Daily News Egypt https://wwww.dailynewssegypt.com Egypt’s Only Daily Independent Newspaper In English Sat, 19 Oct 2019 07:30:26 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.9.1 Developers agree that balance in land offering achieves state’s development plan https://wwww.dailynewssegypt.com/2019/10/19/developers-agree-that-balance-in-land-offering-achieves-states-development-plan/ Sat, 19 Oct 2019 07:30:26 +0000 https://wwww.dailynewssegypt.com/?p=711327 During Future Real Estate Investments: Opportunities and Challenges roundtable held on Wednesday, Soliman noted that some axes must be addressed before expanding real estate export, such as solving residency problems for foreigners, and the implementation of necessary promotional campaigns in targeted areas.

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Amr Soliman, chairperson and CEO of Mountain View, said that land offerings should be controlled to ensure no shortage or increase in offered lands in the market so to achieve balance to not reach dumping or lack of land.

During Future Real Estate Investments: Opportunities and Challenges roundtable held on Wednesday, Soliman noted that some axes must be addressed before expanding real estate export, such as solving residency problems for foreigners, and the implementation of necessary promotional campaigns in targeted areas.

For his part, Waleed Mokhtar, managing director of Iwan Developments, pointed out that the high price of land will impact the final real estate product, where a unit’s size and landscaping have become smaller to compensate the high land value.

Mokhtar stressed the need for a clear plan on land offerings in the country, which enables each developer to determine their investment plan and the area they seek to obtain.

He explained that marketing Egypt as a destination for foreign clients is the first step in marketing the property. Foreign clients first look at the destination, and the then the country, and then the type of property that they like, he noted. 

Additionally, Mokhtar said that Egypt needs to place itself on the global market to facilitate developers looking to invest abroad. 

Similarly, Co-CEO of Misr Italia Properties Mohamed El Assal said that “Property registration problems are some of the biggest barriers to exporting real estate, even though the Egyptian government has taken serious measures and steps to support export. However, we won’t see any results at least until three to four years.”

El Assal asserted the need for unified promotional campaigns between developers and the State to achieve the desired result and must determine a plan for any divestment from the market.

Moreover, Khozam Developments chairperson Nader Khozam said that the current achievement in land offerings mechanisms is robust compared to previous years so that each developer can conduct a feasibility study of their project before its launch, based on land prices. 

Khozam continued, “The government has to unify mandate authorities who are responsible for offering all lands in the country to determine the conditions, prices, and development plans for each region, which achieves the development goal of the state by assuming the responsibility of the New Urban Communities Authority on all lands in Egypt.”

He further noted that solving the country’s mortgage finance problems experienced in the exportation of real estate is an opportunity that will allow the government to take advantage of the current real estate situation, allowing Egypt to increase exports abroad.

Furthermore, Chairperson of First Group, Bashir Mostafa, said that the Ministry of Housing is doing well and effectively is dealing with the real estate market, it listens to the requests of developers and studies to take quick and effective decisions to deal with the needs of the market and developers.

Mostafa elaborated that the real estate system, which includes the ministry and the needs of developers and clients to focus on the customer’s needs, is meant to focus on putting into consideration the client’s financial capabilities for a unit to guarantee more investments and expansions in the sector.

Meanwhile, Amr El Kady CEO of City Edge Developments said that the land offerings system has witnessed an abundance of supply in the market during the recent period. He also mentioned that land prices are determined according to supply and demand.

El Kady pointed out that Egypt needs about two years before getting on the real estate exportation map, as it must work intensively to develop clear investment plans to be presented to foreigners, like what had been presented at the Economic Conference in Sharm El-Sheikh in March 2015, including those opportunities in various sectors within the market, whether residential, educational, medical, tourism, administrative, and commercial projects.

He continued, “Marketing campaigns should be more comprehensive, so that property marketing could be done like tourism promotion campaigns through a public marketing campaign to buy real estate in Egypt”.

He further explained that foreign experiences must be studied and learned to succeed, especially the experience of Turkey, where data indicate 43% of foreign purchases in Turkey are Arabs, with Saudi Arabia being the second-highest population there in terms of property ownership.

Finally, Ahmed El Adawy CEO of Inertia Holding Group highlighted that there is a constant need for land in spite of the abundance, and different mechanisms to obtain it is positive because it provides companies with several means to choose the most suitable for them, but this led to price hikes by 50%.

El Adawy stressed that the easiest solution would be through land requirements and use, by reconsidering rates of built-up in each project and also buildings heights. This is important because replication of products and similarities in areas such as the North Coast has hurt real estate exports, coupled with a lack of diversity in property products and low competition between developers.

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Egyptian official delegation participates in CTBUH 2019 end October https://wwww.dailynewssegypt.com/2019/10/19/egyptian-official-delegation-participates-in-ctbuh-2019-end-october/ Sat, 19 Oct 2019 07:00:08 +0000 https://wwww.dailynewssegypt.com/?p=711323 NUCA is studying 800 requests for acquiring land through the newly offered allocation system, says assistant Housing Minister for NUCA Affairs

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Egypt’s official delegation participates for the first time in the Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat (CTBUH) 2019 by the end of October, according to Deputy Minister of Housing, Utilities, and Urban Communities for National Projects Khaled Abbas.

The CTBUH is the world’s leading resource for professionals focused on the inception, design, construction, and operation of tall buildings and future cities and will convene in Chicago, USA on 28 October – 2 November.

CTBUH facilitates the exchange of the latest knowledge available on tall buildings around the world through publications, research, events, working groups, web resources, and its extensive network of international representatives.

Abbas said that the delegation constitutes Ministry of Housing officials, heads of construction companies, and design and engineering consultancy offices to present the tallest tower in Africa in the New Administrative Capital (NAC) and represent Egypt as a global destination for development and investment.

During Future Real Estate Investments: Opportunities and Challenges roundtable held on Wednesday, Abbas pointed out that the ministry will participate in Mipim 2020 in France through an official booth of the Ministry of Housing with the presence of a number of real estate developers. This will be the second time Egypt participates in this global event, which includes a number of foreign investment funds.

He noted that the export of Egyptian real estate abroad requires a long effort to be carried out in cooperation between the government and real estate developers.

