systems designed to deliver social relief for those suffering COVID-19 disruptions.

In South Africa, Zindi, the first data science competition platform in Africa, has rolled out a series of weekend hackathons to a data science ecosystem of engineers, scientists, academics, companies, NGOs and institutions, targeting a set of COVID-19-related datasets. And #Africa Vs Virus, an African Development Bank Ideathon supported by Microsoft, addressed challenges presented by the COVID-19 pandemic.

We’re also looking at other ways to support entrepreneurship and innovation at this time. Our partnership with the Cairo Angels Investment Readiness Programme will see us introduce five of our partner start-ups across Africa to Cairo Angels, with the aim of matching them to investors for long-term gains.  We’ll also be matching start-ups and providing mentorship through the Gemini Uplift Initiative, which aims to help start-ups maintain operational continuity and financial sustainability through three tracks, money, matching and mentorship, linked to the UN Sustainable Development Goals. We’ll continue to explore new ways to support social enterprise start-ups and hopefully ensure their success and sustainability.

What the COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted is that unusual times require an unusual response, and it can’t be business as usual. It’s clear that as we move into uncharted territory, we need a new approach, not only for how we live our lives, socialise and move around, but also for how we approach business. In Africa there is a prime opportunity for the continent’s business economy to race towards social entrepreneurship. An agile and dynamic business ecosystem is a vital trigger for effective social enterprise.

Enterprise for good

Social entrepreneurs identify issues and uplift those communities most vulnerable to the effects of disruption. Driven by the desire to identify and address the inequalities of the day, these entrepreneurs are well-placed to fill the gaps between government and the markets to promote a more sustainable and inclusive economy in times of crisis and beyond.

Earlier this year, Microsoft announced its intention to support social entrepreneurship through its Global Social Entrepreneurship Programme. Social entrepreneurship bridges the gap between what society needs, and what business needs in the form of profits.

Our Global Social Entrepreneurship Programme recognises these entrepreneurs who are purposefully contributing to positive change in their communities. Inspired by the commitment of social entrepreneurs, the programme actively seeks to support start-ups with diverse perspectives and backgrounds across a variety of impact sectors. And we’re not alone in our belief that social entrepreneurship needs nurturing.

In January 2020, the World Economic Forum, during its 50th Annual Meeting, called for businesses to adopt the concept of stakeholder capitalism to overcome income inequality, societal division and the climate crisis. It’s simple – we have to move away from shareholder capitalism if we hope to equitably address the concerns that threaten our planet.

Neither is this a new concept – the Davos Manifesto of 1973 set out for the first time the stakeholder concept that businesses should serve the interests of society rather than simply their shareholders, and the Davos Manifesto 2020 builds on that, providing a vision for stakeholder capitalism that touches on a range of important issues of our time.

Leveraging the power of social entrepreneurship

This work is already happening with start-ups that are creating new businesses, built around powerful technologies, and designed to make the world a better place. Upepo Technology in Kenya is one such example, a firm that develops IoT solutions for the country’s water sector.

The company partners with utilities to deploy smart water metering devices that provide real-time monitoring of water infrastructure. This is a move towards a more holistic view of water consumption in Kenya, with the ultimate goal of providing access to water for people across the country.

ICE Commercial Power in Nigeria is another. The company deploys modular, cloud-connected solar power systems (called microgrids) to provide clean, reliable electricity to small businesses. To achieve this strategy at scale, ICE incorporates strong community engagement in target communities by training and employing local youth to participate in the development of their communities. The ICE strategy delivers sustainable impact and job creation in communities that need it most.

If we are to continue encouraging investment in social value, it is up to all of us to unite in supporting the growth of social enterprise at grassroots level. With the social entrepreneurship movement gaining steady momentum across the continent in the business sector, I am certain Africa can strike a global note for social impact beyond COVID-19.

Muhammad Nabil: Partners and Start-ups Strategy Lead, Microsoft 4Afrika

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Opinion | A Nation United, By the People for The People https://wwww.dailynewssegypt.com/2020/06/30/opinion-a-nation-united-by-the-people-for-the-people/ Tue, 30 Jun 2020 19:48:56 +0000 https://wwww.dailynewssegypt.com/?p=735075 For years we never truly felt that we have any say in the governance of our nation, Mubarak’s regime installed few men in power, they were untouchable and were given the power to control our fates. On the 25th of January 2011, a spark was ignited. Young ladies and gentlemen went to the streets demanding …

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For years we never truly felt that we have any say in the governance of our nation, Mubarak’s regime installed few men in power, they were untouchable and were given the power to control our fates. On the 25th of January 2011, a spark was ignited. Young ladies and gentlemen went to the streets demanding three thing bread, liberty, and social justice. The demonstrators had neither a political body to represent their interests nor any political ambition. In the years to follow, the organized and well funded Muslim Brotherhood came to power due to the lack of a strong political alternative dominating parliament and eventually winning the presidency, then I realized that the dreams of my generation cannot be achieved in a fortnight. This dream of prosperity and freedom will require hard work, perseverance, sacrifice, and time. 

Throughout the short period, the brotherhood was in power their true colours manifested, Egypt was just a mean to their sinister ends, their dream was dominion over the Arab world. Their path to reign over the Arab world through their new dominion left our nation socially and economically fractured, the well-being of Egyptians was not a priority to the brotherhood. The brotherhood disrespected Egypt’s legacy on several occasions, the ousted brotherhood president Morsi invited people who directly enacted the assassination of the Egyptian hero president Mohamed Anwar Al Sadat on the 6th of October celebrations. Mohamed Mahdi Akef, former head of the brotherhood, said: “Tuz fi Masr” (To hell with Egypt) in Egyptian slang direct translation. The rising social tension forced many Christians to leave Egypt in fear of religious persecution. The people were divided, and we were losing the very thing we built throughout our 7000 years old history, our identity. 

 The people went to the streets again hoping to preserve the rights they thought they earned on the 25th of Jan. Violence was used by the brotherhood supporters against the demonstrators. The mutiny was declared against the current government and civil war was about to break. On the 30th of June 2013 the Egyptian army commanded by our current president Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi intervened, bringing an end to this conflict saving thousands of Egyptians lives. Now we have a government capable of uniting Egypt to the purpose of prosperity and development, facing fearful odds on a national and international level, but whatever the odds are we will face them together. For those ever-elusive ideas of freedom and prosperity are not the product of a revolution, but the product of decades of hard work, collective beliefs, and sacrifice. We celebrate the 30th of June because it was the day our nation was reunited by the people for the people. 

I might not be alive to see this dream achieved but when I seize to exist, as all things do, I’ll have solace that I might have added a little to the realization of that dream.

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Opinion| Dear Ethiopians – Egyptians are not advocates of war https://wwww.dailynewssegypt.com/2020/06/28/opinion-dear-ethiopians-egyptians-are-not-advocates-of-war/ Sun, 28 Jun 2020 21:14:44 +0000 https://wwww.dailynewssegypt.com/?p=734741 The history of Egyptian-Ethiopian relations dates back to the Ancient Egyptian era. These were based not only on politics, but also religion and culture.

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Dear Ethiopians, I trust you will find it suitable cooperating with your brothers in Egypt.

Defining myself as an Egyptian and African citizen first and then a journalist, I would like to send you assurances that Egypt is not against development in the Nile Basin countries. Development should, however, stay within the framework of what international law permits, and without affecting Egypt’s share of the River Nile’s water.

I would like to say that your brothers (that is, Egyptians) will never fight you, as we share a similar identity, culture, and land. We are also brothers in humanity, and our bilateral relations have always been based on mutual respect.

The history of Egyptian-Ethiopian relations dates back to the Ancient Egyptian era. These were based not only on politics, but also religion and culture.

Religious relations began in the 4th Century AD, when the Ethiopian Church was linked to Egypt, and it was a sign of fraternity that the Ethiopian Church came under the same ideology and one head, in the form of Egypt’s Christian religious leader.

Ethiopian clergy were under submission to the Egyptian religious head, both functionally and ideologically, and there was mutual respect between Ethiopia and Egypt.

Today there may be thorny issues between the two countries, as evidenced by access to water, but we people of both countries must trust that the leaderships of both countries will end the matter through a policy that proves to the whole world that Egypt and Ethiopia are brothers.

The Egyptian and Ethiopian nations must believe that conflicts do not end crises, and that only wisdom can meet the aspirations of the two peoples.

The record of Egyptian-Ethiopian relationship includes many common and differing factors within the geographical features of the two countries and the development of the local and regional political reality.

These factors are driven by virtue of certain convergences and divergences, in addition to the legacy of human coexistence rooted in the histories of the Pharonic and Abyssinian civilizations.

Ethiopia is an ancient country that has always sought peace and stability, and has played an important role in human civilisation and religious history. It has also played a large role in interacting with the last of these religions, Islam.

The evidence, until recently, indicated that there were no prospects of a clash of interests between Egypt and the countries of the upper Nile basin, especially Ethiopia. This was especially given that they are not in urgent need of water, due to the availability of water resources on the one hand, and their dependence in terms of economic activity on grazing and agriculture.

The political leadership of the two countries are keen to resort to wisdom and avoid conflicts and clashes between the two, to avoid a process of chaos and internal instability, especially as the two countries have gone through a transitional situation and seek full stability.

Egypt also seeks to overcome the differences of the past and open a new page for relations between the two countries based on love and understanding. This has been clear through the meetings between officials and leaders in the two countries.

Egypt aims at opening a bigger field for trade and economic relations, whilst also opening up for further investments between the two countries. At the same time, this will prevent the relations between the two countries suffering because of the water issue.

Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam Egypt Ethiopia tensionsThe new Egyptian policy, which was laid down by President Al-Sisi, transformed Egyptian-Ethiopian relations into cooperative and beneficial relations after it was frozen for years due to conflict and bickering. This comes against the backdrop of the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) currently being built, which is part of a series of dams that are now being built on Ethiopian lands.

In this context, Al-Sisi has laid down new foundations that are forming the basis of Egypt’s restoration of its African leadership in all political, economic, health, and military fields. We all, Ethiopians and Egyptians, have to trust that the wisdom of leadership in both countries will win at the end.

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Opinion| Ensuring business continuity through digitalisation https://wwww.dailynewssegypt.com/2020/06/24/opinion-ensuring-business-continuity-through-digitalisation/ Wed, 24 Jun 2020 07:30:48 +0000 https://wwww.dailynewssegypt.com/?p=734340 The number of people experiencing working remotely (many for the first time) in this situation is immense, and they have a lot of questions. One of the most frequent topics is about successfully negotiating the sudden switch to digital

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Crisis as a leader of change in the digitalisation process and organisation of companies

This epidemic is something that the world had not fully anticipated, and has changed our relationship with work overnight; a lot of businesses have been forced to go digital in order to ensure continuity. While the COVID-19 pandemic has introduced significant uncertainty about what the future holds and the impact of this humanitarian crisis, one thing is clear: we live in a much more digital world.

The number of people experiencing working remotely (many for the first time) in this situation is immense, and they have a lot of questions. One of the most frequent topics is about successfully negotiating the sudden switch to digital. As many were forced to turn to digital collaborative work tools to get the job done, the very meaning of the word “collaborate” has evolved. Companies have had to embrace the prospect of their processes becoming digitally modified on some level. Across departments in companies, we can see that the mastery of technologies and the ability to use them gives a real advantage in this crisis; the best-performing companies have a digital strategy that’s tightly aligned with the business’s overall strategy.

The ongoing transformation was certainly not conducted according to a vision and executed step-by-step, following a well laid-out strategy. Companies have had to adapt in a hurry, in order to reduce adverse impacts on the business as much as possible, when it was possible. Businesses have thus had to show agility in driving the digital changes they needed in order to merely stay open. The IT sector, in addition to showing resilience in the face of the pandemic, has been at the forefront of the digital transition. Digital has proved itself to be a key service and developmental lever for all sectors.

Fundamentals of company success in this transition

Collaboration based on trust: The company’s confidence in its teams, many of which might have found themselves isolated. The trust of customers in the company to abruptly change their collaboration habits and always be in line with their DNA is also essential. 

Agile adaptation: The flexibility made possible by this confidence, which allows companies to imagine new and radical solutions and anticipate the next move in order to always better satisfy its customers.

Customers in the centre: Companies must ensure that the customer remains at the heart of all decisions. In today’s environment, this means developing a clear vision of how customer habits and behaviours are changing, who is likely to stay and what the implications for the business are. To increase work efficiency and minimise disruption for our customers, we have strengthened our technical support teams who are used to giving advice and solving problems remotely.

Employee experience

The quality of the experience lived by all employees is not cosmetic: on the contrary, it is at the very heart of an organisation’s performance and its sustainability over time. Employees who are committed and connected to their company will be empowered to make the necessary efforts to survive a crisis. At the same time, the inclusive management of diverse and rich teams across various demographics including gender, age, experience, education profiles, is the key to developing innovation, which in turn supports the sustainable financial growth of the organisation.

It is important to adapt the management methods to working with teams that are physically distant. Knowing how to lead a team, remotely, in project mode has become a key issue for managers in the digital age. Remote work requires a particular adaptation for each individual. The manager must take into account the time needed for each individual to adapt to the new work situation, to organise his/her days and work space.

There is no miracle method that applies to all teams in the same way, so one must learn to test and adapt, to co-construct in collective intelligence with one’s teams.

Our first focus at Canon was to maintain the close link with the teams. We quickly offered them the necessary online tools to exchange and facilitate this new reorganisation and to better deal with the confinement that we all suddenly had to face. It was also a question of co-constructing our new way of being and working together by relying on existing structures such as our learning and development portal.

These essentials of remote management adapted in times of crisis aim to develop a soothing work climate and trust within the team, a sine qua non condition to continue any activity and come out of this crisis in a better way.

As a result of this pandemic and now that many employees have experienced this new way of working, remote work could also become a way for an employer to brand their company. Working from home could align with expectations of employees who want a better work/life balance.

Somesh Adukia: Managing Director for Canon Central & North Africa

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Opinion| A Racist Economy? https://wwww.dailynewssegypt.com/2020/06/23/opinion-a-racist-economy/ Tue, 23 Jun 2020 18:07:03 +0000 https://wwww.dailynewssegypt.com/?p=734279 Germans, alone, last year spent what amounts to 26% of the European total expenditure on tourism, with 15 of 25 of their favorite destinations being outside of Europe,such asNorth America, the Caribbean and Australia, to name just a few.

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Little to not at all did it surprise me when Germany’s government prolonged its travel warning for almost the entire world (160 countries) except EU-States or those that are associated with the Schengen agreement plus Great Britain. This included other major European countries expected to follow suit within the next few weeks.

True, travel warnings are not in practice travel bans,however,they do not usually prevent business-related trips. They do, however, make tourism virtually impossible for commercial reasons.

The number of people who won’t be scared off by the mere mentioning of “warning” will simply not suffice to support feasible group and package tourism, which is by far the largest segment in the business and higher insurance premiums will make it highly expensive as well. It will also put offholiday-makers who might be taken into compulsory quarantine when coming home, as there has been a “warning”.

At first glimpse, the reasons cited for that decision appear to be somehow convincing. Germany’s Foreign Minister Heiko Maas was basically justifying the decision with the minimum compliance of other health systems with European standards, inaccurate reporting of infection numbers in some countries and a high number of COVID-19 cases in others. Adding to this, he also mentioned that effective inner-European logistics would make it easier to bring back citizens should another massive outbreak, a second wave, suddenly occur.

All this certainly makes absolute sense, but it doesn’t answer questions like why a person living in Germany – or any EU country for that matter – shouldn’t be travelling to countries with much lower infection figures like Japan, South Korea and the Cayman Islands, and who have also been extensively conducting PCR-Tests. The Cayman Islands in fact is ranked among the top 5 countries worldwide when it comes to the number of PCR-Tests done in relation to the total population, much higher than Germany itself indeed.

Countries that do have a first class healthcare system alsohave an infrastructure that would make logistics to get people home just as easy as them beingonly a couple of hundred kilometres away. Compared to European states like Italy, Spain, France, the Netherlands and the UK, these destinations are completely safe. That is not to talk about Australia and New Zealand who are by now reporting zero new infections.

France’s infections per 1 million of the population, for instance, are 17.4 times higher than that of Japan, those of Australia 9.9 times higher than in the Netherlands and so on. Still, the EU citizen is advised not to put foot there.

So, as idyllic as slogans like protecting their own citizens might sound, they only reflect part of the truth.

The economic side seems to be the crucial factor here with tourism revenues from international travel accounting for quite considerable portions of GDP in let’s say France (2.9% or approximately €2.32bn), Spain (8% or €98.5bn) and Italy (17.6% or €36.7bn).

Europeans in 2017 for example – and numbers have risen significantly since then – have spent a staggering €467bn on travel in total and €102.7 of those on trips to countries outside the European Union, only 21.5% less than inside of it (€158.8bn), with the rest being respective domestic tourism.

Germans, alone, last year spent what amounts to 26% of the European total expenditure on tourism, with 15 of 25 of their favorite destinations being outside of Europe,such asNorth America, the Caribbean and Australia, to name just a few.