The most important thing that distinguishes the state at present is the government’s cooperation with the private sector to achieve the state development plan. Moreover, the diversity in land offering systems comes according to the needs of the market, Abbas elaborated, adding that there is an abundance of land in the market unlike previous periods.

He stressed that the provision of land in the market ignites competition among developers and produces different types of units, as it led to the expansion of the sector in terms of the size of companies, as well as increases in the number of produced units for citizens.

“Price of land varies from region to region according to the size of development achieved in each city,” Abbas said.

For his part, Assistant Housing Minister for the New Urban Communities Authority (NUCA) Affairs Walid Abbas said that the NUCA is currently studying 800 requests for acquiring land through the newly offered allocation system, in which investors provide their project’s feasibility study and all documents related to their development.

Abbas noted that the application’s studying period will not exceed two months.

Abbas added that the NUCA is studying applications based on the financial solvency of the company and its ability to implement the project as well as investor’s record. These procedures take place within one month, and when the paper work and the technical and financial studies are complete, NUCA’s board of directors will decide on the allocation of land.

He stressed that the NUCA is currently working on an expanded plan that includes increasing rates of land offerings and linking them to productivity, which appears in the start towards new cities such as the NAC, New Alamein, New Mansoura, and Upper Egypt’s new cities.

He added that the land offering system and mechanisms for obtaining it, have witnessed several developments over the past few years, and there has been more than one way of doing so, whether by auctions or allocation, or through offers and partnerships. However, there were constant complaints by companies regarding the routine they face in obtaining lands.

He pointed out that a number of applications submitted by companies and investors reached about 1,124 requests since initiating the new land allocation mechanism during the current year, 20% of which were submitted through foreign companies and investors.

Issuing ministerial approvals for project development takes only one month in light of the large facilitations provided by the NUCA and accelerating procedures, he noted, adding “95 ministerial approvals have been issued this year, 45 out of them for projects in the NAC.”

The cost of utilities is the main determinant in land price. Nevertheless, the NUCA gives great price advantages in several areas, especially Upper Egypt, where it grants land to the investor at the cost of utilities, according to Abbas.

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IMF calls on Egypt to take additional structural reforms to accelerate GDP growth https://wwww.dailynewssegypt.com/2019/10/18/imf-calls-on-egypt-to-take-additional-structural-reforms-to-accelerate-gdp-growth/ Fri, 18 Oct 2019 15:56:46 +0000 https://wwww.dailynewssegypt.com/?p=711309 Inflation getting down faster than expected, says Azour

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The International Monetary Fund (IMF) called on the Egyptian authorities to take additional structural reforms to accelerate its GDP growth and achieve the target of 6% by end of the current fiscal year 2019/20 and beyond 7% in the years to come, Jihad Azour, Director for the Middle East and Central Asia Department at the IMF, told Daily News Egypt.

This came during the Middle East and Central Asia Department online press conference on Friday, on the sidelines of the IMF and World Bank’s 2019 annual meetings.

The future structural reforms should aim at promoting growth through creating jobs, boosting private sector participation in the economy and strengthening governance, Azour explained.

“We should be very caution over the current years to accomplish the GDP targeted growth on the medium term and accelerate the growth and benefit from the current investment opportunities,” he added, assuring that Egypt is ready to attract more FDIs in the future specially after several infrastructure projects were implemented.

The IMF supported Egypt’s macroeconomic programme for 3 years to secure the social protection for the most vulnerable categories in the society, Azour mentioned. asserting the fifth and final review of the Egyptian economy clarified that the authorities achieved a tangible progress in the country’s financial position.

The inflation is getting down faster than expected that allowed the Central Bank of Egypt (CBE) to cut interest rates several times this year, he noted.
Additionally, Azour mentioned that the Lebanese authorities need to rebuild the trust with the citizens, deal with the weakness points and improve the governmental revenues to boost the GDP growth specially that GDP didn’t properly grow in the past years.

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EBRD appoints Egyptian national Soha El-Turky as its new Vice President, CFO https://wwww.dailynewssegypt.com/2019/10/18/ebrd-appoints-egyptian-national-soha-el-turky-as-its-new-vice-president-cfo/ Fri, 18 Oct 2019 13:31:07 +0000 https://wwww.dailynewssegypt.com/?p=711314 A national of Egypt, she replaces András Simor, who retired earlier this year El-Turky will take up her position at the start of 2020.

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The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) has appointed Egypt’s Soha El-Turky as its new Vice President, Chief Financial Officer (CFO), the bank announced on Friday.

A national of Egypt, she replaces András Simor, who retired earlier this year El-Turky will take up her position at the start of 2020.

She will be a member of the EBRD’s Executive Committee, the Bank’s most senior management team. She is the first member of this Committee to be appointed from the Bank’s southern and eastern Mediterranean region.

EBRD President Suma Chakrabarti said, “I am delighted to welcome Soha [El-Turky] to the EBRD, which will benefit from the breadth of her experience and outstanding personal qualities. She will have an important contribution to make as the Bank heads towards its next five year strategy.”

El-Turky joins the EBRD from Banque du Caire, where she has been CFO since April 2018, based in Cairo. She had previously served as CFO at the Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank (ADIB), also in Cairo. She joined ADIB from Barclays, where she spent nearly eight years in various executive roles, and before that at Citi, which she joined in 1999.

She has worked in both the UK and Egypt, with experience in finance, business development and risk management.

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Years of fear: Egypt’s choices after GERD  https://wwww.dailynewssegypt.com/2019/10/18/years-of-fear-egypts-choices-after-gerd/ Fri, 18 Oct 2019 12:30:37 +0000 https://wwww.dailynewssegypt.com/?p=711306 Science holds answers for Egypt’s water poverty 

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In the tenth century, Al-Hakim bi-Amr Allah – the sixth Fatimid caliph of Egypt – witnessed a significant problem as a water shortage crisis emerged in the country due to a severe decline in the River Nile’s levels at the time.

The Nile has a significance value for the Egyptians as it was the secret of the country’s ancient civilisation. To address the water shortage at the time, the Fatimid caliph thought about damming the river, and assigned the famous Arab mathematician and physicist Al-Hassan Ibn Al-Haytham to work on it. Proved to be an engineering challenge,  Ibn Al-Haytham has feigned illness to avoid the caliph’s wrath and punishment.

Over hundreds of years since this plan, Egypt’s rulers built numerous small dams and bridges until the establishment of the Aswan High Dam in the 1960s. 

The Nile is Egypt’s lifeblood, as the country depends on its share to secure the Nile River Basin’s most populated country’s needs of water, by about 97%. This amount of water equals only 660 cubic metres (cm) per person, one of the world’s lowest annual per capita water share. 

But as population is expected to double in the next 50 years, Egypt is projected to have a critical countrywide fresh water and food shortages by 2025, according to a study conducted by the Geological Society of America (GSA). 

In the upcoming 30 years, Egypt’s population is estimated to reach 150 million which will lead to a decrease in the per capita share of water to be 350 cm/year. 

Now, Egypt is under pressure of the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD), but it still has some few choices to cope with the crisis, owing to science for bringing up most of these solutions. 

Years of fear 

Nowadays, Egypt is not fearing the floods of the river, but the mass hydraulic constructions by upstream countries such as the GERD which is 60% complete, and will be Africa’s largest hydroelectric dam on the Nile.

Negotiations between the three main concerned countries over the GERD; Egypt, Ethiopia, and Sudan, had reached a deadlock, particularly between Egypt and Ethiopia. 

Egypt receives about 70% of its water flow from the Blue Nile and Atbara River, both sourced in the Ethiopian plateau, then merge as the main Nile in the northern Sudan. 

Operation and filling period of the GERD are the main problematic issues between the concerned parties to reach solutions to amid the Ethiopian insistence on storage within a period of three years while Egypt requests a 7-year filing period.

Egypt’s Ministry of Irrigation blamed Ethiopia for the failure of negotiations, saying that Addis Ababa surprised the attendees of the trilateral technical meeting in Khartoum early this month, with a new proposal against all the previous agreements regarding the filing and operating rules of the GERD.

Addis Ababa argues that the GERD is essential for its societal and economic development because two-thirds of the country has been suffering from electricity shortage for too long.

According to the Ministry of Irrigation, the Ethiopian proposal excluded any guarantees for an annual discharge from the GERD, and dealing with future droughts and protracted droughts. 

Ethiopia also refused to discuss the rules of operating the dam, and insisted on limiting the negotiations of the filling phase and the rules of operation only during the filling phase. The Ethiopian stance contradicts the fifth article of the Declaration of Principles Agreement signed on 23 March 2015. It also violates the international legislations regarding constructing and managing dams over common rivers.  

Diplomatic efforts 

Professor of International Law Ayman Salama, told Daily News Egypt that the 2015 agreement stressed that only peaceful diplomatic means could be used to settle any dispute on applying the agreement between the three countries. He noted that the agreement did not mention the possibility of international arbitration among the three countries.

Salama added that if there is a good intention from the all parties, Egypt could request Ethiopia’s acceptance to go for the international arbitration, then the international arbitration committee will give the decision. 

Regarding Egypt’s further proposal to invite the World Bank (WB) to the negotiations, Salama said that Egypt did not inform the bank before applying the proposal to the Ethiopian side, and he believes that the bank itself would not accept mediation.  

In light of the failure of the negotiations, Egypt called for applying the Article 10 of the declaration of principles.

According to the Article 10, “If the parties [three countries] are unable to resolve the dispute through consultation or negotiation, they may jointly request for conciliation, mediation or refer the matter for the consideration of the Heads of State/Heads of Government.”

In response to the Egyptian call, the Sudanese Minister of Water Resources and Irrigation, Yasser Abbas, rejected involving any fourth party into the negotiations, affirming his country’s trust in the current committee to reach a solution for the issue. 

Meanwhile, the United States issued a statement seconding the three countries in their negotiations to reach a cooperative, sustainable, and mutually beneficial agreement on filling and operating the GERD. 

Recycling drainage water

One of Egypt’s expected solutions for the water crisis is recycling the drainage water. Egypt’s Minister of Water Resources and Irrigation Mohamed Abdel Aty, said recently that the country is to invest in expanding its use of treated drainage water to be able to cope with the water shortage and other water-related disruptions.

“In Egypt, 10% of agricultural water is recycled drainage water, and that success could be matched in other countries where there is large-scale surface irrigation,” a recent joint report of the WB  and the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO).

According to the report, Egypt set up a successful example that reusing the drainage water as unusual source of water could be effective and cheap.

The report pointed out Egypt’s approach of decentralising the responsibility of water management to local areas, for example, at Salheia city in the East Delta where a local groundwater association established a common management system and invested in a piped network, and now manages the aquifer sustainably. 

It highlighted the importance of achieving better understanding to the dynamics of water management, to ensure that water does not add to fragility, but rather promotes stability, and contributes to resilience in the region. 

The report also called for redoubling efforts towards sustainable and efficient management of water resources, reliable and affordable delivery of water services to all, and protection from water-related catastrophes.

Desalination

Depending on the country’s ground water reservoir as well as desalinating the seawater could also be an additional solution to meet the domestic demand for water. A new study pointed out that the domestic water sector is one of the largest water users in Egypt, which consumes more than 16% of the total renewable water resources. 

Egypt is urgently required to have its plan to face the increase in the current consumption of domestic water from around 9.2bn cm in 2016 to about 15bn cm of water by 2040 from alternatives to the Nile waters, according to findings of the study that was published in the American Journal of Engineering Research (AJER).

According to the study, domestic water in Egypt is diverted from two main sources. The first source is surface water (SW) which supplies about 88.99% and the second one is groundwater, which supplies about 10.77% of total demands, and about 0.24% from sea water desalination. The major factor that affects the amount of diverted water for domestic use is the efficiency of the delivery networks. 

Osama Sallam, the author of the study and researcher at the Egyptian National Water Research Centre told DNE, “the groundwater and seawater desalination are together promising sources for meeting the future water needs of Egypt. By 2040, Egypt will need additional 5bn cm to meet the domestic use of water to reach the needed amount 15bn cm.” 

Sallam illustrated that the Egyptian groundwater reservoir is fresh and has a low level of salinity, thus allows meeting the future demand of domestic water, and is also cheaper than seawater desalination. 

He further added that the process of seawater desalination is very expensive and the cost of desalinating one cubic meter of water costs $1,000 in addition to $1 for other costs of operating and maintenance. 