All thisreflects tremendous amounts of money that many Europeans are now very keen on keeping within their country’s borders, or at least not letting it flow outside the old continent.

Many will look at this as being an appropriate pragmatic policy in times of crisis; others will tend to describe it as outright racist.

This is a debate that could certainly go on forever, and where it obviously is extremely difficult to reach definitive conclusions, especially given the very unexpected and extraordinary nature of the crisis as well as its volume and magnitude.

Yes, what the Europeans are doing here is in its very essence a discriminatory act by default. Then again, one might argue, why did the Europeans establish their union if not to pull together and help each other out in situations such as that we are currently experiencing? Was that not the purpose of it all? And why not stay courteous to the Brits one more time, and include them in this one as well, or countries that have at least committed to the Schengen agreement?

This is simply how politics is made, and contemporary European economic structures have become so complex and interwoven that this is probably the only way to go.

More than in most industries, tourism in particular will hence experience grave shifts in at least the next decade to come. It is after all not that easy to move an entire industrial complex like Silicon Valley into another country or even from America’s west to its east coast, but substituting the beaches of Egypt’s Red Sea with those of Malaga, Nice or Sicily should not be such a big deal after all.

Mohamed Shirin El Hawary: Political Economist

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Opinion| Libya, Turkey, Egypt, and the story of Mediterranean gas https://wwww.dailynewssegypt.com/2020/06/23/opinion-libya-turkey-egypt-and-the-story-of-mediterranean-gas/ Tue, 23 Jun 2020 13:32:51 +0000 https://wwww.dailynewssegypt.com/?p=734246 Everyone wants a piece of the cake. Some of these countries are overwhelmed by internal political conflicts, and are therefore unable to participate in the race for black gold. These include Libya, Gaza, Syria, and Lebanon.

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In 2010, a scientific study suggested that the Mediterranean Basin has 192trn cubic feet of natural gas, and 1.7bn barrels of oil.

Other sources say these numbers are only what scanned satellite imagery of the region shows, but that the true numbers are far greater. These Mediterranean caches are like Ali Baba’s treasure of black gold, a treasure everyone wants.

After this discovery, tensions started to emerge between countries in the Mediterranean. notably Egypt, Libya, Israel, Lebanon, and Gaza bordering the Mediterranean in the south, with Turkey, Greece, and Cyprus located in the north.

Everyone wants a piece of the cake. Some of these countries are overwhelmed by internal political conflicts, and are therefore unable to participate in the race for black gold. These include Libya, Gaza, Syria, and Lebanon.

The countries engaged in the race are: Turkey, which imports 90% of its power needs; Greece, which has hit historic economic lows; Israel; and Egypt, which wishes to enter the league of energy exporting countries.

In 2013, Mediterranean countries started forging agreements delineating their maritime borders. An agreement was made between Egypt, Greece, Cyprus, and Israel giving all four stakeholders part of the region’s oil treasure.

Turkey was not included in the agreement for geopolitical reasons. Afterwards, Turkey signed two similar agreements with Libya’s Government of National Accord (GNA), motivated by two main goals. The first is to destroy any competition for the TurkStream gas pipeline, which passes through Turkey and transfers Russian gas to Europe.

By controlling Libya’s maritime border, Turkey will prevent Egypt from launching a gas pipeline to Europe through Italy, which will compete with TurkStream.

The other reason is to deploy troops in Libya to secure their allies who are deeply associated with the Muslim Brotherhood, and willing to house ISIS.

There are two main warring factions in Libya: the Tripoli-based GNA, headed by Fayez Al-Sarraj, which is also supported by Ankara; and the Libyan Arab Armed Forces (LAAF) commanded by General Khalifa Haftar and supported by Cairo, Rome, and Paris.

The situation in Libya has become complicated, following Turkey’s deployment of troops to protect Al-Sarraj’s government. That move has put Egypt’s national security at risk, endangering its western border. This is not only due to Turkish troops now being stationed at the western border, but also due to the relocation of ISIS from Syria to Libya after Turkey’s intervention in Syria earlier this year.

Mohamed El-Seidy

There are two expected scenarios in Libya, and both require Egypt’s swift and firm intervention to protect its own national security and natural gas supplies in the Mediterranean.

The first is imposing a ceasefire in Libya and removing all foreign forces from the country, while forming a new government that has the support of all Libyan tribes and provinces.

Egypt, alongside the LAAF, proposed the Cairo Declaration, hoping that a ceasefire will occur. Several countries have leant their support to the Cairo Declaration, including the US and Russia. The GNA in Tripoli has not commented on the initiative or said whether it will abide by the proposed ceasefire, hoping they can beat the LAAF thanks to the continuous Turkish support.

The second scenario is an Egyptian military intervention in Libya to support the LAAF against the GNA and Turkey. Egypt and Turkey are highly militarised nations. According to Global Fire Power, Egypt is slightly stronger than Turkey, with the former having a stronger air and naval forces.

Egypt must act to balance the scale of power in Libya, in order to secure the former’s western boarder and make better use of its gas findings, either by political influence or by military intervention.

On 20 June, President Al-Sisi said that any direct Egyptian intervention in Libya would have international legitimacy at this point. The president made the statement in a televised speech while inspecting Egypt’s Western Military Zone, accompanied by the heads and elders of Libyan tribes.

The tribal elders hereby asked for Egyptian intervention in favour of the LAAF. President Al-Sisi continued that the Egyptian Armed Forces are the strongest in Africa and the ninth strongest worldwide, nonetheless the Egyptian army is peacekeeping power that doesn’t act except if necessary. He stressed that any Egyptian military intervention in Libya will be led by the internal tribes.

Al-Sisi said that the cities of Jufrah and Sirte are a red line, and that any advance from the Turkish-aided GNA towards these cities will force Egyptian intervention. Hopefully it will not come to war, but the Turkish government must understand that the age of the Ottoman Empire is over and will never return, and their interference is not acceptable.

Pilot Mohamed El-Seidy: member of the Coalition of Party Youth Leaders and Politicians (CPYP)

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Opinion| Walk the peaceful path on International Yoga Day https://wwww.dailynewssegypt.com/2020/06/21/opinion-walk-the-peaceful-path-on-international-yoga-day/ Sun, 21 Jun 2020 17:53:10 +0000 https://wwww.dailynewssegypt.com/?p=733994 The theme of this year’s International Day of Yoga is Yoga at home and Yoga with family. Practicing Yoga together is a wonderful way to spend time with our loved ones.

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I’m sending my warm greetings to all yoga enthusiasts in Egypt on the occasion of the 6th International Day of Yoga.

Yoga, a gift of ancient India to the world, has become a way of life for millions across the world. As a mark of the immense popularity of Yoga, the world commemorates 21 June every year as the International Day of Yoga.

Indian Ambassador to Cairo Rahul Kulshreshth’

In the present times, where people all around the world are adapting their lives to the new reality of a pandemic, yoga has become even more relevant. It has helped many maintain a healthy routine during the long periods of lockdown and boosted their immunity and sense of balance in these extraordinary times. The theme of this year’s International Day of Yoga is Yoga at home and Yoga with family. Practicing Yoga together is a wonderful way to spend time with our loved ones.

Technology plays a key role in enabling the learning of Yoga, particularly during this time where social distancing is a necessity to mitigate the spread of COVID-19. In this regard, playlists of animated 3D videos of the Prime Minister of India Shri Narendra Modi, a keen practitioner of Yoga, practicing various Asanas are available. These videos have been made available on YouTube and are available in the following languages:

English: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLKrFtLRqyz6MWIswWKBazJOux333ZMyvX

Arabic: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLKrFtLRqyz6OeC4_A2fxGhnaB4sNA9u5h

Let us all contribute to the global healing process and make wellness a part of our lives by embracing Yoga. Kindly do share these videos to inspire others as well.

People at peace with themselves can build peaceful and healthy societies and a harmonious world.

 

Indian Ambassador to Cairo Rahul Kulshreshth’

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Opinion| Defeating COVID-19 with Solidarity and Cooperation https://wwww.dailynewssegypt.com/2020/06/17/opinion-defeating-covid-19-with-solidarity-and-cooperation/ Wed, 17 Jun 2020 21:54:11 +0000 https://wwww.dailynewssegypt.com/?p=733694 The sudden onslaught of COVID-19 has taken a heavy toll on countries around the world, with the loss of several hundred thousand precious lives. Here, I suggest that we observe a moment of silence for those who have tragically passed away due to COVID-19 and express our condolences to their families.

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At such a critical moment in the global fight against COVID-19, we are gathered together in this Extraordinary China-Africa Summit. Friends old and new are connected via video link to discuss our joint response to COVID-19 and to renew the fraternity between China and Africa. I thank President Ramaphosa and President Sall for joining me in initiating the Summit, and I appreciate the participation of all colleagues present. I also want to send my regards to other African leaders who are not able to be with us today.

The sudden onslaught of COVID-19 has taken a heavy toll on countries around the world, with the loss of several hundred thousand precious lives. Here, I suggest that we observe a moment of silence for those who have tragically passed away due to COVID-19 and express our condolences to their families.

– In the face of COVID-19, China and Africa have withstood the test of a severe challenge. The Chinese people have put up a fierce fight and made enormous sacrifice to bring the situation in China under control. Still, we remain mindful of the risk of resurgence. In the same spirit, governments and peoples in Africa have put up a united front and, under the effective coordination by the African Union, have taken strong measures to effectively slow the spread of the virus. These are indeed hard-won results.

– In the face of COVID-19, China and Africa have offered mutual support and fought shoulder to shoulder with each other. China shall always remember the invaluable support Africa gave us at the height of our battle with the coronavirus. In return, when Africa was struck by the virus, China was the first to rush in with assistance and has since stood firm with the African people.

– In the face of COVID-19, China and Africa have enhanced solidarity and strengthened friendship and mutual trust. Let me reaffirm China’s commitment to its longstanding friendship with Africa. No matter how the international landscape may evolve, China shall never waver in its determination to pursue greater solidarity and cooperation with Africa.

Colleagues,

We must mobilize necessary resources, stick together in collaboration, and do whatever it takes to protect people’s lives and health and minimize the fallout of COVID-19.

First, we must stay committed to fighting COVID-19 together. China will lose no time in following through on the measures I announced at the opening of the World Health Assembly, and continue to help African countries by providing supplies, sending expert teams, and facilitating Africa’s procurement of medical supplies in China. China will start ahead of schedule the construction of the Africa CDC headquarters this year. China will work with Africa to fully deliver the health care initiative adopted at the FOCAC Beijing Summit, and speed up the construction of China-Africa Friendship Hospitals and the cooperation between paired-up Chinese and African hospitals. Together, we will build a China-Africa community of health for all. We pledge that once the development and deployment of COVID-19 vaccine is completed in China, African countries will be among the first to benefit.

Second, we must stay committed to enhancing China-Africa cooperation. To cushion the impact of COVID-19, it is important to strengthen Belt and Road cooperation and accelerate the follow-ups to the FOCAC Beijing Summit. Greater priority needs to be given to cooperation on public health, economic reopening, and people’s livelihood.

Within the FOCAC framework, China will cancel the debt of relevant African countries in the form of interest-free government loans that are due to mature by the end of 2020. For those African countries that are hardest hit by the coronavirus and are under heavy financial stress, China will work with the global community to give them greater support, by such means as further extending the period of debt suspension, to help them tide over the current difficulty.

China hopes that the international community, especially developed countries and multilateral financial institutions, will act more forcefully on debt relief and suspension for Africa.

To help Africa achieve sustainable development is what matters in the long run. China supports Africa in its effort to develop the African Continental Free Trade Area and to enhance connectivity and strengthen industrial and supply chains. China will explore broader cooperation with Africa in such new business forms as digital economy, smart city, clean energy, and 5G to boost Africa’s development and revitalization.

Third, we must stay committed to upholding multilateralism. In the face of COVID-19, solidarity and cooperation is our most powerful weapon. China will work with Africa to uphold the UN-centred global governance system and support WHO in making greater contribution to the global COVID-19 response. We oppose politicization and stigmatization of COVID-19, and we oppose racial discrimination and ideological bias. We stand firm for equity and justice in the world.

Fourth, we must stay committed to taking China-Africa friendship forward. The world is undergoing profound changes unseen in a century. Given the new opportunities and challenges we face, closer cooperation between China and Africa is needed, more than ever. On my part, I will stay in close touch with all of you, my colleagues, to consolidate our friendship and mutual trust, support each other on issues involving our respective core interests, and advance the fundamental interests of China and Africa and, for that matter, of all developing countries. This way, we will be able to take the China-Africa comprehensive strategic and cooperative partnership to a greater height.

Colleagues,

At the FOCAC Beijing Summit, we agreed to work together to build an even stronger China-Africa community with a shared future. Today’s Extraordinary China-Africa Summit on Solidarity against COVID-19 is our concrete step to deliver the commitment we made at the Beijing Summit and to do our part in the international cooperation against COVID-19. I am convinced that humanity will ultimately defeat the virus, and that the Chinese and African people are poised to embrace better days ahead.

Xi Jinping, President of the People’s Republic of China, at the Extraordinary China-Africa Summit on Solidarity against COVID-19

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Opinion| COVID-19 proves priority of accelerating digital economy https://wwww.dailynewssegypt.com/2020/06/17/opinion-covid-19-proves-priority-of-accelerating-digital-economy/ Wed, 17 Jun 2020 21:43:09 +0000 https://wwww.dailynewssegypt.com/?p=733687 Pandemic played major role in acceptance of digital transformation in Egypt, supported by political leadership

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If we are going to speak about Egypt, the infrastructure, whether cable and broadband internet landlines or 5G, we need a leap in both.  Digital transformation depends on several aspects, such as the preparedness of all concerned ministries and bodies for it, the acceptance of the population, and presence of policies to accelerate it.

Also, it needs importers, manufactures, and assemblers of such technologies, as well as investors who are willing to invest in such infrastructure.

With the COVID-19 pandemic and the political leadership’s stance towards digital transformation as a strategic direction for Egypt it would certainly boost the infrastructure. COVID-19 played a major role in the acceptance of the digital transformation, with the remote working and learning.

We certainly need to stop and study how this pandemic proved that the majority of business, banking, education, and health care can be digitalised.

However, our infrastructure is still not fully ready to provide digital services to Egypt’s population of 100 million.

Towards a digital economy

Following the COVID-19 pandemic, digital transformation has become a popular demand, not a luxury. 

The pandemic showed us how digital transformation has cushioned the impacts of the pandemic. It has become clear that countries that invested in digital infrastructure managed to limit the impact.

Last year, the UN launched the “Digital Economy Report 2019”, which showcased statistics that the combined value of ICT platforms registered more than $7trn. These companies has a total capital of merely $100m. Over the past four years, the number of companies dealing with data increased by 70%.

These companies transform bulk data into smart data, using technologies such as artificial intelligence (AI), these data gets analysed to support the decision maker.

Such transformation did not appear suddenly, it the brain child of several policies and strategies adopted by countries to support these companies.

The latest studies show that for every $1 invested in digital infrastructure the return on investment (ROI) exceeds $10. Comparing that to other sectors, such as construction, it has an ROI of $6 for every $1 invested.

This showcased the importance of digital economy and the investment in digital infrastructure. The UN report also indicated that the top two economies who adopted a supportive policies towards digital economy are China and the US. Accordingly, most of the patents in this sector are from these two countries. For example, 75% of cloud computing-related patents are owned by the US and China, and they also make up more than 50% of ICT investments, 75% of crypto currency patents, and 90% of the top 70 tech companies.

Digital infrastructure protected China during pandemic

According to the report, 90% of internet searches are completed through Google, more than 30% of e-commerce takes place through Amazon, 30% of cloud infrastructure is also through Amazon, and 66% of social media is through US platforms. Chinese companies Alipay and WeChat now has billions of users, and handle trillions of online payments.

The infrastructure allowed millions of Chinese nationals to communicate during the COVID-19 pandemic. More than 300 million students in China were studying remotely during the pandemic.

On 14 February, Chinese President Xi Jinping said that AI and big data analysis would lead the way in combating the coronavirus. On 21 February, he also said that investments would be poured into these technologies and 5G, as well as directions to boost all digital services, and internet speed.

Without having a strong infrastructure, China would not have been able to absorb the surge in internet usage by 50 to 100-folds, across all sectors, education, business, and health care.

5G opportunities, misinformation

5G represents a major shift if compared to 4G, unlike the shift from 3G to 4G which just offered higher speeds. In terms of speed, 5G carries 50-fold of 4G, but this is not the what makes it revolutionary, the bandwidth. It could also provide the extra bandwidth needed to create what’s being called the Internet of Things (IoT) — a network that links not just phones and computers but also robots, cars, and all manner of sensor-equipped consumer products and infrastructure. Instead of just the 7 billion devices that are currently supported by 4G, it will be able to support 100 billion IoT devices.

Another, important aspect is the latency,  though it’s not always noticeable, as there is often a brief lag in time from when data is sent to when it’s received. 5G should reduce this so-called latency, making it possible, thus opening the way for industrial uses and health care remote procedures like robotic surgery.

These technologies would allow doctors to consult and treat people in remote areas where no health care expert are available for example.