The researcher explained that this process is the promising source of water for coastal governorates particularly when Egypt rely on cheaper sources for energy, that will help in decreasing the cost of desalination.    

Drought-tolerant crops 

One of the important Egyptian experiences in cultivating drought-tolerant crops was by Said Soliman, a professor of genetics at the Faculty of Agriculture, Zagazig University. He was working for a long time in progressing new species of rice that resist drought and use less amount of water.

Speaking to DNE, Soliman said that he has developed a new species of rice, named “Oraby” after the iconic army leader Ahmed Oraby. This species of engineered rice takes about 120 days to grow, compared to 145 days for normal rice. He added that Oraby rice could be cultivated twice in the year.  

Oraby rice could be cultivated in all kinds of land, as it was successfully cultivated in Toshka project, Aswan governorate, in both sandy and clay soils.

According to Soliman, it is possible to cultivate 2m feddan of the engineered rice with the same amount of water which is allocated to irrigate 1m feddan of normal rice. Oraby rice will achieve increase in productivity by 2m tonnes of rice, meaning 1 tonne per feddan.

Water from desert

Most of Egypt’s land is desert, about 97 % of the country’s area. Actually, Egypt is just a desert with a very tiny line of water which crosses its land from south to north, the River Nile. However, the desert could hold a solution, and could also be a source of water.

For arid countries like Egypt, scientists at University of California, Berkeley, have developed a device that produces water from dry desert air, using sunlight only. 

The method depends on developing a molecular powder, a metal–organic framework (MOF), that is highly porous and acts like a sponge to absorb water. 

According to the study which was published by Science Advances journal, the powder saturated with water during moist and cool night after it was packed in a frame at a plexiglass box. 

After that it releases water as sunlight heats it during the day, and then the resulted water condenses on the side of the box which was kept open at night and closed in the day. The process takes 24 hours (a normal day), and could be also an additional solution for the water crisis in arid countries.

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SAS, SciSports maximise AI to open new horizons for sports https://wwww.dailynewssegypt.com/2019/10/18/sas-scisports-maximise-ai-to-open-new-horizons-for-sports/ Fri, 18 Oct 2019 12:00:59 +0000 https://wwww.dailynewssegypt.com/?p=711294 Company collaborates with 50 professional football organisations around the world

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Over the last few years, we’ve gotten a lot of sci-fi films that explore how life would be in a world controlled by machines that act like humans, but this is no longer fiction. Some may be familiar with the emerging concept of artificial intelligence (AI), however, not many know about its uses in real life.

AI is simply an area of computer science that emphasises the creation of intelligent machines that work and react like humans. It’s a hot topic, but the actual uses are still missing. With that in mind, SAS Institute – an American multinational developer of analytics software – and SciSports – an international sports analytics company – held a webinar recently on analytics and AI in sports, mainly football.

Mark Bakker, principal business solution manager at SAS, said AI is the science of training systems to emulate human tasks through learning and automation. This requires collecting a huge amount of data and analysing them, so the machine can learn what to do as if they’re humans.

In football, it requires using edge computing techniques with high-definition cameras around the pitch which generate large amounts of data about each player and the precise location of the ball whenever it is touched. Deep learning techniques allow generating ‘heat maps’ for individual players to show, for example, where on the pitch they were when they set up a chance for a goal or scored.

This, in turn, allows analysis of success and fail rates of each action, and to model behaviour for each player. Eventually, the aim is to have real-time scoring for players using deep learning algorithms, and therefore enable identification of ‘rising stars’ and undervalued players by benchmarking performance against peers.

To illustrate, Giels Brouwer, founder and chief innovation officer at SciSports, said the idea of his company emerged from his passion of playing football management games, like FIFA Manager, which uses a data driven approach at football scouting matches to find undiscovered youth players.

Accordingly, the Dutch sports analytics company, founded in 2013, uses streaming data and applies machine learning, deep learning, and artificial intelligence to capture and analyse this data, making way for innovations in everything from player recruitment to virtual reality for fans.

Brouwer said the company has 50 employees so far, working in three offices in the Netherlands, Germany, and France. SciSports collaborates with 50 professional football organisations around the world.

He setup some examples of players who the company helped through scouting to improve their career. One of these players was Memphis Depay. The player wrote a bio book recently and a whole chapter talking about the company and how they helped him find a big club that fits his skills based on his data, which was Lyon. SciSports also cooperated with Belgium’s national football team during World Cup and Ajax in building their team’s data. The company has many club clients and it not only shows the players’ abilities, but also their potentials. It provides an index of amateur players and potential talents.

Brouwer also gave examples of potential talents around the world, namely Dani Olmo who is playing for Croatia’s Dinamo Zagreb and the company believes he may go to Spain’s La Liga.

Brouwer told Daily News Egypt that the company covers the Middle East and North Africa, however, it has no activity in Egypt. Even though, according to SciSports’ index, Nigerian midfielder Azubuike Okechukwu, who plays for Turkish club İstanbul Başakşehir, on loan from Egyptian club Pyramids FC, is the best talent in Egypt, followed by Ramadan Sobhi who plays for Cairo giants Al Ahly.

Finally, Brouwer said he believes this new sphere is progressing really fast, as six years ago, no body was using data, but now almost every club is using some kind of data analytics in their work, either to evaluate its players’ performances or to do opponent analysis.   

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Aiming to eliminate space constraints, Japanese airline unveils robot avatars https://wwww.dailynewssegypt.com/2019/10/18/aiming-to-eliminate-space-constraints-japanese-airline-unveils-robot-avatars/ Fri, 18 Oct 2019 12:00:55 +0000 https://wwww.dailynewssegypt.com/?p=711304 Company hopes it will replace flying, allow elderly and those with disabilities to fully participate in society

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ANA Holdings (ANA HD), a Japanese airline group, unveiled its new “avatar-in” service at CEATEC 2019, one of Japan’s biggest international digital trade show, in a bid to create futuristic social infrastructure and eliminate space constraints.

According to the company’s announcement, ANA HD service, a part of Society 5.0, combines its air travel capabilities with the connectivity of Avatars, the company is working to reduce barriers to travel and enable everyone to equally participate in society.

Telepresence is not a new concept, it refers to technologies that enables humans to have a real-time sensation of being at a place other than where they exist, while being able to interact with the remote environment, which may be real, virtual, or a combination of both.

It also refers to an advanced type of teleoperation system that enables an operator at the control to perform remote tasks dexterously with the feeling of existing in a surrogate robot working in a remote environment.

Avatar is essentially a robot that is remotely controlled by a human. Currently, various avatar systems are in development but each consist of an operator apparatus (pilot) and remote apparatus (avatar) that are in complete synchronisation.

Avatar would allow sensations of sight, sound, and touch detected by the remote avatar are fed back to the operator.

Accordingly, Avatars will allow anyone to teleport their consciousness to a remote location. Thus, it will pave the way for global resource sharing, and open the doors for skilled labour, such as doctors, teachers, scientists, engineers, artists, to share their knowledge despite the space constraints.

“ANA HD is built on connecting people and Avatars have the potential to connect people across the world in a way that traditional travel cannot and is a continuation of our core beliefs”, said Shinya Katanozaka, President and CEO of ANA HD.

According to the press statement, the first batch of 1,000 newme avatars scheduled for release in April 2020, which will facilitate interactivity between Avatar robots and their operators.

Avatar robot “newme” would feature full-HD, 2K video transmission and customizable body accessories that can be adjusted to fit a variety of deployment needs.

The company hopes that avatars would ultimately make it possible for the elderly and those with disabilities to fully participate in society and even find employment.

ANA HD envisions the newme Avatar being used by the general public in scenarios such as shopping and enjoying sports matches from remote locations.

“This far-reaching plan will change the way that mobility is leveraged to solve social issues, and help create a society that exponentially increases freedom to learn, share and move,” the company said.

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Despite dispute, Egypt-Turkey FTA remains valid https://wwww.dailynewssegypt.com/2019/10/18/despite-dispute-egypt-turkey-fta-remains-valid/ Fri, 18 Oct 2019 11:30:54 +0000 https://wwww.dailynewssegypt.com/?p=711291 The source said all Egypt’s imports from Turkey will be fully exempted from customs by the beginning of 2020, explaining that only a supreme sovereign body can suspend or cancel such agreements.

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An official source at the Egyptian Customs Authority ruled out making any changes in the Free Trade Agreement (FTA) between Egypt and Turkey, despite the recent diplomatic tension between the two countries and some calls for escalation, stressing that the agreement remains valid.

The source said all Egypt’s imports from Turkey will be fully exempted from customs by the beginning of 2020, explaining that only a supreme sovereign body can suspend or cancel such agreements.

He added that the final step of lifting import tariff in 2020 represents only 10%, so it won’t cause a big difference in the pricing of Turkish cars as they are limited in Egypt, unlike the Egypt-EU Association Agreement which eliminated all customs on European cars seeing major decline in their prices in the Egyptian market.

The source highlighted the significant decline of the Turkish lira against the US dollar due to Turkey’s bombing of Syria and the US President Donald Trump’s threat to apply economic sanctions on the country. This could also contribute to a decline in prices of Turkish cars imported to Egypt.

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Porsche opens all new service centre and releases the 2020 Cayenne https://wwww.dailynewssegypt.com/2019/10/18/porsche-opens-all-new-service-centre-and-releases-the-2020-cayenne/ Fri, 18 Oct 2019 11:00:51 +0000 https://wwww.dailynewssegypt.com/?p=711290 Ghattas said that the facility is the first electrical ready facility in the region and equipped with the necessary infrastructure for charging stations, preparing for the arrival of “the first fully electrical Porsche.”

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SMG engineering automotive company, agent of the German brand Porsche in Egypt, opened a new Porsche facility in Cairo, in the presence of Chairperson and CEO of SMG group, Ibrahim Ghattas and CEO of Porsche in the Middle East, Manfred Bräunl.

Ghattas said that the facility is the first electrical ready facility in the region and equipped with the necessary infrastructure for charging stations, preparing for the arrival of “the first fully electrical Porsche.”

He elaborated that customers’ waiting experience will be quite entertaining with Porsche videos streaming all day, packed with its history, models, and motorsports.

They also launched the all-new five door Cayenne that is ready for any adventure. The Cayenne comes with a dynamic design and efficient turbocharged engines, digital connectivity that brings the whole world into the cockpit, alongside versatility, quality and cutting-edge assistance systems, offering both driver and passengers extraordinary comfort.

This is how the Cayenne makes the Porsche experience even more fascinating and diverse, yet remains what it has always been: a genuine sports car.

“What unites us all is our passionate enthusiasm for the sports car experience? It begins even before the start – the moment we first glance over the proportions, the Porsche DNA,” said Ghattas.

For this, there are the Porsche’s distinguishing features, such as the heavily emphasised front wings, the long sloping bonnet with power domes, and the characteristic three-piece air intakes, which have become even larger and more dominant. The front apron is new and powerfully styled – even when stationary, it alludes to the concentrated performance. The LED main headlights have an optional new LED matrix beam.

The 2019 Porsche Cayenne is a versatile luxury SUV that provides the utility, paired with the performance people expect from any vehicle bearing the Porsche crest.

The interior is both sporty and practical, each model comes with five seats, plus ample cargo space. The automatic rear hatch allows for easy loading and unloading, while the cabin itself comes with storage compartments, cup holders, and storage beneath the seats. There are so many features to enjoy inside the Cayenne, even on the base mod.

It comes standard with the safety features people would expect from a luxury SUV, like anti-lock brakes and stability and traction control. Front, front side, and full-length side-curtain airbags are strategically positioned for added cabin protection. The Cayenne also includes a few high-end safety features, such as a theft deterrent system and night vision. The multi-collision brake system automatically applies the brakes after a collision occurs to help prevent secondary impacts.

Some optional safety features people can add to the Cayenne include front and rear parking sensors, rear view camera or a surround view camera, lane keeping assist, lane change assist, Porsche dynamic light system, auto dimming rear view mirrors, and adaptive cruise control with a collision warning system.