That’s why 5G is a revolution, which countries are racing to achieve. The US realised that it lags behind when it comes to this technology, as China had the advantage, that’s why it started trying to impede other countries.

No body owns 5G, any country can have it, as its specifications are standardised by the International Telecommunication Union (ITU), which has experts, scientists, and representatives from all over the world. The ITU is responsible for all telecommunication, whether mobile, satellite, etc, so every manufacturer will have to commit to the specifications.

In the late year, every European and Chinese producers participated in this and invested a lot when it comes to 5G, which is why there is no real difference between 5G devices produced in the US, China, and Europe as they all are per ITU. When it comes to the security 5G is more secure than 4G, it is almost 100% more secured than it. That’s no a personal opinion this is according to the ITU specifications.

From an engineering and safety point of view, disinformation about 5G safety is widespread, however, it does not have any scientific backing, as 5G follow the World Health Organization’s (WHO) instructions for telecommunications.

Every producer ensures commitment to these specifications, either Huawei, Ericsson, or Nokia.

United States is racing to catch up to other countries, maybe that’s why it started create a smoke screen by quibbling about the Chinese advance in 5G.

5G will have huge impacts on countries with less-developed telecoms infrastructures, such as Egypt, as the country still lags behind in fibre optics infrastructure, which would take years to reach remote areas. That’s why 5G would be an excellent alternative in Egypt.

Take a look at how the UK handled the rhetoric about Chinese 5G technologies, as they realise that  it doesn’t pose a threat to its national security.

Egypt’s digital transformation, time is now

Digital transformation became a popular demand in Egypt following COVID-19 pandemic. To do so we need to adapt several policies, such as strengthening readiness to engage in and

benefit from e-commerce and the digital economy, leveraging niche areas and domestic opportunities, including for women, digitalization of MSMEs, intellectual properties, data and competition policies.

Also, Governments: Continuously enhance investment in digital infrastructure, especially the expansion of broadband coverage, and the adoption of cloud technology to ensure fair competition and inclusive growth in our own economies throughout the global digitisation process.

They also need to work with scholars, technology providers, as well as education and labour departments to ensure that digital resources are more widely and readily accessible. This will also see an improvement in the digital knowhow of specific subsets of the workforce, and cultivate a group of exceptional talent that is well positioned to meet future needs

And it’s not just government, but industries and enterprises that need to integrate digital infrastructure development with local industry strengths to speed up industry upgrades and enable major industries to move up along the value chain, and encourage innovation as well as enhance the competitiveness of their major industries and enterprises.

In Egypt’s case Huawei can play a big role towards digital transformation, as it has been operating in Egypt since 1999 and currently has extensive and in-depth cooperation with local mainstream telecom operators, government and industry customers. It built the first OpenLab in Northern Africa in Cairo, Egypt. Huawei have promised to invest more in capacity building and support government’s digital transformation. Over the years, the company has continued to promote the development of Egypt’s ICT talents through different projects.

The effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on digitalisation will be massive. On an individual scale, it will lead to changes in the individual online social behaviour, normalisation of online consumption, and quick adaptation to online offices.

On an organisational level, social governance to be upgraded, online and offline collaboration reforms in traditional industries, and popularising of outsourcing services.

Saad Zaghloul is the CEO and Editor in Chief of Daily News Egypt. He is also the Co-founder, CEO, and Chief Executive Editor of Alborsa newspaper.

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We’re the SAME https://wwww.dailynewssegypt.com/2020/06/10/were-the-same/ Wed, 10 Jun 2020 09:30:44 +0000 https://wwww.dailynewssegypt.com/?p=732940 The funny thing is, something as small as the coronavirus, something unseen, something untouchable or able to be smelt has locked us all in our houses. It has made the world lose economically, money, and socially, the lives of citizens.

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The coronavirus. A pandemic virus. Unstoppable and has killed thousands all around the world. Weirdly racism has increased when it should be decreasing. We’re all under quarantine and I think we should realize what we are. We’re nothing really, because no matter how wealthy you are or where you live, the whole world is under quarantine.

The funny thing is, something as small as the coronavirus, something unseen, something untouchable or able to be smelt has locked us all in our houses. It has made the world lose economically, money, and socially, the lives of citizens.

We used to walk in the streets like we were untouchable. We believed our money, nationality, ethnicity could always protect us to live freely, how has it now? Every country, wealthy or poor, every person, smart or not has been locked up in their own house for weeks.

Every citizen locked in their country, with no ins or outs. This is a clear reminder, that we are all the SAME. Why do we feel better than others? Why does age, color, nationality, religion or wealth matter? In the end we’re all stuck at home, struggling to get through this. No country, race, or religion was able to control the coronavirus better than another.

You, reading this, you’re no different than me. We’re both scared of the coronavirus, we’re more scared of not knowing when it’ll end? How will it end? How many lives will it take before it ends? How will the world recover from this? So why has racism increased?

The base of racism is feeling superior to another race, religion or nationality. How can someone have that superiority when they are suffering in the same identical way as everyone else. As a world we should realize that in the end we are all HUMANS. Humans who require air, water, food, and shelter to live. No human less than another.

So why are foreigners not welcomed in many countries now? In some countries there are calls to kick foreigners completely out, in other places xenophobia rates have increased greatly. And people aren’t realizing it.

Egypt, like any country, went through this Pandemic outbreak and unlike others helped other countries. We sent supplies to countries in need, and helped them. More importantly helped our world, not just our country. Because this outbreak isn’t something each country is facing alone, but an outbreak the world is facing together.

We should learn to treat everyone equally in order for our world to keep developing. It might not be your country, but it’s still our world. We need to keep this time in mind, we need to learn from this time that we are all deprived of the same things no matter where we are, and who we are. We need to learn that we are the same.

Lina Mohamed: Egyptian high school student living in Switzerland

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Opinion | Ex-Defence Minister Tantawi: ‘The Ascetic General in Power’ who protected Egypt https://wwww.dailynewssegypt.com/2020/06/10/ex-defence-minister-tantawi-the-ascetic-general-in-power-who-protected-egypt/ Wed, 10 Jun 2020 08:30:58 +0000 https://wwww.dailynewssegypt.com/?p=732936 There is just one concept at play here: the recognition that has been given to Field Marshal Tantawi is a message of loyalty from Al-Sisi. 

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President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi has always been keen on having the presence of Field Marshal Mohamed Hussein Tantawi, the former Minister of Defence, at most if not all national celebrations. So, what does having the Field Marshal sitting on the Egyptian President’s right-hand side indicate?

Five years ago, Al-Sisi was keen to open the Mosque of Field Marshal Tantawi, which is an architectural masterpiece in terms of design and construction. One of Egypt’s largest mosques, it lies on an area of ​​8,000 sqm and can accommodate 3,000 worshipers. It includes two main events halls that can hold a total of 1,250, in addition to five events halls that can hold a total of 1,300 individuals.

There is just one concept at play here: the recognition that has been given to Field Marshal Tantawi is a message of loyalty from Al-Sisi. 

Both Tantawi and Al-Sisi have presented everything possible to preserve and protect Egypt from the evils and intrigues that were being hatched against the country in the darkest periods of turmoil experienced in the aftermath of the 25 January revolution.

former commander-in-chief of the Egyptian Armed Forces and Chairman of the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces during the 25 January Revolution Mohamed Hussein Tantawi.
(AFP Photo)

With the whole country in his hands, those who were thinking of exploiting the circumstances for their interests or seeking personal gains or even personal glory found the situation turned upside down. Tantawi, however, only thought about the interests of the country that he had entrusted himself to.

 

Born on 31 October 1935, Tantawi obtained a Bachelor’s degree in Military Science from Cairo’s Military College in 1956. He went on to study at the College of Leaders and Staff in 1971, and the Higher War College in 1982. Over the years, Tantawi held various leadership positions in the armed forces, where he was the commander of the infantry division and head of the operations authority.

As a fighter, Tantawi has participated in most of Egypt’s recent wars, having taken part in the wars of 1956 and 1967, the War of Attrition, in addition to the October 1973 war. He was also the last commander of a combat unit with the infantry.

During the October 1973 war Tantawi was a Lieutenant Colonel and the commander of the 16th Infantry Battalion was stationed at a site that was attacked by Israeli forces. Tantawi and his soldiers repelled the attack, inflicting heavy losses on the Israelis, according to Ariel Sharon’s admission. Speaking of the event, Sharon said, “About 300 soldiers from my squad were killed, about 1,000 were wounded, and we all spent one of the worst nights of our lives.”

After the October War, Tantawi was awarded the Order of Military Courage, and in 1975 he was posted to Pakistan and then Afghanistan as Egypt’s military attaché. In 1987, he took command of the Second Field Army, followed by the Egyptian Republican Guard in 1988. In 1991, he was appointed Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces and Minister of Defence, before being promoted to Field Marshal in 1993.

Having spent over 20 years at the head of Egypt’s army, Field Marshal Tantawi held many high-ranking positions. 

The wisdom of Field Marshal Tantawi emerged when he took over the leadership of the country as the head of the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces during the events of 25 January, following former President Hosni Mubarak’s stepping down from the government. It was Tantawi who managed to preserve the unity and cohesion of the country until the first presidential elections were held in mid-2012. For Tantawi, it has always been about protecting the people and the country against attempts to sow discord.

Thank you to Field Marshal Tantawi, the man who held the responsibility honestly and heroically.

 

Taha Sakr – political journalist with seven-year experience in TV and newspapers. His works featured in Daily News Egypt, Cairo Post, and Egypt Independent.

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Opinion | The United States Presidential Elections of 2020 https://wwww.dailynewssegypt.com/2020/06/10/the-united-states-presidential-elections-of-2020/ Wed, 10 Jun 2020 07:30:44 +0000 https://wwww.dailynewssegypt.com/?p=732932 The Trump administration proved efficient from the economic standpoint, bringing unemployment rates down to less than 2%. President Trump upheld his election promises, promises like ending the war and bringing the troops back, and getting proper financial remission from countries that have benefited from US support, such as Saudi Arabia

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Over the course of the past few days, we have all followed the events in the US state of Minnesota. Some will argue that the unfortunate death of George Floyd was either a hate act or police brutality, but both sides agree that changes must happen, changes that aim to prevent casualties caused by police brutality and promoting racial integration.

But does Floyd’s death justify the riots and barbaric behaviour we all see over the news, riots coated in ideas like freedom of speech and the right to demonstrate? Did the Trump administration manage this crisis properly, and how will these events effect the upcoming presidential elections?

The Trump administration proved efficient from the economic standpoint, bringing unemployment rates down to less than 2%. President Trump upheld his election promises, promises like ending the war and bringing the troops back, and getting proper financial remission from countries that have benefited from US support, such as Saudi Arabia. He has also had success on promises he made to lower taxes, bringing businesses back to the US and creating jobs.

But will this be enough to get Trump re-elected? The Trump administration did not manage the Floyd crisis properly, as was illustrated by his first appearance at the launch of Space X’s Dragon project a week after Floyd’s death. Meanwhile the democrats were continuing their demonization campaign against President Trump.

Trump’s second appearance was in front of a church damaged in the riots holding the Bible. Even though this might appeal to a big percentage of Republican voters, it will appear to many as a theatrical move of no significance. On the positive side, Trump ordered the instalment of a new police task force that will revise police actions and techniques.

The 2020 race will be between the republican nominee and current president Donald Trump and the democratic nominee Joe Biden, vice president under the Obama administration. In the 2016 elections, Trump was able to acquire around 8% of African-American votes. Biden, on the other hand, garnered 69% of African-American votes in the Democratic primary (elections within the party for the nomination).

These past events will urge voters of African-American descent to hit the ballots, and clearly most of these votes will fall to Biden. Despite these events unlikely to drastically affect Trump’s votes, it will add a little more support to Biden. According to the elections forecast map, Trump is hitting a low point, due to crises like the global COVID-19 pandemic and the Floyd riots.

Unluckily for him, it’s just a few months before elections, putting in mind that the Democrats perfected the art of using everything he says against him, and demonising President Trump on all media platforms for over five years now.

Riots in 2015 affected Obama similarly, but he didn’t have re-elections to win. My opinion is, despite the low point Trump has found himself at in the past few months, he is still the front runner for the 2020 elections. This is despite his administration’s failure in handling both crises and their failure in spreading counter media against Democrat false media. They are also still served by their ground-breaking records on the economic front and the fact that Democratic nominee, Joe Biden, is not a strong candidate for the Oval Office.

 

Pilot Mohamed El-Seidy, member of the Coalition of Party Youth Leaders and Politicians (CPYP)

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National security legislation a bolster to Hong Kong’s future https://wwww.dailynewssegypt.com/2020/06/02/national-security-legislation-a-bolster-to-hong-kongs-future/ Tue, 02 Jun 2020 14:49:25 +0000 https://wwww.dailynewssegypt.com/?p=732262 While many of those who have witnessed Hong Kong’s prolonged unrest find the news comforting and cheering, some slander China’s move as a “death knell” for the HKSAR’s high degree of autonomy.

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China’s top legislature has just endorsed, with virtually no objection, a draft decision establishing and improving the legal system and enforcement mechanisms for the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) to safeguard national security.

While many of those who have witnessed Hong Kong’s prolonged unrest find the news comforting and cheering, some slander China’s move as a “death knell” for the HKSAR’s high degree of autonomy.

The past few years have seen the rise of secessionism and unprecedented scenes of violence in Hong Kong. Vandalism of metro stations, setting fire to streets and attacking police with petrol bombs and bricks have become common, for which foreign powers and their local proxies should be held accountable.

In contrast to Dubai and other global free ports, there are longstanding loopholes in the HKSAR concerning national security. Article 23 of the Basic Law is a Chinese national law that serves as the de facto constitution of HKSAR.

It stipulates that the HKSAR “shall enact laws on its own to prohibit any act of treason, secession, sedition, subversion against the Central People’s Government, or theft of state secrets, to prohibit foreign political organisations or bodies from conducting political activities in the Region, and to prohibit political organisations or bodies of the Region from establishing ties with foreign political organisations or bodies”.

However, 23 years after the UK returned Hong Kong to China, a local bill implementing Article 23 is still not around. National security-related bills are dismally scarce and scattered among various laws and regulations, some of which even date back to British rule, and many of which have been left dormant.

Ever since the abolishment of the colonial-era Special Branch, there has been no professional agency dealing with national security. The legal and institutional vacuum provides foreign intelligence agencies and some non-state actors with the opportunity to gain a foothold. Some of them have even nicknamed Hong Kong as “a defenceless city” or “oriental Casablanca”.

Edward Snowden’s one-month stay in Hong Kong not only helped disclose the US’ global surveillance scheme, but gave a glimpse of the interplay between major powers in Hong Kong.

The forthcoming legislation offers a necessary legal guarantee for China’s central government to exercise its power to protect national security. It will also be constructive in cementing the HKSAR government’s ability to restore social order and get rid of law enforcement disadvantages. Rather than a heavy blow, the new law significantly bolsters Hong Kong’s future development.

If we look back in history, the rise and fall of a great global metropolis hinges on the stability of the political system. Economic growth and political stability are deeply interconnected.

The uncertainty associated with an unstable political environment, internal and international alike, may reduce investment and the pace of economic development. Egypt has long been one of the best Arab and African countries in attracting investments, but was interrupted by the outbreak of the Arab Spring with Western sponsorship.

Luckily, the inauguration of President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi in May 2014 turned the tide. Though shunned by Western leaders immediately after taking office, President Al-Sisi soon stabilised the external situation by adopting a balanced strategy of diplomacy. 

Domestically, President Al-Sisi has effectively taken on jihadist forces, preventing terrorist attacks on the Suez Canal and crucial tourist facilities, while focusing on upgrading infrastructure.

Restoring stability and security means rebuilding the confidence of investors who seek to invest in Egypt. According to the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development’s (UNCTAD) 2019 World Investment Report, Egypt remains the largest foreign direct investment (FDI) recipient in Africa, with a stock of $116.4bn. 

The national security legislation will outlaw acts of secession, subversion, terrorism and conspiracy with external forces in Hong Kong. In doing so, the prosperity and long-term stability of the HKSAR can be better safeguarded, which is in line with the common interest of the international community.  

The author is a correspondent with the MENA office of People’s Daily.

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Egyptian and Irish theatre challenge the coronavirus https://wwww.dailynewssegypt.com/2020/06/02/egyptian-and-irish-theatre-challenge-the-coronavirus/ Tue, 02 Jun 2020 14:21:25 +0000 https://wwww.dailynewssegypt.com/?p=732259 This state of confusion remained in place until many governments decided to close all playhouses as a preventive measure to limit the spread of the virus. This crisis is one of the most difficult challenges that world theatre has faced in its history.

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     For many weeks after the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic started, theatres worldwide have remained in a state of great confusion between cancelling shows and postponing them.

This state of confusion remained in place until many governments decided to close all playhouses as a preventive measure to limit the spread of the virus. This crisis is one of the most difficult challenges that world theatre has faced in its history.

It is a historic crisis, in every sense of the word. To a large extent, the current deadlock echoes the dark times that English theatre endured during the plague of the 16th Century. This was the time when Shakespeare was presenting his timeless works at the famous theatre, The Globe, which still has the same distinguished position among theatres until today.

In that distant historical era, the British authorities considered theatres as venues for gatherings and which may contribute to the further spread of epidemics. It forced Shakespeare’s company to lower its flag at The Globe theatre and to lock its doors. This was in the midst of one of its most successful theatrical seasons, that included performances of King Lear and Macbeth.

   However, the situation in the 21st Century is quite different from that of the 16th Century, in light of the huge technological developments that have taken place between the two eras.

This technological progress, especially in terms of social networking sites, has put all theatres worldwide in a tough position. It is the decision either to close their doors, giving up their cultural and social role to avoid any financial loss, or to sacrifice the financial gains in exchange for the satisfaction of audiences.

Very few theatres worldwide have accepted the challenge, instead moving online to share their works with the audiences for free. One of these cultural initiatives has been undertaken by the Egyptian Theatre, which launched a YouTube channel to display classic and experimental theatrical works for free. The channel was set up to encourage Egyptians to stay home during this period of social distancing and self-isolation.

New York’s Broadway Theatre also took a similar initiative, but it was disappointing, as it displayed all theatrical works online but for a fee, including classic plays.

However, the most striking initiative was that of the Abbey Theatre, Ireland’s national theatre. It proved to its audiences that theatre is not just a building, but is a chain of ideas and a conduit for the voices of people.

The theatre presented for free one of its recent works for public viewing on its official Facebook page, assuring its audiences that nothing will stop their desire to hear and share the voices of the people, whatever the circumstances.

The theatre was also keen to share the encouraging words of its founder, the great Irish poet and playwright WB Yeats, who said “Every trial endured and weathered in the right spirit makes a soul nobler and stronger than it was before.”

    For public display on its Facebook page, the Abbey Theatre chose David Ireland’s Cyprus Avenue, a multi-award-winning play starring Stephen Rea and directed by Vicky Featherstone.

David Ireland’s play probes questions of national identity and political allegiance in an absurd style. The play revolves around sectarian hatred and fanaticism. The protagonist of the play, Eric (played by Rea), is a Protestant living in Belfast, who hates Catholics, because it’s the Catholics in Northern Ireland who he feels are systematically wiping out his heritage.

Generations of sectarian trauma have convinced him that his cultural heritage is under siege. The play communicates vital messages about intolerance and systematic hatred, examining the consequences of long term division and national trauma

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   The Egyptian Theatre also presents, on its YouTube channel, an experimental show entitled Qhwa Sada or “Black Coffee”. The show is a collection of separate sketches that cynically tackle a range of thorny issues in Egyptian society such as poverty, moral decay, mediation and favouritism, and illegal migration.

The show’s title refers to the Egyptian tradition of serving black coffee for mourners at funerals, as a metaphorical way of lamenting the lack of values and the deterioration of cultural norms in contemporary society.

The show, directed by Khaled Galal, includes a large number of young actors. Although both plays revolve in a local context, as the former delves into Irish political life, and the second explores the problems of Egyptian society, both plays review the most important problems prevailing in the world today, such as religious bigotry, poverty, moral depravity, and violence.

Marwa El-Shinawy holds a PhD in American theatre, and is a member of the Higher Committee of Cairo international Festival for Contemporary and Experimental Theatre

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Blue ocean for Islamic finance industry https://wwww.dailynewssegypt.com/2020/06/02/blue-ocean-for-islamic-finance-industry/ Tue, 02 Jun 2020 14:17:00 +0000 https://wwww.dailynewssegypt.com/?p=732256 The fact that millennials make up a large chunk of the customers of Islamic banking means that they will also direct its growth

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Islamic finance is going digital. Muslims around the world are looking for alternative Shariah-compliant solutions to manage their daily finances. New fintechs offering Islamic banking products and services are on the rise and there is a blue ocean for established Islamic banks and challengers in the underbanked segments of Islamic countries. Digitisation is helping Islamic banks reach these populations and provide them with products that are more aligned with their ethical codes.

 

Challenges that drive the adoption of fintech in Islamic banking

The fact that millennials make up a large chunk of the customers of Islamic banking means that they will also direct its growth. A recent study conducted by Alvarez & Marsal Middle East predicted that the younger generations will contribute to about 75% of banking revenue in the region. Sharia-compliant banks are stepping up investments in digital space to cater to this demographic.

Similarly, the majority of the Muslim countries’ population is dominated by millennials. Not only are they very well educated when it comes to the use of technology, but they are also driving the qualities of a fast-paced life. Millennials are looking to partner with banks that are easily accessible from anywhere in the world. They want services that can complement a lifestyle that is driven by increased mobility. This also means financial institutions need to provide flexible banking solutions to fit into this way of living. Islamic banks should see this as an opportunity to enhance their services by tapping into and addressing the demands of this tech-savvy customer base for greater transparency, highly-personalised products and seamless experiences.

To succeed and grow, a modern technology stack must lie at the heart of financial service companies. That said, the region’s initiatives that drive digital transformation are causing banks to face technical debts, a phenomenon used to describe technology solutions that have become non-functional and outdated technology. Digitisation has disrupted the current business models of Islamic banking. They are now facing a need to upgrade their technology, adapt agile ways of working and modernise their legacy systems as unresolved technical debt can lead to excessive costs and compromised business agility.

According to Thomson Reuters, Islamic banks typically have higher fixed costs as compared to conventional banks and digital solutions can help reduce overhead and allow banks to compete more effectively. For example, technology can effectively help in automating workflows, operating on an omni-channel system and enhancing mobile services. In fact, being digitally present and easily mobile is becoming a necessity for banks to survive in today’s competitive world.

With many countries working towards implementing digital transformation strategies, banks have no choice but to walk into the footsteps of these nations. In fact, over the last couple of years, the Islamic banking industry has been booming especially in the GCC. Hence, there is huge competition and the latest technology can help Islamic banks have a competitive edge. A brick and mortar banking structure can no longer survive on its own. Whilst physical banks can still exist, offering interactive services via online and mobile banking is where the future of Islamic banking is headed.

 

How composable banking addresses these challenges

Digital banking technology creates opportunities for Islamic banks to achieve multiple strategic objectives such as financial inclusion, best-in-class user experience, and ability to grow and scale rapidly.  This digital boost is transforming Islamic banking by adding new models of payment and regulating boundaries. Using API-first approach and cloud-based digital platforms, banks in the Middle East can easily expand their reach to their customers around the world, while providing a tailored customer experience.

Similarly, digitisation in general helps banks streamline their internal processes, which in return reduces costs and boosts revenue. It is evident that as time goes by, competition is intensifying and the need to evolve is becoming inevitable. Fintech will empower banks to go beyond their physical presence and keep up with ever-changing customer demands. 

This means that Islamic banks and financial institutions should have an infrastructure that will enable them to migrate and operate on the cloud at any given time. One very effective way of doing so is through composable banking.  It is a unique approach that separates different banking functions so they can be combined and recombined in different ways to deliver new services and customer experiences.

One of the key benefits of composable banking is that it works on cloud platforms that are agile and innovative. This means that scalability should never be a problem for Islamic banks. Banks operating on the cloud can add scale across infinite numbers of servers and databases. Cloud provides a cluster approach that is natively designed for that sort of flexible scalability while still being more cost-effective than mainframe-type systems.

In conclusion, interest in Islamic banking is increasing significantly, especially in Muslim countries. Millennials are driving its growth as they seek financial services that are ethical. That said, there are some challenges that banks are facing as they witness increased demand for online services. This includes the need for services that can complement a lifestyle driven by increased mobility. Digitisation of financial services in the Middle East is causing banks to face technical debts and driving them to upgrade their legacy systems. A cloud driven approach such as composable banking is one of the best ways to address these demands while ensuring maximum reach to Muslim customers, agility, and flexibility while streamlining processes and reducing costs.

Miljan Stamenkovic: Regional Director at Mambu

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Building healthcare ecosystem (PPPs) to combat COVID-19 https://wwww.dailynewssegypt.com/2020/05/21/building-healthcare-ecosystem-to-combat-covid-19/ Thu, 21 May 2020 11:59:35 +0000 https://wwww.dailynewssegypt.com/?p=731509 Stronger innovative partnerships between the public and private sectors will be needed to ensure existing PPP projects survive, as project survival is the only option. With decreased economic activity, PPP projects are going to experience considerable revenue challenges in the coming weeks, months, and (possibly) years.

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Governments were unprepared for COVID-19, as, by nature, they are mired in reactive decision making, procurement and contract management bureaucratic red tape that is not conducive to proactive recovery strategies.

However, Public-Private Partnership (PPP) projects cannot be allowed to fail – hence the need for proactive actions, as governments ramp up their efforts to mobilise resources to mitigate the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on PPP projects. They will need to cumulatively leverage the resources of the private sector to augment recovery efforts – and this will require innovation and voluntary collaboration

Stronger innovative partnerships between the public and private sectors will be needed to ensure existing PPP projects survive, as project survival is the only option. With decreased economic activity, PPP projects are going to experience considerable revenue challenges in the coming weeks, months, and (possibly) years.

Even PPP contracts where revenue is assured by public sector availability payments might suffer as governments face contracting economic activity that will result in declining tax revenues and less treasury and budget resources to honour their commitment to availability payments.

Additionally, the day-to-day operations and management of PPP projects will continue to be impacted if SPV (PPP project companies) employees are quarantined and become incapacitated. Time is of the essence.

These health issues, publications and campaigns highlight the World Health Organization’s (WHO) broad focus on global public health, as well as acknowledging the various factors that must be considered in the fight against COVID-19.

Surviving the unexpected

There are multiple moving parts that in healthcare that must be addressed immediately to improve resilience and sustainability. They include strained supply chains (protective clothing, medical instruments, pharmaceutical etc), improved and expanded facilities (labs, hospitals, emergency vehicles, etc,) and healthcare practitioners/service providers (doctors, nurses, clinicians, support staff, etc) to name a few.

Current events have proven that healthcare systems in most countries are not resilient to pandemic shocks due to poor integration.

What is critically needed are partnerships between the public and private sectors that address short, medium- and long-term challenges

We most certainly need to identify long-term corrective strategies that will address future COVID-19 type virus pandemics that many epidemiologists believe could become increasingly common. Due to long-term PPP contracts (of 20 or more years), we should explore building a PPP healthcare ecosystem

Examples of research PPP projects for COVID-19: USA

The US government, academia and industry struck a PPP called the COVID-19 High Performance Computing Consortium, to allow researchers tackling COVID-19 to access to high performance computing resources.

Researchers can submit proposals to gain access to high-end computing resources. Members of the consortium include IBM, Amazon Web Services, Google Cloud, and the Department of Energy’s national labs, which host some of the world’s most powerful supercomputers. The consortium represents 16 systems accounting for more than 330 petaflops, 775,000 CPU cores, and 34,000 GPUs.

Problem: “We are building an airplane          while flying                  it ”

   

Dr Ahmed Al Kalawy is a legal and PPP expert, and the Managing Partner of Kalawy and Partners.

            

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Demand compensation from China, devil in hearts https://wwww.dailynewssegypt.com/2020/05/21/demand-compensation-from-china-devil-in-hearts/ Thu, 21 May 2020 11:49:57 +0000 https://wwww.dailynewssegypt.com/?p=731506 It reflects the ugly side of some people as human beings, and is the most virulent strain of "political virus" concocted by a few Western politicians and media for political purposes.

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Recently, there has been a clamour in some Western countries accusing China of spreading COVID-19, and shouting for huge compensation claims against the country. This “Call for compensation from China for COVID-19” is groundless, contrary to common sense, and even more inhuman.

It reflects the ugly side of some people as human beings, and is the most virulent strain of “political virus” concocted by a few Western politicians and media for political purposes.

  • China was the first to report the novel coronavirus, but more and more evidence shows that it had earlier been quietly circulating outside China.

The “Call for compensation from China for COVID-19” accuses China of spreading the virus and uses it as a basis for the claim. Apart from the irrationality, inhumanity and morality of such a call, as far as the origin of the virus is concerned, we must not let the politicians tell us anything.

We should listen to scientists’ conclusions based on scientific research. Firstly, there is general scientific consensus that this virus originated in nature. Secondly, although China was the country affected by the first wave of the novel coronavirus epidemic, the latest scientific findings show that the virus had been quietly circulating outside China earlier last year, while people did not realise that it was a new type of virus at that time.

A team from the University College London Genetics Institute has genetically analysed the virus from more than 7,600 patients infected by COVID-19 in multiple countries around the world, and found that the virus has been spreading steadily around the world since the second half of last year.

In the US, where influenza killed 14,000 people last year, the director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Dr Robert Redfield, said in March that some COVID-19 deaths have been mis-diagnosed as flu-related. Michael Melham, the mayor of Belleville, New Jersey, said he has tested positive for coronavirus antibodies, adding that he contracted the novel coronavirus in November last year.

Dr Michel Schmitt form the Albert Schweitzer hospital in Colmar, eastern France, said in a statement that the first cases of contamination with COVID-19 were identified on 16 November at this hospital. The cause of the so-called “Vaping-Related Lung Illness” outbreak in the US in the fall of 2019 has been inconclusive, and its patients’ typical symptoms and medical chest radiographs are highly similar to those infected with COVID-19.

If China had not first indentified and reported the coronavirus, nor determined the virus gene sequences quickly, let along shared it with the rest of the world, we would probably still know nothing about this novel coronavirus. We would remain thinking it is an “unknown pneumonia”, and not work hard against this new “enemies of the human” by proper testing and developing targeted drugs and vaccines against it.

As the first country to identify the novel coronavirus and share it with the world, China has made a great contribution to mankind’s recognition of and victory over the virus. Therefore, it is absolutely absurd, and even more shameless, to argue for so-called “compensation” from China.

  • The politicians and forces who put forward the “Call for compensation from China for COVID-19” are devoid of human conscience, and create a more poisonous “political virus”.

The coronavirus is the common enemy of mankind. China was the first country to unveil this enemy and gradually understand its features, the first country to meet it head-on and fight a bitter battle with it, the first country to blow the warning whistle to rest of the world by a huge sacrifice and paying of prices, and the first country to share the experience combating the coronavirus with the world openly, transparently and selflessly going through in the form of “live show”.

When COVID-19 was raging in China, it received help and support from many countries, including Egypt, which will always be remembered and cherished by the Chinese people and will be reciprocated. However, some Western politicians and media outlets have put away conscience and humanity, sitting on the sidelines, gloating and even adding insult to injury, consistently ignoring the World Health Organization’s (WHO) continued warnings, missing the precious window period of two months, and which led to a pandemic in their own countries.

Even more surprisingly, these politicians have not reflected on their own mistakes or gone all out to save lives, but have begun to shift focus and make China the biggest scapegoat, sparing no effort to attack and blame China for the miserable tragedy in their country. Some politicians, for their own selfish intention, and in cahoots with some media, are tirelessly fabricating lies and fake news to brainwash innocent people, spreading more vicious “political viruses” than the coronavirus, and portraying China, which is also a victim, as an “enemy” and “sinner”.

The “political viruses” against China includes several strains, such as “the virus originated in a Wuhan laboratory”, “China is concealing the epidemic”, “China’s mask diplomacy”, “China is manipulating the WHO”, etc.

Between the lines there is the consistent pride, envy, ignorance and greed of some Westerners. The “Call for compensation from China for COVID-19” is one of the most virulent strains of theses “political viruses”.

Such a demand is irrational, legally baseless and without precedent. Furthermore, such a fallacy violates basic human conscience and human nature. Based on a soul of evil, it spreads hatred, sows disgust, substitutes good for bad, evil over justice, and madness for reason.

As Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov put it, “My hair stands on end when I hear such things. It is completely unacceptable.”

How can we blueprint the bright future of human society if such evil is allowed to spread in the world? We should not allow a small number of politicians and ill-intentioned media outlets to run amock. Nor should we allow lies and disgust to blind the good people, and lead the suffering mankind into senseless conflicts. We must kill such “political viruses”.

  • Only through global cooperation can we defeat the virus as soon as possible, and China and Egypt are cooperating closely to confront the epidemic.

There is nothing like a global health crisis to demonstrate the fact that the destiny of mankind is closely interlinked, and there is nothing like global cooperation to highlight the urgency of building a Community with a Shared Future for Mankind. More than ever before, the human race must unite.

While some Western politicians and media have created “political viruses” and fired “poisoned arrows” at China, China is actively cooperating with other countries in fighting the pandemic, sharing its experience and providing medical supplies and technical assistance.

China has provided more than $10bn worth of anti-epidemic supplies to the world, sending 21 medical expert teams to multiple countries and holding more than 70 video conferences with experts from over 150 countries and international organisations.

China is carrying out its most intensive and wide-ranging emergency humanitarian operation since the founding of the People’s Republic of China in 1949. Behind these actions lies the vision of building a “Community of Common Health for Mankind”. It embodies the commitment of a great nation, and shines the humanitarian light of putting life first and helping people in need.

Whether it is smallpox, which has raged for thousands of years, or the Spanish flu, or other epidemic diseases like AIDS and Ebola, human beings have never treated each other as enemies because of diseases, and always targeted the diseases as our enemies, defeated it or controlled it.