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Volkswagen unlikely to establish car assembly plant in Egypt: Kayan https://wwww.dailynewssegypt.com/2019/10/18/volkswagen-unlikely-to-establish-car-assembly-plant-in-egypt-kayan/ Fri, 18 Oct 2019 10:00:03 +0000 https://wwww.dailynewssegypt.com/?p=711284 Facilities provided by Rwanda enhanced the economic feasibility of opening Volkswagen plant there, says Naggar

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Karim Naggar, chairperson of Kayan International Trade, agent of Volkswagen, Seat, and Skoda in Egypt, ruled out that Germany’s Volkswagen would launch a car assembly in Egypt, due to the existence of several such plants in the country, most notably El-Nasr factory.

He pointed out that these factories are overdue for rehabilitation to bring them up to proper standards and practices, which is what his company is already working on.

He stressed that the company has an ambitious plan to revive the automotive industry in Egypt.

Regarding Volkswagen’s opening of a car plant in Rwanda, Naggar explained that it is just an assembly plant of simple car parts.

He explained that the role of the factory is limited to the installation of car glass and tires in addition to other simple work; much less work than in the service centres of Volkswagen in Egypt, which currently includes plumbing, full paint, and total maintenance work of cars.

Naggar ruled out importing cars from Rwanda due to the lack of any local product used in those cars. At the moment, cars coming from Rwanda do not fall under the terms of the COMESA agreement.

In regard with choosing Rwanda as a location for the Volkswagen factory, Naggar explained it was mainly due to the facilities offered by the Rwandan government for the company. Rwanda did not require manufacturing any local components of the German car locally, in addition the country provide the necessary infrastructure to establish the plant. Rwanda also provided customs and tax exemptions that increased the economic feasibility of launching the plant there.

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Mercedes puts its models in Egypt through exciting test drive https://wwww.dailynewssegypt.com/2019/10/18/mercedes-puts-its-models-in-egypt-through-exciting-test-drive/ Fri, 18 Oct 2019 09:30:43 +0000 https://wwww.dailynewssegypt.com/?p=711281 The test was attended by the CEO of Mercedes-Benz Egypt, Thomas Zorn, who ensured that this test drive follows the company's measures of test driving in Germany.

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Mercedes-Benz Egypt has organised a test drive of its available models in Egypt at a safe driving circuit, in order to show the owners of Mercedes cars and company’s fans the latest car technology, especially in safety.

The test was attended by the CEO of Mercedes-Benz Egypt, Thomas Zorn, who ensured that this test drive follows the company’s measures of test driving in Germany.

The test was prefaced by an introduction of the German team responsible for the event, followed by an instruction presentation by the drivers selected by the German company on safety and security measures of car driving, as well as the four different test drives that measure the stability and rigidity of each car.

The driving experience was divided into four consecutive tests, a test inside a small circuit that simulated the city streets but also similar to the autocross circuit to test the car’s speed and stability in turns.

Then, there was the brake manoeuvre in which the driver manoeuvres an object in front of the car and then stops the car to highlight the high control of the steering in Mercedes cars.

The third test revolved around a sudden appearance of an obstacle on a slippery road, measuring the car’s capability in such situations.

Finally, the fourth test is a simulation of various accidents showing how Mercedes developed the driverless system and safety factors. The German company has strengthened its most advanced models with the highest safety equipment, enabling the driver to avoid running over pedestrians by automatically manoeuvring without much interference by the driver. Moreover, these models can stop automatically in case of the appearance of a major obstacle in front of the car.

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Abiy Ahmed: wide reforms, but some sceptic over unsettled issues https://wwww.dailynewssegypt.com/2019/10/18/abiy-ahmed-wide-reforms-but-some-sceptic-over-unsettled-issues/ Fri, 18 Oct 2019 09:00:02 +0000 https://wwww.dailynewssegypt.com/?p=711277 Despite all his achievements in Ethiopia, the GERD dispute is still unsettled

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For his efforts to establish peace with Eritrea, the Norwegian Nobel Committee selected last Friday the Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed to receive the Nobel Peace Prize 2019.

The Ethiopian leader was honoured for ending years of hostility and border conflict between the two countries. He was among more than 300 candidates, including individuals and institutions, who competed for the award this year.

Many found Ahmed’s winning of the Nobel Prize surprising and wondered why it was not awarded to the Eritrean President Isaias Afwerki, being Ahmed’s partner in the peace talks.

Washington Post quoted foreign analysts on the situation between two countries, saying that despite the 2018 agreement between Eritrea and Ethiopia to end the conflict between the two nations, the agreement remains largely unimplemented, and there have been a few visible benefits for the Eritreans.

Nobel Prize

The prize is worth KR 9m (about $0.9m). The award ceremony will take place in the Norwegian capital Oslo on 10 December and he is scheduled to give a speech ahead of receiving the prize.

The Nobel Committee said that it awarded the prize to Ahmed for “his decisive initiative to resolve the border dispute with neighbouring Eritrea.”

The prize appreciates the efforts of “all parties working for peace in Ethiopia, East and North-East Africa,” the committee said.

Ahmed commented on his victory saying, “I am so humbled and thrilled. Thank you very much. It is a prize given to Africa, given to Ethiopia. I can imagine how the rest of Africa’s leaders will take it positively to work on peace building process in our continent.”

Meanwhile, Ahmed’s office said, “The award is a proof of the values of unity, cooperation, and coexistence that the prime minister has consistently promoted.”

Ethiopia and Eritrea

Ethiopia and Eritrea restored relations in July 2018 after years of hostility and after a 1998-2000 border war. Ahmed headed to the Eritrean capital of Asmara in July in his first historic visit.

In another unprecedented scene, thousands of Eritreans took to the streets to welcome Ahmed, holding flags of Eritrea and Ethiopia. Asmara was also decorated with flags of both countries celebrating the special occasion.

On 9 July 2018, Ethiopia and Eritrea officially signed the Declaration of Reconciliation and Friendship, upon which embassies of the two countries were opened, ports and flights resumed, in tangible signs of a rapprochement that ended a two-decade feud.

The declaration ended one of Africa’s long-running military confrontations, which destabilised the region and forced the two governments to pour large sums of money from their budgets to spend on security and armed forces.

“After the discussion, we agreed to reopen our embassies,” Ahmed said in remarks broadcasted on state televisions of both countries.

Moreover, Eritrea’s President Afwerki visited the Ethiopian capital Addis Ababa twice after the agreement. In his second official visit on 14 October 2018, the two sides ended their differences and agreed on launching economic cooperation.