When dealing with the very cunning coronavirus, humans need to muster all their strength and wisdom to fight as one. Cooperation is the only way out for the world. This is the consensus of all the right forces.

Egypt, as one of the founding members of the non-aligned movement, with its political foresight and global vision, is playing a positive role in the global fight against COVID-19 and will continue to play. We believe that with firm confidence in ourselves and joint efforts, we will be able to dispel lies, defeat the COVID-19 as early as possible, and safeguard the health and well-being of mankind and create a better future.

Author: Dr He Wenping, Research Project Director, Professor of Institute of West-Asian and African Studies, Chinese Academy of Social Sciences

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Essential role of fortified powdered milk in children’s daily diet https://wwww.dailynewssegypt.com/2020/05/14/essential-role-of-fortified-powdered-milk-in-childrens-daily-diet/ Thu, 14 May 2020 08:30:40 +0000 https://wwww.dailynewssegypt.com/?p=730852 It’s very common at that age for children to rebel against their parents in general by asserting positions that signal their personal independence. This tends to come with changes in their dietary habits, which often entail the exclusion of milk from their diet as a way for children to express that they’ve grown up, or because they’re bored with the taste of milk

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Whether children are going to school or, as is currently the case, learning remotely at home, school remains one of life’s most important periods for parents to experience with their children.

This is when a child develops the most physically, mentally, and cognitively, thus requiring the most attention to their diet, so that it’s balanced and provides all the nutrients their body needs. Fortified powdered milk, in particular, should be an essential part of their diet at this stage, because it helps provide all the crucial nutrients required for their growth.

It’s very common at that age for children to rebel against their parents by asserting positions that signal their personal independence. This tends to come with changes in their dietary habits, where children may exclude milk from their diet as a way for them to express that they’ve grown up, or because they’re bored of the taste of milk. It might even be simply because they’re aiming to emulate older people in their environment by drinking sweetened beverages, soft drinks, and fruit juices. 

Many parents falsely believe that the only reason children should drink milk is for the calcium they need for growth, and that there are no nutritional differences between liquid and powdered milk varieties.

Parents are generally unaware that fortified powdered milk, in particular, is not only natural and free of added sugar, preservatives and colourings, but also contains all the nutrients their child needs for healthy development.

This includes proteins for building strong muscle mass and maintaining healthy body weight, calcium for healthy and strong bone development, vitamin D for better calcium absorption, vitamin A to boost a child’s growth and immunity, zinc for the normal functioning of the immune system, and essential B vitamins for combating fatigue and tiredness. And, of course, there’s vitamin C which boosts immunity and is included in just the right concentrations to ensure complete absorption of Iron, which is essential for a child’s physical and mental development, and for strengthening immunity.

It is worth noting that Iron cannot be added to liquid milk, many varieties of which also do not contain vitamins A, C or D. Moreover, liquid milk doesn’t contain the right concentrations of vitamins and minerals to meet a child’s developmental needs, leaving children who only consume this variety at risk of numerous nutrient deficiencies during this vital period of their life. Alternatively, fortified powdered milk is nutritionally designed for school-age children, making it the right choice

Recent studies have shown that 80% of 6-13 years old are not getting their daily needs of vitamins A, D, E or Calcium. Iron deficiency is also rampant in the region. Such findings make it even more important for children to consume fortified powdered milk every day to avoid health issues that can include:

1. Insufficient growth

2. Fatigue and tiredness 

3. Iron deficiency anaemia

4. Higher rates of bone fractures and osteoporosis

5. Poor muscle mass

6. Weakened immune systems 

Therefore, both parents and children should realise that drinking two glasses a day of fortified powdered milk that is designed specifically for school-age children is important for the overall growth. 

Parents should also teach children the benefits of drinking fortified powdered milk, which include:

1- Healthy hydration 

2- Healthy physical and mental development, thanks to healthy fats, Iron, Calcium, and vitamins D and A

3- Combating fatigue and tiredness thanks to B vitamins 

4- Building strong and healthy bones and teeth thanks to proteins, vitamin D, and Calcium

5- Maintaining muscle mass and a healthy weight thanks to Proteins, vitamin D and Calcium 

6- Building a healthy immune system with the support of vitamins C and A, and Zinc

Parents play a major role in encouraging children to develop healthy eating habits. They are ideal role models for their children, and can guide them to drink milk by drinking a glass themselves every morning at breakfast. It’s also helpful to encourage a child to prepare their own glass of milk so they learn self-reliance, which helps them develop confidence and a sense of becoming all grown up.

Dr Dana Al-Hamwi is a Clinical Dietician, and holds a Doctorate in Medicine from the University of Damascus and a Master’s degree in Clinical Nutrition and Dietetics from the University of Sheffield in the UK.

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Never again: 75 years since the end of the World War II https://wwww.dailynewssegypt.com/2020/05/13/never-again-75-years-since-the-end-of-the-world-war-ii/ Wed, 13 May 2020 18:01:12 +0000 https://wwww.dailynewssegypt.com/?p=730821 Ukraine commemorates 8 May as a Remembrance and Reconciliation Day. This day marked the end of Nazism in Europe.

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On 8 May, the world celebrated the 75th anniversary of the end of World War II. This important international event should honour the victims of war, condemn Nazism, totalitarianism and aggression, and affirm the ideals of peace, humanism, democracy and unity.

Ukraine commemorates 8 May as a Remembrance and Reconciliation Day. This day marked the end of Nazism in Europe.

But we should remember that the deadly virus of Nazism did not only hit Europe, but spread all over the world. In 1940, the war reached Egypt, and it became a field of battles between the Allies and Nazi Axis in North Africa.

The battle of El Alamein undoubtedly was an important and decisive chapter in this cruel war. Egypt played an important role in the victory of the Allied countries in that decisive battle, as it provided them with supplies and logistical support for the Allies, especially the multinational 8-th British Army.

The Egyptian forces were also guarding the ports and the Suez Canal, and were chasing the Luftwaffe attacking Egypt, as well as making efforts to prevent them from dropping mines in the area.

Some Egyptian army infantry, cavalry, and artillery regiments, also fought alongside the Allied Forces. And anti-aircraft artillery forces throughout Egypt played an important role in protecting Alexandria, Cairo, Suez, and North Delta. Hundreds of thousands of Egyptians worked during the war in allied military bases and camps, and to ensure vital and important work of the railway.

As for Ukraine, it found itself the very epicentre of World War II. Twice, the front was rolled across its territory – when the Red Army retreated in 1941 and during its offensive in 1943-1944.

At those times, Ukraine was one of the republics of Soviet Union. The territory of Ukraine was under Nazi occupation for three years. It explains the unprecedented number of victims and devastation: up to eight million Ukrainian civilians died, 714 towns and 28,000 villages were completely or partially destroyed, 7 million Ukrainians in the Red Army, half of them perished. During the war, 2,702 Ukrainians received the title of Hero of the Soviet Union.

On 22 June 1941, the Nazi forces invaded the Soviet Union, of which Ukraine was one of its republics, and soon all of its territory was occupied, including the important cities of Kyiv, Odesa, Sevastopol and Kharkiv.

But the Ukrainians did not give up defending their land. Between August and December 1943, the Dnieper battle erupted. It ended with the collapse of the Nazi defences, called the “Eastern Wall”. Kyiv was liberated on 6 November 1943, and the battle to liberate the right bank of the Dnieper began.

From 24 January to 17 February 1944, Soviet forces launched the Korsun-Shevchenkovsk offensive, in which the forces of the First and Second Ukrainian Fronts were involved, and by May 1944, the Crimea was liberated as well.

With Egypt’s contribution, the American and British armies defeated the Nazis in North Africa in 1942. In 1943 and 1944, the Allies liberated Italy from the grip of fascism, and in the summer of 1944 the British and Americans landed their forces in Normandy to open the second front against the Nazis.

In 1945, the Americans met on the Elbe with fighters of the First Ukrainian Front, of which 60% to 80% were Ukrainians. In April and May 1945, the Soviet forces seized Berlin, ending the war in Europe.

For Ukraine, the most prominent outcome of the war was that it reunited the majority of the lands inhabited by Ukrainians in the framework of one state again, and Ukraine, like Egypt, became a founding member of the United Nations. But the Soviet regime remained until Ukraine declared independence in 1991, after the collapse of the Soviet Union.

The Secret Protocol to Ribbentrop-Molotov Pact of 1939, in which Communists and Nazis criminally conspired to divide Europe between themselves, is direct evidence that the bloodiest war in the history of humankind was jointly started by two totalitarian empires – the Nazi Third Reich and the communist Soviet Union.

The slogan “Never again!” means that we should remember the lessons of the cruel 20th Century and not let history be falsified. Up to recent times, the basic falsification was attributing victory to the Communist Party, and personally to Stalin. It is significant that half a century afterwards, attempts are being made to rehabilitate Stalin and Stalinism. And we should stand together again to stop this kind of terrorism from raising its head again.

Yevhen Mykytenko is the Ukrainian ambassador in Egypt.

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Tawakkol Karman: Facebook lets the Islamist fox guard the henhouse https://wwww.dailynewssegypt.com/2020/05/13/tawakkol-karman-facebook-lets-the-islamist-fox-guard-the-henhouse/ Wed, 13 May 2020 17:54:51 +0000 https://wwww.dailynewssegypt.com/?p=730785 The appointment shatters Facebook’s impartiality as Karman will have direct editorial influence on what the social media platform publishes

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The recent decision by Facebook to appoint Yemeni national, Tawakkol Karman, to its new Oversight Board was met with a backlash from social media users in the Middle East.

This shouldn’t come as a surprise. Karman, who is known as the first Arab woman to win the Nobel Peace Prize, was also a senior leader of the Yemeni Muslim Brotherhood-linked Al-Islah party.

The newly established Facebook Oversight Board is an external entity with the sole purpose of dealing with complaints about content management. The board will have the final say over the enforcement of hate speech regulations, and would be able to overturn decisions by Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg on whether individual pieces of content should be allowed on Facebook and Instagram.

One should assume that appointees for such an essential role should at least not be polarising characters. But that’s not the case with Karman.

Although she was considered an icon of the Yemeni revolution against Abdallah Saleh, since then the perception of her has changed. She is, instead, now associated with intolerance, discrimination and a lack of neutrality. 

But what is the true face of Tawakkol Karman? To understand her hardcore Islamist ties, one can not ignore that her former party, Al-Islah, did not only have ties with the Muslim Brotherhood, but the US government also identified it as supportive of Al-Qaeda.  The party’s founder, Majid Al-Zindani, is a designated Osama bin Laden loyalist and terrorist by the US authorities.

The party’s leader, Mohammed Al-Yadomi, stated in January 2018 that his party “has no organisational or political ties with the Muslim Brotherhood”, and Karman’s party membership was “frozen” for vitriolic remarks aimed at the Saudi intervention in Yemen in 2018. Yet, that does not make the choice less controversial.

According to Brent Harris, Facebook’s director of public policy, “The board’s decisions will be implemented unless doing so violates the law.”

Over the next few months, the body expects to grow to around 40 members in total.

Facebook announced that the Oversight Board is “an external body that members of the community can appeal to on some of the most significant and challenging content decisions we face”.

With such appointment, how can Facebook claim impartiality? Who can guarantee that Karman will not have a direct editorial influence on what Facebook allows to be published.

Giving such authority to as divisive figure as Karman contradicts what Facebook is claiming to be doing. Obviously one should not expect neutrality from some one with a clear extreme political bias.

Karman’s views are no secret, as her Twitter and Facebook accounts attest to her desire to see specific Arab governments destabilised and toppled.

Seeking diversity should not mean harbouring extremist agendas, as, with this appointment, Facebook is siding with someone who called on Bahraini, Algerian and Tunisian citizens to revolt against their governments, and accused the Egyptian army of being full of terrorists.

She even had the impudence to claim that the outrage of the Arab social media against her appointment was a “smear campaign and widespread bullying”.

As if it is unnatural for social media users from several countries in the region, and elsewhere including Egypt, Russia, the UAE, and Saudi Arabia, to denounce her appointment, especially that these countries have branded the Muslim Brotherhood a terrorist organisation. 

Accordingly, social media users and activist launched the hashtag “#RefuseTawakulKarman”, demanding the withdrawal of her appointment, as she is known for her lack of neutrality as well as her extremist views. Also several petitions were launched demanding her removal.

Facebook said, “We know that social media can spread speech that is hateful, harmful and deceitful. In recent years, the question of what content should stay up or come down on platforms like Facebook, and who should decide this, has become increasingly urgent.”

It is not a matter of whether some speech is “hateful, harmful and deceitful”. The question is who gets to define it.  Personally, I am extremely uncomfortable with a supporter of the radical, violent Muslim Brotherhood passing judgment on anything I would write.

With this choice, Facebook risks becoming the platform of choice for extremist Islamist ideology. I still hope that Facebook backtracks on this decision and cut their ties with Karman, replacing her with a non-divisive figure.

Mohamed Samir is an economic and political journalist and analyst specialising in the Middle East. He is currently the Deputy Executive Editor of the Daily News Egypt.

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The Education System Transformation (TEST): How a revolution in education in the Middle East will shape the sector post-coronavirus https://wwww.dailynewssegypt.com/2020/05/09/the-education-system-transformation-test-how-a-revolution-in-education-in-the-middle-east-will-shape-the-sector-post-coronavirus/ Sat, 09 May 2020 18:36:49 +0000 https://wwww.dailynewssegypt.com/?p=730397 Digital learning is being adopted fast. Some Arab countries have been quick to take action, and are providing alternative learning tools using e-learning platforms and TV channels

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The closure of schools in over 177 countries around the world has affected approximately 1.3 billion learners—nearly 72.4% of total enrolled learners worldwide—according to UNESCO. This has disrupted traditional methods of education and led to a shift towards distance learning platforms.

Having taken an in-depth look at e-learning—including where we are at the moment and what could happen as a result of the far-reaching impact of the novel coronavirus—here are some predictions.

 

Current Situation

1 Quick adoption

Digital learning is being adopted fast. Some Arab countries have been quick to take action, and are providing alternative learning tools using e-learning platforms and TV channels. However, others have been much slower due to internet capabilities and other barriers. Saudi Arabia launched a comprehensive system in March, which includes 20 TV channels, a YouTube channel, and an
iEN National Educational Portal. In the UAE, the Ministry of Education, in cooperation with
the Hamdan Bin Mohamed Smart University, provided a free course in March on how to become a distance teacher in 24 hours. As of March 16, more than 42,000 people had undergone and completed the online training.

2 Challenges at all levels 

With subscriptions and other online payment models in use, the best online courses can still be perceived to be the most expensive. Users can be manipulated by corrupt parties. Corporates can try to bombard students with marketing. Privacy, security and regulatory measures need to be universal. 

Studying together teaches students soft skills and enables them to form human bonds. We know that living virtually through social media is not a suitable or sufficient substitute. Efforts need to be made by students and parents to ensure real-life human connections are still encouraged and valued.

With less support from schools, online tutorials also require parents to help teach. This is difficult in households where both parents work, but to address this, and recognizing the advantages learned during the lockdown, companies are introducing flexible hours, or remote working for staff. 

 

3 Government support for ed-tech

Education receives one of the highest budget allotments in most MENA countries. The UAE allocated about 14.8% of the federal budget to education in 2020, while Saudi Arabia allocated nearly 19% of total government expenditure. So far not a lot of it has gone into developing technology. That will change as, with governments spending considerably more on education technology. The value of the UAE’s ed-tech market alone is forecast to be $40 billion by 2022, according to a Dubai Future Foundation report.

4 Free education

The new system means that education will no longer be a commercial opportunity for corporates. Students and parents are not looking for expensive certificates, they are looking for real opportunities and high-quality experiences anywhere in the world that they can access from home. Free e-learning platforms will continue to arise. Students can currently access free online courses from the world’s top universities, including Harvard, Stanford, and Boston.

 

5 More flexibility and time

With students embracing distance learning, the need to move away or travel far to school or university is becoming less necessary. Online education is giving students more flexibility and time, and providing them with money and energy for activities. It could also affect international students with regard to searching for opportunities abroad and traveling. Searching for accommodation and spending time obtaining security visas and approvals for some countries could be a thing of the past.

6 Tech-focused next generation

Students are now more familiar with ed-tech, and will no longer just be curriculum-oriented learners. The new generation will be tech-literate and more independent, with experience in new apps for studying. Before, only high-standard educational institutions were really using tech, but now it is a must-have for all entities. Young students are using devices for more than just entertainment. The new generation is developing very advanced skills at a crucial age where they are able to absorb information and learn quickly.

7 Accessible quality content

New learning programs will adopt smart strategies in building content using the latest apps from startups and established players in the market. Creative tools will make teaching and learning more fun and easier. This will improve access to education, creating more equal opportunities. Technology will enable students from remote places to access the same quality of education that students in the most advanced countries have. Technical tools such as laptops, tablets, and internet connections will need to be provided at a lower cost, as they become part of our basic human needs and not luxury items.

8 More global competition

Schools, institutes, educators and ed-tech platforms have to compete with others from around the world. We will no longer see institutes competing through luxurious university buildings and construction. Universities globally will focus on attracting human talent, using money to invest in providing teachers and professors with state-of-the-art technology to provide high-quality distance education. 

9 Creative ideas and smart initiatives

Global technology companies are proving that they are able to offer support. Amazon is donating 8,200 laptops, worth more than $2 million, to elementary students in Seattle public schools to help towards continuous learning during the pandemic. And Intel is investing nearly $40 million in response and readiness tools, and online learning initiatives.

10 Media and tech partnerships

Media and technology startups are partnering with education providers to share expertise and give learners the best experiences.For example, in March Jordan’s Ministryof Education partnered with Abwaab,Mawdoo3, Jo Academy, Edraak and the Ministry of Digital Economy & Entrepreneurship to launch two TV channels and an e-learning platform(Darsak). Darsak recorded more than 23 million views in its first three weeks,according to the Ministry of Education.

What Lies Ahead

1 Infrastructure assessment

The region’s educational infrastructure will need to be reviewed, evaluated and restructured to support the transformation in the education system. High-speed internet networks will need to be provided to all for free or at affordable prices. Investment will need to be made in increasing teachers’ tech skills.

2 Focused activities

Although generic subject learning will mostly occur remotely, the youth will still come together for team games, socializing, music, and physical activities. Talent will still need to be found in sports, the arts, athletics, etc. Schools may be converted to recreational centers.

3 Growth in investment

There will be fewer acquisitions of schools and more investment into startups and technology. The global e-learning market is estimated to surpass $300 billion by 2025, according to a 2019 Global Market Insight report. The 10 most funded ed-tech startups in the Middle East have raised nearly $45 million—this amount will increase, and more new companies with new tech ideas will emerge.

4 Fewer costs and expenses

With students accessing learning from home, pressure on attendance and classrooms will reduce. Costs connected to building maintenance, supervision, uniforms, travel, housing or visas, will decrease. This will be reflected in the fees. Budgets can be directed to other areas, such as field trips and new technology. 

5 New curriculum trends

In traditional systems, every child of the same age learns the same curriculum at the same speed, regardless of their individual interests. Curriculums are currently set by each country, but in the future, students will have a choice. They will be able to learn at their own pace and pay attention to what they enjoy. 

6 Growth in private tutors

Private tutors will be increasingly found and employed to offer tailored assistance to students across the world and maintain relationships between the individual and their school or home country.

7 Growth in STEM subjects and specialist institutes

There will be an increased demand for STEM programs, at the cost of social sciences. Demand for highly-specialist subjects could be filled by corporates with dedicated infrastructure.

8 Market immunity

With the new system based on technology, education will be able to be accessed and guaranteed regardless of what else is happening in the world. The system will become immune to weather conditions, global pandemics, wars, or other life-changing events—as long as the internet can still be freely accessed.

9 Higher quality of life

With fewer students commuting, traffic on the roads will be reduced. There will be an increase in international travel as students and their parents are no longer tied to school term timetables. Families can relocate as desired without needing to worry about students staying in their chosen school. 

10 Big data

Governments and investors need to seriously consider the changes that must come as a result of lessons learned during the pandemic. If we are looking to advance the world of education, governments need to allocate a budget for research and development that will provide real, credible and transparent big data. We need to analyze this big data to build a practical and bright future that benefits students and teachers.

Conclusion and recommendation

All stakeholders in the education sector should embrace e-learning with open arms, putting systems in place to provide it as an alternative and equal option for parents and students to choose. 

This TEST report highlights the need to not hesitate in making smart investments. Now is the time to build on current successes and look beyond traditional education systems to the future of learning.

Let’s work together to provide equal education opportunities for all. 

 

Khuloud Al Omian, Forbes Middle East’s Editor-in-Chief

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China has neither intention nor ability to rebuild the world order https://wwww.dailynewssegypt.com/2020/05/06/china-has-neither-intention-nor-ability-to-rebuild-the-world-order/ Wed, 06 May 2020 20:00:40 +0000 https://wwww.dailynewssegypt.com/?p=730217 To contain the spread of the invisible virus, China has sacrificed too much. And now China is trying its best to help other countries to defeat the pandemic.

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After reading the op-ed “You are not welcome anymore China”, published in Daily News Egypt, 26 April 2020, there seems something choking my throat, so I have to stand out and say them out.

The author says that Chinese “are fast learners” and are using “know-how to eliminate our own race, slowly but smartly.” Admittedly, we, Chinese, are learners. Knowledge, especially science and technology, is the common wealth of mankind. Chinese have begun to learn from western civilization from 1840s. At the same time, if we make breakthroughs in some academic fields, we feedback to the international community. As a matter of fact, most of the significant research findings are published in western journals in English. Eliminating your own race? I can’t believe this! How he can imagine like that? We want to make money by means of business. That is true. If we eliminate you, how and where we can do business? Believe it or not, live and to live, this is Confucius thought also.

The author says, “China has once again exported outbreaks of illness and disease to an aging Europe.” The outbreak of Covid-19 took place firstly in China. To contain the spread of the invisible virus, China has sacrificed too much. And now China is trying its best to help other countries to defeat the pandemic. By the way, we export commodities only when other countries need them. Exporting the illness and disease once again? Does the author really think that China wants to be against the entire world?

The author also thinks that China wants to implement a new world order. In my humble view, China has neither intention nor ability to do such things. China put more emphasis on its interior affairs than exterior’s. There are too many domestic problems which need be taken care of, the environmental issue, the disequilibrium between the rural areas and urban areas, the employment issue of almost seven or eight millions college students per year, the scarcity of innovation capacity, and so on.

“China is bringing misery to Europe by buying the nations and their business. They will soon control both ends of the supply chain.” Give me a solid fact to buy it, please. When dealing with foreign entrepreneurs and companies, China sticks to the mutually beneficial cooperation and win-win approach strictly. In modern days, no country can control both ends of the whole supply chain of other country. In fact, due to the Chinese backward of science and technology, many crucial technologies have been hold firmly in developed countries.

At the end of the op-ed, the author says, “this is one of few series I intend to write.” Good things for us. I am eagerly looking forward to reading his writings. The only thing I want to suggest to him is that if you tell us your viewpoints or opinions on China, thank you very much, but you need to have some stuff to prove or support them. Please be reasonable and logical, not emotional and unwarranted.

GUO Xinyu: linguistics teacher from Nanyang Normal University, China. He teaches Chinese in Chinese department, Alexandria University.

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President Al-Sisi – The right role model for the COVID-19 crisis https://wwww.dailynewssegypt.com/2020/05/06/president-al-sisi-the-right-role-model-for-the-covid-19-crisis/ Wed, 06 May 2020 19:00:54 +0000 https://wwww.dailynewssegypt.com/?p=730190 President Al-Sisi regularly repeats this sentence “Together We Can”.

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Since President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi took office in 2014, he has spoken repeatedly about an initiative that has not been understood by many people, an initiative called “Together We Can”.

President Al-Sisi regularly repeats this sentence “Together We Can”.

During the inauguration of the New Suez Canal in August 2015, he said, “Together we can overcome and make for our country a glory worthy of it, and a history that future generations can be proud of and our way towards that is to unite around the country and line up for it.”

President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi during the inauguration of the New Suez Canal in August 2015
President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi during the inauguration of the New Suez Canal in August 2015

Since the coronavirus crisis started looming on the horizon, we find that President Al-Sisi has moved according to several pillars, as follows.

The first pillar

He listened with great interest to well-qualified and experienced people. He is aware of the dimensions of the crisis, so a decision was taken to appoint Dr Mohamed Awad Tag El Din as an advisor to the President of the Republic for health affairs. Al-Sisi also began making a wise plan to manage the crisis.

Al-Sisi’s perfect anti-coronavirus plan springs from a complete understanding of all aspects of the crisis, both domestically and internationally.

The second pillar

To ensure the implementation of updated treatment protocols and the highest standards in infection control, President Al-Sisi has ensured all medical needs and supplies are provided to isolation hospitals. He has also ensured the provision of sufficient manpower in combating the virus.

The president has stressed the need to intensify awareness campaigns to correct some citizens’ misconceptions regarding the coronavirus. These misconceptions could lead to some avoiding being tested or seeking medical care for fear of being subjected to social exclusion, which increases their risk of infection.

He instructed the Ministry of Defence to provide the necessary support to citizens in confronting the virus, whilst providing the food commodities that meet their basic needs.

One of the first measures taken by the Armed Forces, was to have their Chief of Staff, Lieutenant General Mohamed Farid, inspect the Al-Nasr Intermediate Chemicals Company in Abu Rawash. This was to follow up on the measures taken by the company’s management to ensure its readiness and ability to implement all tasks.

These tasks include producing disinfection and sterilisation materials according to international standards and which were approved by the Ministry of Health.

In a related context, the National Service Projects Organization has stepped up to give the local market a boost. The solutions used in the disinfection and sterilisation work, as well as the food commodities that meet the demands of Egyptian families, were kept at reasonable prices through General Services Authority outlets. The fixed and mobile national service projects also ensured that no monopolising practices were taking place.

The third pillar

Spreading a spirit of reassurance and positivity among people using patriotic songs played from vehicles with loudspeakers that roam Egypt’s streets to discourage anxiety and panic.

The fourth pillar

President Al-Sisi stressed the importance of resuming work in different state institutions, to ensure production does not face issues for the sake of saving the Egyptian economy.

This is to ensure that people will not be subjected to any crises regarding food and basic commodities.

Since the beginning of the crisis, anxiety has been evident among several countries’ leaders, including UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson who stated, “Get ready to lose loved ones before their time.”

French Prime Minister, Edouard Philippe, anticipated that the health situation due to the coronavirus would be more difficult in the first half of next April. He stressed, in statements to the media, that the fight against the coronavirus is only at its beginnings.

Since the emergence of the pandemic, Egypt has been providing material, moral and humanitarian assistance to countries, even after the virus had crossed onto its shores. The Egyptian state is still thinking about the welfare of other countries, and extending a helping hand, having sent aid to China, Italy, the UK, and theUS.

It is clear that President Al-Sisi has given the world a lesson in crisis management. The world is begging Egypt to save it from the coronavirus pandemic, with great powers having fallen before the dreaded virus. Egypt has, however, remained steadfast.

It has sent packages of medical aid to the US to help it tackle the virus, according to a spokesman from the Egyptian presidency.

Al-Sisi has also ensured full coordination between hospital universities and the Ministry of Health in facing the coronavirus crisis.

More recently, the Sudanese government praised Egypt for sending urgent medical supplies to help it combat the ongoing outbreak in the country, Sudanese Minister of Culture and Information Faisal Saleh said in a statement. President Al-Sisi had instructed for the dispatch of four military planes carrying medical supplies to Sudan to help the country in its fight against the virus.

 

Dr. Mohamed Shendy is a Professor of Otolaryngology at the Faculty of Medicine, Benha University. He has written many internationally published research papers, and has appeared in the International Journal of Otorhinolaryngology and Head and Neck Surgery , the Journal of American Science and the Journal of Nature and Science (JNSCI).

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China is a Good Friend, Good Partner and Good Brother to African Countries! https://wwww.dailynewssegypt.com/2020/05/06/china-is-a-good-friend-good-partner-and-good-brother-to-african-countries/ Wed, 06 May 2020 15:36:06 +0000 https://wwww.dailynewssegypt.com/?p=730183 China-EU Comprehensive Strategic Partnership is going well!

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(Response from Dr. Zhao Jixian, Spokesperson and Counsellor at the Chinese Embassy in Egypt, to the article of 26 April “You are not welcome anymore China”)

On 26 April, Daily News Egypt published an article by Mr Tarek Hegazy titled “You are not welcome anymore China”, which has many descriptions and comments that are unfounded or just pure fallacy.

To help our friends understand the relationship between China and the world, and the friendly exchanges between China and Africa and Europe in an objective and comprehensive way, I would like to share some of my views.

In terms of China-Africa relations, the two have a solid traditional friendship and good cooperation. This relationship has withstood the test of time and international changes, and is a model of relations between developing countries.

As early as the 1950s, China and African countries opposed colonialism and imperialism hand-in-hand, and supported and collaborated with each other in the process of fighting for national independence. In 1956, hundreds of thousands of people in Beijing marched on the streets to demonstrate support for Egypt to take back the sovereignty over the Suez Canal.

In 1971, China reclaimed its legal status at the United Nations (UN), in which African countries, standing on the side of justice, firmly supported China. At present, China and Africa are working together to build the “Belt and Road”, so that the fruits of development can benefit both our peoples. Together, the two sides are pushing forward the construction of a Community of Shared Future for Mankind.

It should be pointed out that the development of China and African countries is a part of the collective rise of developing countries, which is conducive to further promoting the democratisation of international relations.

In terms of China-Europe relations, China and Europe, being two major forces, two big markets and two civilisations of the world, both support multilateralism, free trade, and the authority of the UN. They also support the basic principles of international law and international relations. Both are committed to advancing world multi-polarity and the democratisation of international relations.

The two sides actively cooperate in various fields with win-win results. At present, the China-EU relations are at a new historical moment. No matter whether the EU is facing adversity or prosperity, China firmly supports European integration, the unity and growth of the EU, and its greater role in international affairs.

China and the EU have established a Comprehensive Strategic Partnership. China is also willing to work with the EU to inject more new impetus into this important relationship and effectively advance the China-EU partnership of peace, growth, reform and civilisation.

China’s development is the result of the hard work of the Chinese people, as 71 years ago, the Chinese people finally ended the century-long history domestic turmoil and foreign invasion, and took hold of their own country.

The Chinese people have stood firm since then. What China had gone through was the same path of the vast African peoples, including Egypt! Over the past 71 years, China has progressed from closed and backward to open and progressive, from poor and weak to overall better-off.

With 850 million people lifted out of poverty, and hundreds of millions passing the middle-income criterion, China has created a miracle of development in human history, applauded by the United Nations and the international community. It took China only several decades to pass the process that had taken developed countries hundreds of years. China’s experience expanded the way for developing countries to achieve modernisation, and enriched the dream of peoples of all countries for a better life as well.

China cannot develop without the world, and vice versa. China is the only developing country among the P5 of the UN Security Council, and has always safeguarded the collective interests of the developing countries in the Security Council. China firmly supports the just cause of the Palestinian people. Being a member of the World Trade Organization (WTO), China is committed to maintaining the openness of the international economy.

As a member of the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO), China spares no effort to protect intellectual property. In the global fight against Covid-19, China firmly supports the World Health Organization (WHO) as the core coordinator.

Since March this year, China has donated a total of $50m to the WHO for the prevention and control of the pandemic, as well as the strengthening of the health system of developing countries.

Right now, the international community is at a critical juncture in fighting the virus. What the international community need is solidarity rather than suspicion, encouragement rather than discouragement, and support rather than undermining.

In the fight against COVID-19, we must also guard against the “political virus”. The Communist Party of China is sincerely supported by all Chinese people and is the backbone of the Chinese people and the Chinese nation.

Any attempt to sour the relations between the Chinese Communist Party and the Chinese people is in vain. It is just spreading the “political virus” to slander the achievements of other countries, to discredit anti-epidemic efforts of other countries, to attempt to politicise the epidemic situation, to label viruses, or to stigmatise specific countries. It will only impede the international community’s anti-epidemic efforts and bring benefit to on one.

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Powering private health to expand care and raise quality in the MENA region https://wwww.dailynewssegypt.com/2020/05/05/powering-private-health-to-expand-care-and-raise-quality-in-the-mena-region/ Tue, 05 May 2020 08:00:27 +0000 https://wwww.dailynewssegypt.com/?p=730015 The search for solutions to improve access and quality is bringing the public and private sectors together to develop additional routes for improving health outcomes for patients

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Health care needs in the Middle East and Africa are rising in tandem with the growing number of people suffering from non-communicable diseases, such as diabetes and heart disorders, that need constant treatment and monitoring. Added in are now the acute challenges of the Covid-19 pandemic, and the pressures it is placing on health systems.

The search for solutions to improve access and quality is bringing the public and private sectors together to develop additional routes for improving health outcomes for patients. It could not come at a more critical time. In Egypt, the region’s most populous nation with 100 million people, non-communicable diseases have grown by 20% over the past decade, and now account for more than 80% of deaths in the country. In Morocco, they grew by 15% over the same period. Diabetes-related illnesses are a huge concern, with the Eastern Mediterranean region registering the highest diabetes rates in the world.

Governments lack the capacity to meet the surge in health care demand and, in response, they are encouraging private operators to take an expanded role. For example, as part of implementing its landmark 2018 Universal Health Insurance Law, the Egyptian government has been engaging with the private sector to build out capacity in order to reach its goal of universal health coverage for all by 2030. Likewise, new laws in some countries and new investments are shifting the landscape toward integrated services that can improve care coordination and quality by bringing hospitals, pharmacies and primary care together in one system.

IFC, the division of the World Bank Group that invests in the private sectors across emerging markets and has an active portfolio of $20bn, is working with providers to advance the goals of better health care. Recently, we approved a $125m investment package that will extend health care services in Egypt and Morocco. Unveiled in February, the investment creates a new entity, Humania North Africa, tasked with building and operating three hospitals and a medical tower which will add 600 hospital beds and 240 outpatient clinics to the system.