During the visit, Afewerki and Ahmed discussed boosting bilateral economic and trade cooperation.

However, some people were sceptical, Laetitia Bader, a researcher at Human Rights Watch told WP “I think there was a lot of hope in Eritrea, but very quickly, Eritreans saw that things were not changing on the ground.”

Also,  Vanessa Tsehaye, an Eritrean activist based in London was quoted saying that he believes that recompilation did not have a positive impact on Eritrea people, as conditions are the same as it was before the deal.

Similarly, Eritrean Human Rights activist Selam Kidane commented on the victory of Ahmed saying in a tweet “ I didn’t know one could win a peace award without achieving peace,” about the current situation between both countries after the deal.

Despite the deal, open borders were short-lived, as Eritrea has immediately closed the border again.

Women of Ethiopia

Some believe that Ahmed succeeded to make 2018 an unprecedented year for Ethiopian women, as many reached senior executive and legislative positions.

In February 2018, the Ethiopian diplomat Samia Zakaria assumed the presidency of the national election council, for the first time in the country’s history. Moreover, Sahle-Work Zewde is the current President of Ethiopia and the first woman to hold the office. She was elected president unanimously by members of the Federal Parliamentary Assembly on 25 October 2018. The position is largely a ceremonial one, with executive power vested in the prime minister.

Also, Muferiat Kamil was elected as the first female parliament speaker in the country, succeeding Abba Dola. She is currently the Minister of Peace and the Chairperson of the Southern Ethiopian People’s Democratic Movement (SEPDM), one of the four parties that make up the ruling coalition in the country, the Ethiopian People’s Revolutionary Democratic Front (EPRDF).

The chairmanship of the House of Federation – the upper house of the Ethiopian parliament – was assigned to Keria Ibrahim. Moreover, 10 out of 20 seats in the Ethiopian government were assumed by women, including Aisha Mohammed Mussa who was the country’s Defence Minister from October 2018 until 18 April 2019.

Sudan welcomes Ahmed’s Nobel Prize win

Several Sudanese political parties welcomed Ahmed’s Nobel Prize winning, and considered it a source of pride for the Sudanese revolution – which started on 19 December 2018 – and an affirmation of the global momentum gained as it was one of the most important milestones of peace efforts led by Ahmed at the local and regional levels.

Many Sudanese political leaders highlighted Ahmed’s participation in the negotiation between Sudan’s Forces of Freedom and Change, and the Transitional Military Council, which helped in completing its path after it was halted for time. They said Ahmed was realistic and showed logical and great tendency towards peaceful solutions.

GERD

Despite all recognised achievements made by Ahmed in Ethiopia, he seems not cooperating very well with Egypt to settle the dispute over the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) which started in 2015. Ethiopia seeks to complete the construction of the dam, while Egypt is concerned that it will affect its share of Nile River.

Writer Adly Sadek said in an op-ed at The Arab newspaper, based in London, “All these successes of Ahmed do not mean that the man has solved all his country’s problems completely, but he still has the GERD dispute.”

The writer believes that Ahmed managed to encourage his people to “support his national projects, especially the GERD. However, he has not shown any sign to make a compromise with Egypt as it objected some technical aspects of the project.

Now it is a test for him, as he must find a suitable way out of this issue which is a major contributor to peace and development in the region, Sadek said

About Ahmed

In March last year, Ahmed was chosen to be Ethiopia’s first Muslim prime minister. He is also the first Ethiopian prime minister from the country’s largest ethnic group, the Oromo, which makes up one-third of the population in a country suffering ethnic conflict among its 90 constituent groups.

Ahmed’s first speech in the parliament was a declaration of a new era in Ethiopia’s history, in which he announced a roadmap for long-awaited reforms, launching political freedom, fighting corruption, and developing the economy. Ahmed has fought all symbols of corruption, including leaders of the Ethiopian army.

He previously joined the Oromo Democratic Party, which fought against the Marxist Mengistu Haile Mariam’s regime.

Many encouraged his election to be Ethiopia’s leader for his mixed religious background, as his father is Muslim and his mother is Christian.

After taking the office, Ahmed incorporated several reforms and expanded freedoms in his country, which had been limits in many areas. Dozens of detainees were released, and others returned from exile.

Ahmed received his PhD on local conflict resolution in the country from the Institute for Peace and Security Studies in Addis Ababa last October. According to the party members, Ahmed is an excellent speaker, preferring to make decisions based on arguments.

He has a military and intelligence background, as he established a network and information security agency that sought to monitor ordinary Ethiopians, including dissidents in Europe and North America.

Between 2008 and 2010, Ahmed oversaw the expansion of radio and television broadcast at a time when Ethiopia was known for its lack of press freedom. He served as Minister of Science and Technology in 2015.


Once in power, he focused on the country’s ethnic conflicts which displaced 2.5 million Ethiopians. Ahmed also solved some outstanding issues with neighbour countries, mainly the Oromo-Somali clashes.

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Egyptian woman wins TIAW World of Difference award for women economic empowerment https://wwww.dailynewssegypt.com/2019/10/18/egyptian-woman-wins-tiaw-world-of-difference-award-for-women-economic-empowerment/ Fri, 18 Oct 2019 08:00:51 +0000 https://wwww.dailynewssegypt.com/?p=711266 The World of Difference award is a recognition and appreciation to the world’s outstanding corporative initiatives for women’s economic empowerment.

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Owing to her initiative to establish female economic empowerment, the founder of Businessita, Soha El Baklawy, has won the World of Difference award from the International Alliance for Women (TIAW) and Wound Care Education Institute, supported by the United Nations Women, to be the first Egyptian to win the award.

The World of Difference award is a recognition and appreciation to the world’s outstanding corporative initiatives for women’s economic empowerment.

El Baklawy expressed her delight for placing Egypt on the world’s map for woman entrepreneurship. She also showed her gratefulness for getting the opportunity to join TIAW as a vice president and social entrepreneurship board member.

She pointed out that such an opportunity has escalated her accountability with regard to further research and development to enhance woman entrepreneurship in Egypt, creating fellowship programmes with the support of national and international associations.