There is little doubt about the demand for these additional services. In Morocco, health care services for women and children are sorely lacking, and there is a big shortage of health care workers, who number 1.51 per 1,000 population, well below the ratio of 4.45 per 1,000 recommended by the World Health Organization (WHO).

Humania North Africa is owned by Bait Al Batterjee, a leading health care conglomerate whose facilities collectively provide 2,500 beds and employ 12,000 people in Egypt, Saudi Arabia, the UAE, and Yemen. By combining Bait’s three decades of experience with the IFC’s six decades of local knowledge and presence, we expect to create a centre of excellence that lifts up the whole region.

Just as important as tapping into the private sector to expand capacity will be raising the bar on the quality of health care. For example, while most all Egyptians have affordable access to a health care facility, many such facilities are inadequately equipped, with medications out-of-stock, not enough specialty doctors, and weak protocols for managing chronic diseases. A 2018 global study on health care published by The Lancet medical journal found that 63,000 Egyptians died from receiving poor quality care in 2016, double the number who died from lack of access to care. To tackle this issue, IFC has created an advisory service, the IQ-Healthcare Tool, that is being deployed to several hospitals in the region to improve the overall quality of care.

We know there will be challenges. For example, recruiting medical staff. Humania’s business model differs from that typically seen in the region in which doctors work part-time in several facilities. Humania instead hires its doctors as full-time employees and, exceptionally, links pay to their performance rather than to how many patients they bring in. The stability helps with patient care, and the salary structure rewards doctors for doing good medicine.

Nurses, too, will be hired to work full-time, which will allow for more uniform training standards and continuous education. We hope this will also make the health care facilities less infection-prone by avoiding nurses having to constantly move between hospitals, a practice that can increase the spread of infections, an issue we will need to pay more attention than ever to in the post-COVID-19 era.

One encouraging aspect of Egypt’s nascent national insurance programme is that it gives patients the choice of going either to the public or private facilities for service. As more private facilities are covered by national insurance schemes in Egypt, and we expect elsewhere in the region too, they can serve a wider spectrum of the population, including low-income segments.

Despite these dark days for global health, we are hopeful for the future. We want to unleash the power of private health in a positive way. Our hope is that our Humania project, by demonstrating its viability as a business model while raising overall health care outcomes, can serve as a role model for the region.

Ashruf Megahed, Manager, Manufacturing, Agribusiness, Services Middle East and North Africa, IFC

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China is your partner, not your enemy https://wwww.dailynewssegypt.com/2020/05/05/china-is-your-partner-not-your-enemy/ Tue, 05 May 2020 07:00:34 +0000 https://wwww.dailynewssegypt.com/?p=730011 Instead, it was full of hostility towards China, groundlessly trying to demonise China, like "don't give them the rights of the implementation of the new world order", "our enemies are here" etc.

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On April 26, Daily News Egypt published an article with the title “You are not welcome anymore China”. It is surprising that there was not a single convincing fact, figure or piece of evidence in the article to outline the cooperation between China and Europe and the rest of world, the cooperation which has promoted global economy significantly. It is also cooperation which has benefited consumers worldwide with lower prices and reliable quality.

Instead, it was full of hostility towards China, groundlessly trying to demonise China, like “don’t give them the rights of the implementation of the new world order”, “our enemies are here” etc.

I want to point out that China is your partner, your sincere friend, not your enemy. China’s extensive cooperation with the rest of the world has become one of the major driving forces for global economic growth. According to IMF statistics, China contributed as much as 34% (measured by market exchange rates) or 27.7% (measured by purchasing power parity) to global GDP growth from 2009 to 2018, ranking first in the world.

China has become the world’s second largest importer after the US since 2009, and kept its position afterwards. China’s imports increased nearly 9 times in the past 20 years, from $243.55bn in 2001 to $2.08trn in 2019. “Made in China” has brought enormous benefits to ordinary people around the world, keeping the global CPI index at a low level for a decade.

The McKinsey Global Institute points out that Chinese exports have led to lower prices for consumers around the world (non-oil consumer prices in US have fallen by 27%, for example). While some western media and politicians who always enjoy criticising China’s intellectual property rights (IPR) protection, it is essential to highlight that China, with constantly strengthened judicial protection of IPR, is the country conducting the largest number of intellectual property cases, especially patent cases in the world.

In 2018, China’s external payments of IPR royalties rose to $35.8bn, making China the fourth largest patent-importer in the world. In fact, Chinese companies have just started to invest overseas in recent years, some of which have met with trouble, while there are successful stories.

In 2010, massive losses led Ford to sell the passenger car arm of Volvo to Chinese carmaker Geely. Promising free reign over product development to the Swedish company, Geely helped Volvo spread an excellent production and sale network throughout Europe, Asia Pacific and North American markets in under 10 years.

In 2019 Volvo sold over 700,000 cars and crossovers worldwide, earning $1.43bn in profit, which is more than they ever have in over 90 years. Apparently “Tillverkad i Sverige” and “Made in China” are achieving a win-win resolution.

Some western media and politicians always turn a blind eye to these positive examples of cooperation, or they do not want to recognise China’s willingness for sincere cooperation.

Instead, they judge China through coloured glasses, adopting double standards, with arrogance and prejudice, even with a racist mentality, such as in this article saying that China ” as used our know-how to eliminate our own race, slowly but smartly”. It can also be seen in comments by the US State Department’s former Director of Policy Planning, Kiron Skinner, describing China’s economic position as “the first time we will have a great power competitor that is not Caucasian”, although herself is African American.

Based on such psychology, some people have lost basic conscience and human nature. In the time of the COVID-19 outbreak, when the Chinese people have suffered greatly from the disease, these people showed no sympathy, standing aloof, looking on the suffering with indifference, even gloating over that. When the outbreak of epidemic in their own countries took place, led by mismanagement and slow reaction, they began to seek scapegoat and pass buck to China.

They said China “exported outbreaks of illness and disease to an aging Europe”, and make carping comments on China’s effort to provide much-needed medical aid to the countries asking for help. One should be clear that the only enemy of humankind is the virus.

It was Chinese scientists who found the coronavirus first, defined the gene sequence of the virus first and shared it with the world without any delay – but it does not mean that the virus originated in China.

In 1918-1919, the Influenza pandemic spread worldwide infecting about 1 billion people and taking 25-40 million people’s lives. The flu first broke out in Spain, but the virus was first identified in the US in the spring of 1918.

In the current situation, scientific research has traced the strains of the coronavirus, but did not support the rumour that it originated in China. At the end, only the scientists can give the answer, and provide advice for mankind to better prevent a repetition of such a tragedy in the future.

In the midst of the global pandemic, mankind does not need another “political virus”. What we need, and what is basic human conscience, is to actively cooperate and work together to defeat the virus.

I would like to point out that the cooperation between China and Egypt in all aspects is developing well within the framework of the Comprehensive Strategic Partnership. In fighting against the coronavirus, the two countries helped each other, making an example for such cooperation.

Finally, I would like to point out that economic globalisation has brought great benefits to people across the world. Of course, whislt people enjoy the convenience and benefits of globalisation, there have also been some problems, there has been imbalance, and there is a need to adjust accordingly. 

China has been actively putting forward suggestions and initiatives. We champion the idea of “the community with sheared future for mankind”. We follow the principle of “wide consultation, joint contribution and shared benefits”.

China has no intention to replace anyone, just as it will never impose its will on anyone to make some “new world order”. What we want is mutual respect, equality and mutual benefit cooperation. China is your partner, not your enemy.

Han Bing, Minister Counsellor for Commercial Affairs at the Chinese Embassy to Egypt

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The dawn of a new dimension: including women – by design       https://wwww.dailynewssegypt.com/2020/04/29/the-dawn-of-a-new-dimension-including-women-by-design/ Wed, 29 Apr 2020 08:00:44 +0000 https://wwww.dailynewssegypt.com/?p=729335 From Ariel’s powerful #ShareTheLoad engagement to Barbie telling us ‘You Can Be Anything’, there are some fantastic examples of brands actively shifting the conversation to include women, and expand on their contributions to the world we live in.

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As a marketer, I appreciate when creativity meets great insights and data to deliver an approach that achieves its objectives. As a woman, I also especially love seeing these kinds of successful activities share commentary on the way our world interacts with women, or shed essential light on how much of our world was designed without women in mind.

From Ariel’s powerful #ShareTheLoad engagement to Barbie telling us ‘You Can Be Anything’, there are some fantastic examples of brands actively shifting the conversation to include women, and expand on their contributions to the world we live in. But it’s not just about recognising changing times or joining a social impact drive, it’s about much more than that.

There is a clear business rationale for brands that adapt their business strategies to include women by design.

By incorporating the diverse perspectives that women bring, championing female role models as ambassadors, designing fit-for-purpose products that meet women’s needs, and creating content that encourages women to pursue their passions, brands can effectively tap into the spending power and influence of women. Take sportswear apparel for example.

We took note when principal ballerina Misty Copeland gracefully danced in athletic Under Armour gear to the legend of ‘I Will What I Want’. Likewise, we were mesmerised when Nike featured Emirati figure skater Zahra Lari spinning on ice in her hijab. These were followed by more prominent and provocative content that put women at the centre of the conversation, and it was clear that the industry had woken up to the business growth opportunity that exists when we incorporate the true – not imagined – perspectives of women.

By drawing attention to the strength, unique shapes, and differentiated athleticism of women, through showcasing real role models in better designed active-wear clothing, the women’s sports apparel industry has done just that – tapped into a significant consumer base: women. How significant? According to UBS, women are key drivers of consumer decisions, with about 85% of women managing day-to-day expenses.

Now, when we design products, services, experiences and solutions for women, we need to envision them through the viewpoints of women.

In terms of experiences, who is to say that only boys see themselves walking the stadium with global football legends at the UEFA Champions League final? This is exactly the ‘priceless surprise’ that Mastercard arranged last year for 10-year-old Basmah Nawaf Alshnaifi – a girl with a passion for football, who became the UCL’s first female Saudi mascot.

When it comes to products and services, are we meeting the actual needs of women? Do we have insights that can help us incorporate women’s experiences into the design and innovation process? We must consider the functionality and practicalities of women’s interaction. In short, we have to help design and develop a world with both women and men in mind.

To do this, we need women to be part of the design and innovation process, especially in this age of the Fourth Industrial Revolution. And to do that, we need to inspire young girls to consider and pursue a career in STEM, through initiatives like Girls4Tech. As part of this programme, Mastercard has committed to reaching one million girls globally by 2025, including 2,020 in the UAE alone by the end of Expo 2020 Dubai.

So, what exactly is the value of a world that includes women by design?

In addition to the humanitarian benefits, it’s a considerable amount. In the Middle East and North Africa, the loss in global wealth from gender inequality is estimated at $3.1trn. With the UAE’s MIWE Women Business Owner rate at only 7.7%, there’s great scope for growth in the region, and huge opportunities for finance.

Global management consulting firm Oliver Wyman agrees. It estimates a global revenue opportunity of $700bn is currently being left on the table by the financial services industry not fully meeting the needs of women consumers.

Think of the increased speed in which we can close the gender gap in terms of financial inclusion if we design better, more helpful digital financial products for women.

As a payment technology leader with global insights, Mastercard has invested significantly in understanding women’s financial priorities, and mapping out those priorities across different life stages. After all, a specific position in time often influences our need for specialised support and ingenious innovations – in sportswear as much as financial solutions. 

The necessity for women to have control over finances is a recurring theme, and Mastercard’s Women by Design Insights and Product Development Framework revealed over 63% of women are looking for ways to simplify their lives. But how does this translate into the way they transact? Women in the Middle East are still less confident than men in using the internet to access financial services, and although 8% of women in the UAE have used digital wallets as a payment method, the number still lags men’s usage at 14%.

By making a conscious decision to integrate women’s perspectives into our business, marketing and innovation strategies, more women will benefit from solutions specifically designed for their needs. More companies will see revenues climb. More societies will experience elevated productivity. More economies will grow and thrive. 

After all, a world that works better for women creates limitless possibilities for us all. 

Beatrice Cornacchia: Senior Vice President, Head of Marketing & Communications, Middle East & Africa at Mastercard

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China’s FM to Daily News Egypt: Following Xi Jinping Thought on Diplomacy to build a community with a shared future for mankind through international cooperation against COVID-19 https://wwww.dailynewssegypt.com/2020/04/21/chinas-fm-to-daily-news-egypt-following-xi-jinping-thought-on-diplomacy-to-build-a-community-with-a-shared-future-for-mankind-through-international-cooperation-against-covid-19/ Tue, 21 Apr 2020 14:12:59 +0000 https://wwww.dailynewssegypt.com/?p=728725 Friedrich Engels said, “There is no great historical evil without a compensating historical progress.” Human history is a story of mankind wrestling with various diseases and disasters, always emerging stronger and more resilient

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The COVID-19 outbreak has dragged the whole human race into a fierce war with a highly infectious disease on a global scale. Facing the sudden and unprecedented attack of a virus unknown before, the Chinese people are pulling together with the whole world. Looking out for each other in these trying times, mankind has written a new chapter of building a global community with a shared future.

On both fronts, domestic response and international cooperation, we have followed the guidance of Xi Jinping Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era and Xi Jinping Thought on Diplomacy, fully brought to bear the strengths of our system of socialism with Chinese characteristics, and acted as a responsible major country. This has won high recognition from the international community.

Friedrich Engels said, “There is no great historical evil without a compensating historical progress.” Human history is a story of mankind wrestling with various diseases and disasters, always emerging stronger and more resilient. Unequivocally, COVID-19 cannot arrest the Chinese people’s determined march toward national rejuvenation. And it cannot impede the progress of human civilizations.

Since the outbreak beginning, the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China (CPC) with Comrade Xi Jinping at its core has put the people’s well-being front and centre, acted with a strong sense of responsibility to the world, and rallied all ethnic groups in China for launching a people’s war, comprehensive campaign, and containment operation against the virus. Through massive, nationwide efforts and enormous sacrifice, we have brought the domestic outbreak well under control, and made important progress in the war. Throughout the fight, we have received heart-warming help and support from the international community, and we have played an indispensable role in safeguarding international public health security.  

China emerged as one of the first countries to stem the outbreak

China made a robust response and contributed substantially to the global fight against the outbreak.  General Secretary Xi Jinping has described this outbreak as a major test, and has been personally directing and planning China’s response efforts.

By swiftly taking the most comprehensive, rigorous, and thorough measures, the Chinese government set up an open and transparent national system for collective outbreak control in the shortest possible time. With great resolve, we made the courageous and momentous decision to suspend outbound travels from the city of Wuhan and Hubei province.

We endeavoured to ensure early detection, early reporting, early quarantine, and early treatment. We saw to it that severe patients were admitted to facilities with the best resources and best professionals for effective treatment. After more than two months of strenuous efforts, China emerged as one of the first countries to stem the outbreak. New cases in China have been sporadic for a month now. Travel controls on Hubei and Wuhan have been lifted. Domestic transmission has been largely stopped.

As the first country to alert the world about the virus and to grapple with a serious outbreak early on, China served as a crucial line of defence for the world. Fighting off the virus with strength, ingenuity, and sacrifice, China shared important experience with the world and boosted global confidence in an ultimate victory.

China has managed to restore its economy and society step by step

While battling the outbreak, China has managed to restore its economy and society step by step to a normal order. Across the country, 98.6% of big industrial plants have resumed production, and 89.9% of employees on average are already back to work. In March, China’s manufacturing Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) rallied 16.3 percentage points from February. The early economic reopening of China, “the world’s factory”, has significantly eased the strained global medical supplies. It will also help bring the world economy back to normal at an early date.

China offered constructive proposals and blazed a trail for international cooperation against the outbreak. General Secretary Xi Jinping pointed out that the virus respects no borders or nationalities, and can only be defeated when the international community fights in unity. Since the outbreak beginning, General Secretary Xi Jinping has engaged in intensive and important discussions with other world leaders to promote international cooperation on combating the virus.  

By 12 April, General Secretary Xi Jinping held meetings or talks with Prime Minister of Cambodia, President of Mongolia, President of Pakistan, and Director-General of the World Health Organization (WHO). He had 36 phone calls with 29 leaders of countries and international organisations, including Russia, the United States, the United Kingdom, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Belgium, the Republic of Korea (ROK), South Africa, Ethiopia, Brazil, and Chile, and Secretary-General of the United Nations. He sent messages of sympathies to more than 10 foreign leaders and heads of regional organisations, including the ROK, Italy, Iran, France, Germany, Spain, Serbia, and the European Union. Through these interactions, he demonstrated China’s firm and sincere commitment to solidarity with the whole world, boosted global confidence, and led the way for international cooperation against the outbreak.

At the Extraordinary G20 Leaders’ Summit on COVID-19, General Secretary Xi Jinping set out four proposals for fighting an all-out global war against the outbreak, forging a collective response of control and treatment, supporting international organisations in playing active roles, and strengthening macroeconomic policy coordination. He also highlighted many areas of practical cooperation, such as vaccine and therapeutic development, opening up access to an online COVID-19 knowledge centre, promoting comprehensive, systematic, and effective control and treatment protocols, launching a G20 COVID-19 assistance initiative, jointly ensuring the stability of global industrial and supply chains, and convening a high-level meeting on global public health security. These initiatives showed the direction for international efforts to tackle the outbreak. They have been highly commended by the international community. In addition, Premier Li Keqiang also talked on the phone with multiple foreign leaders, and attended the Special ASEAN Plus Three Summit on COVID-19, which re-energised anti-epidemic cooperation in East Asia.

China shouldered its responsibilities and provided strong support to other countries

China shouldered its responsibilities and provided strong support to other countries. General Secretary Xi Jinping pointed out that enhancing international cooperation in fighting COVID-19 is a telling testament to China’s role as a responsible major country and its commitment to building a community with a shared future for mankind. Since the start of the outbreak, China has placed great importance on and stayed actively engaged in international cooperation.  

We worked closely with the WHO and relevant countries, and contributed $20m to the WHO. We released the information on the outbreak at the earliest possible time. We speedily identified the genome sequence of the virus and shared it with all others. Thus we have created conditions for other countries to discover and contain the virus as early as possible.

We took the initiative to conduct regional cooperation on fighting the virus. We facilitated the convocation of the Special China-ASEAN Foreign Ministers’ Meeting, the fifth Lancang-Mekong Cooperation Foreign Ministers’ Meeting, and the China-Japan-ROK Special Foreign Ministers’ Video Conference. We formed a joint response mechanism with the ROK and other neighbouring countries. Thus we have played a key role in containing the outbreak and maintaining business cooperation.

We shared with others our control and clinical experience without reservation. We built an online knowledge centre accessible to all countries. And we have published seven editions of diagnostic and therapeutic protocols and six editions of containment plans. As of 12 April, Chinese medical experts had 83 video conferences with their counterparts from 153 countries with the focus on how to effectively tackle and defeat the virus. China sent 14 medical experts teams to 12 countries, i.e., Iran, Iraq, Italy, Serbia, Cambodia, Pakistan, Venezuela, the Philippines, Myanmar, the Laos, Kazakhstan, and Russia. It was a move highly recognised by all sides.

We provide a steady driving force for the global efforts in fighting the virus

Although fighting the virus in China remains a formidable task, we have been doing all we could to provide assistance to other countries and actively engage in international cooperation. The Chinese government and non-government actors have sent, and are sending, many shipments of urgently needed medical supplies to over 140 countries and international organisations.

We made best use of our strong production capacity, and timely reopened the market and export channels for medical supplies. To date, more than 60 countries, regions and international organisations have signed commercial procurement contracts with Chinese exporters. Between 1 March and 10 April, China exported around 7.12bn masks, 55.57m protective suits, 3.59m infrared thermometers, 20,100 ventilators, and 13.69m goggles. “Aid from China”, together with the already well-known “Made in China”, provided a steady driving force for the global efforts in fighting the virus.

China made clear its positions and helped build important consensus for mankind to stem the outbreak. China’s victory over the virus is attributable to the strong leadership of the CPC Central Committee with Comrade Xi Jinping at its core, to the science-based, transparent, well-planned, and forceful measures taken by the government, to the unity and fortitude of the 1.4 billion people, and to the great solidarity, assistance, and support from other countries.

China has spoken up with its actions. And history will give its objective and impartial verdict. No one could discredit or distort these facts or truths. To defeat the virus, mankind needs to choose confidence over panic, unity over division, and cooperation over scapegoating. This is the position that China has made clear since the virus has broken out in different parts of the world. 

General Secretary Xi Jinping pointed out that severe infectious diseases are the enemy of the whole human race and therefore what is needed most is a resolute, concerted, and joint response from the international community. With this in mind, the Chinese foreign minister has stayed in close contact by phone with dozens of his counterparts around the world. Chinese diplomats and missions abroad are actively reaching out to the international community by way of receiving interviews, making speeches, and writing articles. More and more countries have come to appreciate and agree with China’s position. It has become a common voice and consensus in the international community to reject any attempt at labelling the virus, politicising the response, and stigmatising any specific country.

The COVID-19 outbreak is a major public health emergency, which is fastest spreading, most widely contagious, and hardest to contain in the history of the People’s Republic of China. It is also a global crisis the world has never seen before. 

In face of this situation, we on the diplomatic front have been earnestly implementing the important instructions of General Secretary Xi Jinping and the decisions and directions from the CPC Central Committee and the State Council. We have scaled up efforts to maintain political integrity, think in big-picture terms, follow the leadership core and keep in alignment, to enhance confidence in the path, theory, system and culture of socialism with Chinese characteristics, and to firmly uphold General Secretary Xi Jinping’s core position in both the CPC Central Committee and the CPC as a whole and firmly uphold the CPC Central Committee’s authority and its centralised, unified leadership.   

We have taken a proactive, responsible, creative and courageous attitude to fulfil our mission with regard to fighting the virus on the diplomatic front, so as to secure an enabling environment for the victory at home, contribute our part to the international cooperation, and add another dimension to major-country diplomacy with Chinese characteristics. In fighting this smokeless yet fierce war, we have come to understand even more of the following: 

First, we must unswervingly uphold the centralised, unified leadership of the CPC. The CPC is a political party that strives for the well-being of the Chinese people as well as the progress of mankind. Since the start of the outbreak, the CPC Central Committee with Comrade Xi Jinping at its core has stayed on top of the situation and made strategic planning accordingly.  

The Standing Committee of the Political Bureau met 10 times to address the outbreak. The Central Leading Group on Responding to the Novel Coronavirus Disease Outbreak was set up as early as possible. In-depth assessments were made about the defining features of the various stages of the outbreak and its trajectory at home and abroad. Timely and meticulous arrangements were made on key aspects of our outbreak response.  

General Secretary Xi Jinping has made important instructions and observations on the outbreak-related external affairs. He personally set the direction for outbreak-related external work with his head-of-state diplomacy, and championed international cooperation with his leadership and sense of responsibility, demonstrating great composure and resolve in the face of crises.  

People on the diplomatic front, CPC members in particular, have readily thrown themselves into the front-line external work related to the outbreak. They have stood their ground, and dutifully carried out their missions in the domestic and international fight against the virus. Their actions spoke volumes about the core values of China’s diplomats — loyalty, dedication, and sacrifice. 

 

Learnt lessons since the outbreak

What has happened since the outbreak shows that the centralised, unified leadership of the CPC not only forms the political underpinning for a successful outbreak response at home, but also gives us the confidence to work with other countries to defeat the virus.  

Second, we must unswervingly put people first in our work. General Secretary Xi Jinping repeatedly stressed the need to put people’s lives and health front and centre in our response to the outbreak. He instructed us to give more guidance and support for overseas Chinese citizens, to convey to them the care and solicitude of the CPC and the government, and to take effective measures to protect the safety and health of our fellow compatriots.  

Acting on these instructions, we on the diplomatic front have prioritized people’s interests in our work, and mobilised all the resources and spared no effort to this end.

We moved promptly to collect basic information of Chinese nationals abroad and their difficulties. We rallied them in a united campaign against the virus through mutual assistance. We helped them have access to local health providers and through remote diagnostics to those in China. We sent joint task forces to offer services and support. And we put in place a 24/7 special consular protection mechanism.  

We chartered flights to bring home Chinese citizens from Hubei and other provinces that had been stranded abroad due to the outbreak. As the outbreak continued outside China, we arranged for 17 ad hoc flights to bring back Chinese nationals in urgent need to return from hard-hit countries.  

We set up an emergency response centre to prevent imported cases and to serve the overall agenda of controlling the outbreak at home.  

We instructed our diplomatic and consular missions abroad to give top priority to Chinese students overseas and do whatever they can to address their concerns and difficulties, especially those in hard-hit countries. We delivered health kits containing masks, disinfectant, antiseptic wipes and protection tips, to every student in need.  

We took nearly 170,000 calls in less than two months on the 12308 consular protection hotline platform, bringing overseas Chinese closer to the heart of the motherland.  

All these steps have been applauded by our fellow compatriots both at home and abroad, which gives us more motivation to do better in the days ahead.  

Third, we must unswervingly pursue the grand vision of building a community with a shared future for mankind. This is a vision that General Secretary Xi Jinping put forward seven years ago. Seven years on, the sudden onslaught of an outbreak across the world has made it clearer than ever that all countries are in the same boat and rise and fall together. It has also made us realize the importance and urgency of expediting our efforts toward this goal.  

At the most trying stage of China’s fight against the outbreak, leaders of over 170 countries and 50 international and regional organisations and more than 300 foreign political parties and organisations offered solidarity and support to Chinese leaders through letters, phone calls, and statements. More than 70 countries and international organisations sent supplies and other assistance to China. People of different nationalities rooted for Wuhan and for China in various languages. The profound friendship will always be remembered and cherished by the Chinese people.   

China sent teams of experts to the front-line countries

Today, in the face of a growing outbreak in the world, the Chinese people empathised and reciprocated. One after another, we organised video conferences to share our control and treatment experience without reservation. One after another, we sent teams of experts to the front-line countries. One after another, we mobilised manufacturers to produce at full speed protective gear badly needed by the world. And one after another, we shipped medical supplies to every corner of the globe. As a line of an ancient Chinese poem goes, “Fear not the want of armour, for mine is also yours to wear.” In this spirit, the Chinese people and the whole world have written together an epic of international humanitarianism. This is the best example of a community with a shared future for mankind.  

As COVID-19 continues to spread in the world, global efforts to fight the virus have come to a critical point. We on the diplomatic front must follow the guidance of Xi Jinping Thought on Diplomacy, and prepare ourselves, in both thinking and actions, for volatility in the external environment for a long period of time. China will work with the international community to win this global war against the disease.  

First, it is important for the world to make a unified response to contain the virus as soon as possible. The outbreak is a common challenge to us all. Not even a single member of the international community should be missing in our joint endeavour to overcome this challenge.   

China will continue to explore the possibility of setting up joint response mechanisms with other countries, step up information sharing, and carry out cooperation in such areas as research and development of medicines and vaccines, all in an effort to cut off cross-border contagion as quickly as possible and contribute to a stronger global defence against COVID-19. 

China will engage in close communication with neighbouring countries to put in place regional emergency liaison mechanisms aimed at responding more quickly to public health emergencies.   

China will continue to do its best to assist countries in urgent need, and help Africa and other developing countries strengthen their public health systems and enhance preparedness.  

China stands ready to work more closely with other major countries on COVID-19 to fulfil our shared responsibility to shield the world from wind and rain.    

Second, it is important to uphold multilateralism and improve global governance on public health. Since the start of the outbreak, the WHO has actively performed its duties and upheld an objective, science-based, and unbiased position. It has been instrumental in rallying and coordinating the efforts of various countries to cope with the outbreak and seek closer international cooperation. The work of the WHO has been widely applauded by the international community. China will continue to provide unfailing support for the WHO to play its role in the global cooperation against COVID-19 and in building a health community for mankind.

China will stay in close contact with other G20 members to strengthen cooperation on anti-epidemic assistance and convene a high-level meeting on global public health security in due course.    

China to work with its partners for a “silk road of health”  

China will take further steps to boost health cooperation under the Belt and Road Initiative and work with its partners for a “silk road of health”.  

In the age of economic globalization, traditional and non-traditional security issues are putting mankind under one test after another. China will uphold multilateralism and work for a stronger and better global governance system centred on the UN.  

Third, it is important for all parties to reinforce coordination and cooperation and build international consensus on fighting COVID-19 in solidarity. Given the ferocity of this outbreak, solidarity is the only right choice for all countries. To defeat an enemy that respects no borders, solidarity, and cooperation are the most powerful weapons the international community can wield. It is imperative that all parties pull together to steer the international cooperation on COVID-19 onto the fast track.

In a crisis like this, complaining, finger-pointing or scapegoating is not the way to get countries to stay focused on their battle against the outbreak. Such a move will very likely divide the international community, erode the gains from international cooperation, and ultimately hurt the shared interests of all.  

China will stand alongside the overwhelming majority of countries to reject ideological bias and form the biggest possible synergy to combat the virus. We will also take this joint fight as an opportunity to promote greater care for the planet, we all call home, and work toward a global village where all share the same interests and future.  

Fourth, it is important to better coordinate macro policies and counter the downward pressure on the world economy. The outbreak has taken its toll on every aspect of global production and demand, and ratcheted up the risk of a global recession. In response, China will work on both epidemic control and socio-economic development, and restore normalcy to work and life at a faster pace in the midst of ongoing containment efforts. China will stay the course of scaling up its reform and opening up, and play a constructive role in stabilizing the world economy.  

At the global level, China will promote better coordination on macroeconomic policies, and call on all parties to cast their eyes on a “post-COVID-19 era” and do whatever it takes to keep global industrial and supply chains stable and promote trade and investment liberalization and facilitation. We must work together to make sure that the world economy can see the rainbow after the storm and emerge with a more balanced and sustainable growth.  

There will be a day when the outbreak is over and mankind prevail. We are confident that under the strong leadership of the CPC Central Committee with Comrade Xi Jinping at its core, China will be the first to win a full victory against COVID-19. We are convinced that with solidarity and cooperation among countries, mankind will stand the test of this outbreak.  

We believe that when the outbreak is over, China’s friendship with the world will grow stronger. China’s cooperation with the world will become more solidly based. The notion that China shares the same future with the world will win the heart of the people. And countries will take bigger and more solid steps toward a community with a shared future for mankind!  

Wang Yi: China’s Minister of Foreign Affairs and State Councillor

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Public-private partnerships can defeat coronavirus https://wwww.dailynewssegypt.com/2020/04/18/public-private-partnerships-can-defeat-coronavirus/ Sat, 18 Apr 2020 17:58:24 +0000 https://wwww.dailynewssegypt.com/?p=728534 Working with private labs to boost testing capacity, the federal government is expected to make available 1.4m tests by next week and 5m within the month, according to administration estimates.

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Strengthening health security in the face of the novel coronavirus (Covid-19) outbreak will take more than one single product. To protect people around the world from this new virus, healthcare professionals need medical countermeasures that enable them to diagnose patients quickly and accurately. They also need to be able to vaccinate people to prevent the spread of the virus, and treat infected people with effective therapeutics or antiviral drugs. 

In US President Donald Trump’s national emergency declaration over coronavirus fears, he announced a public-private partnership (PPP) with major US companies to expand testing capabilities. Vice President Mike Pence and leaders of major corporations and businesses, including Target, Walgreens, Quest Diagnostics, and CVS Health, joined him in the Rose Garden for the announcement.

Working with private labs to boost testing capacity, the federal government is expected to make available 1.4m tests by next week and 5m within the month, according to administration estimates.

In less than a month, the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA) has expanded agreements with three companies to develop medical countermeasures. These look to enhance national health security as they continue to seek insight from partners in the private and public sectors to identify promising technologies.

BARDA’s mission is to create and use these successful PPPs with industry to share risk, improve efficiency, and accelerate development. At the same time, the authority looks to sustain a marketplace that guarantees continued access to countermeasures vital to national security.

As part of this, the federal government, academia, and industry have struck a PPP to allow Covid-19 researchers access to high performance computing resources, the White House Office of Science and Technology announced Monday. Called the Covid-19 High Performance Computing Consortium, researchers can submit proposals to gain access to the high-end computing resources. 

Members of the consortium include the private corporations IBM, Amazon Web Services, Google Cloud, and the Department of Energy National Laboratories and Technology Centers, which host some of the world’s most powerful supercomputers.

EU puts €232m into PPP for coronavirus vaccine research

Joining global efforts, the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) said, “Most of the cases in Europe have been recorded in Italy. Of particular concern, very few of these cases have a link to travel to China. Patients in Belgium, France, Germany, Spain, and the UK have also been infected with the virus, and with the increasing number of injuries and deaths of coronavirus in those countries, but in all these cases there have a very few link with China.”

European Commission (EC) President Urusula von der Leyen said that, as cases continue to rise, public health remains the number one priority. For this reason, the EC has pledged €232m to help contain the coronavirus outbreak, as Italy remains an infection hotspot

Africa facing COVID-19 through PPPs

As confirmed coronavirus cases across Africa are rising, the virus threatens to unleash an unprecedented health crisis in the Sub-Saharan Africa. As of 13 April, over 7,800 coronavirus cases have been confirmed across 43 countries in the region, with South Africa, Cameroon, and Burkina Faso the most affected. The rapid spread of the virus, if left unchecked, threatens to overwhelm weak healthcare systems and exact a large humanitarian toll.

A comprehensive and coordinated effort through PPPs by all development partners is essential to respond effectively to this crisis. The ability of countries to mount the required fiscal response is highly contingent on ample external financing and grant on concessional terms being made available by the international financial community. Without adequate financing, temporary liquidity issues could turn into solvency problems, resulting in the coronavirus crisis having long-term effects on economic activity

Through PPP, the NGO Resolve to Save Lives and the African Centre for Disease Control are working with Ipsos to gather data-driven insights. These will allow them to create tailored guidelines on preventative measures to curb the coronavirus. The coalition was able to use each partner’s expertise to make a plan within a week that could deliver this solution fast and at scale.

Dr Ahmed Alkalawy

Kalawy & Partners

Consultant & PPPs Expert

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