Businessita targets women from the ages of 18 to 65, with professional and nonprofessional backgrounds, who want to start or to develop their businesses and careers. Through mentorship, trainings, and business consultations, the initiative provides women with “a stop shop” for their business inquiries supporting their business models. The initiative helps women achieve their business goals and excel as they develop professionally.

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Customary marriage: the only alternative for divorced women in Egypt? https://wwww.dailynewssegypt.com/2019/10/18/customary-marriage-the-only-alternative-for-divorced-women-in-egypt/ Fri, 18 Oct 2019 07:00:42 +0000 https://wwww.dailynewssegypt.com/?p=711265 With these conversations, a divorced woman who prefers to remain anonymous asked her lawyer friend, “if a divorced woman wants to remarry, but is afraid of losing her children’s custody, what should she do?”

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In front of the family courts across the streets of Egypt, women gather, waiting for the next hearing of their children’s alimony case, sharing their experiences with one another.

With these conversations, a divorced woman who prefers to remain anonymous asked her lawyer friend, “if a divorced woman wants to remarry, but is afraid of losing her children’s custody, what should she do?”

“If a divorced woman remarried, her custody will fall, but there is another alternative solution, marrying through the customary marriage,” her friend answered.

Why resort to customary marriage?

Customary marriage (urfi) is a type of marriage where people marry according to their customs, and not the country’s laws.

“Many divorced women resort to the trick of customary marriage after their divorce, because they fear dropping the custody of their children,” says Naglaa Ayad, founder of the New Beginning initiative, which aims at helping divorced women overcome society’s stereotypes against divorcees.

Another reason for using customary marriage is to keep their fathers’ pensions since most divorcees depend on it, based on the law value of the alimony, Ayad added.

She asserted that divorcees face a lot of humiliation when they are trying to get their children’s alimony, as it takes two to three years to receive it. Accordingly, most women depend on the pensions.

“Imagine if a woman does not work, how can she fulfil the financial demands of her children and her house? Meanwhile, the alimony’s value is decided by the judge according to the financial conditions of the husband,” she further explained.

This gives room for the husband to fabricate the documents that prove his financial conditions, and hence construes the judge’s decision on a fair alimony value.

In that context, another 36-year-old divorced woman who works as a teacher and prefers to remain anonymous told Daily News Egypt (DNE) that she divorced her ex-husband 10 years ago and suffered a lot to take her alimony. Responsible for a 10-year-old boy and a 12-year-old girl, she pointed out that her husband gives her only EGP 120 alimony every month, which is a very low income to support two children.

She said that her total income is EGP 1,120, of which she receives just EGP 120 alimony, EGP 400 from her father’s pension, and EGP 600 from her salary.

The divorced woman stressed that despite of all these economic challenges, she has never asked anyone for money and never told anyone that she is suffering.

“But now it is my right to get married, but I don`t want to loss both the custody of my children and the pension of my father that represents a great solution for the economic crisis that every divorced woman faces,” she added.

“To be honest, I am not happy with being married through customary marriage like a teenager, but the law forced us to use it so we don’t lose everything,” she said.

Both divorcees asserted that they have never imagined that they would marry through customary marriage before, but the law and their situation forced them.

Legal point of view

With regards to the legal perspective, DNE asked Ahmed Abedein, a lawyer specialised in personal status issues about, the reasons why a judge decides to drop the mother’s custody over her children.

He stated that the mother’s custody can be dropped if she got married, died, or has a severe disease or any psychological problems.

Abedein explained that a lot of women now resort to customary marriage, through which women lose all her rights.

Agreeing with Abedein, chairperson of the marriage officials syndicate, Selim Ibrahim Montaser stated that a lot of women resort to customary marriage in order to maintain children’s custody or the pension,  which is a great mistake.

He explained that through this marriage, a woman loses her legitimate rights and does not guarantee them.

Is it religiously acceptable (halal)?

Montaser stated that from a religious point of view, the customary marriage in general is halal if it meets the required conditions of getting married in Islam which are making the marriage known to the public, having witnesses over the marriage contract, and the woman’s acceptance of the marriage.

He continued that the pension money that women receive after marriage becomes religiously inacceptable as she does not deserve it in that case.

“I personally do not prefer the customary marriage. We witnessed some cases where the ex-husband accuses his divorcee of establishing an illegal relationship with a man which will damage her reputation and force her to show the customary marriage contract,” he said.

Call for action

Ayad concluded that women are oppressed in all aspects of life, especially as they alone bear the responsibility of children after divorce.

She stated that at first she is oppressed when she waits for the alimony, then with an unfair alimony, and finally through the law that prohibits her from her father’s pension if she wants to remarry.

For her part, Azza Soliman, the President of the Centre for Egyptian Women’s Legal Assistance, stated that taking custody from the mother when she remarries is a clear injustice to her.

“Women who are subjected to injustice, discrimination, and violence in the private sphere cannot participate in the public sphere effectively and freely as long as they are legally and socially punished by the assignment of rights to obtain another,” she said.

She assured that dropping custody from the mother in the event of her second marriage can have psychological and social consequences that will negatively affect the child.

Finally, Ayad and Soliman both asserted the need to reconsider the personal status law in Egypt especially in terms of the custody of children.

Meanwhile, both divorced women that were aforementioned assured that they resorted to the customary marriage as it was the only solution, demanding from the Egyptian President Abdel Fatah Al-Sisi to reconsider the personal status law, and to intervene quickly to solve this problem.

They described the child custody issues as a crisis that impacts both women and their children.

“Women are suffering at all spheres of live, we try to facilitate for them their only hope and their basic right,” one of them asserted.

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Fabrica theatre band wins best music award for Queen’s reduplicated music medley  https://wwww.dailynewssegypt.com/2019/10/18/fabrica-theatre-band-wins-best-music-award-for-queens-reduplicated-music-medley/ Fri, 18 Oct 2019 06:00:07 +0000 https://wwww.dailynewssegypt.com/?p=711275 When I first saw that it lasts for seven minutes, I didn’t think I can last until the end; but it captures you at every minute; says MoziMotion film festival founder 

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 The legacy of Queen’s everlasting songs still sheds its light on younger performers whom, decades after the original releases, still get inspired by the heart-touching rhythms and the moving lyrics. The Egyptian performing musical theatre company, Fabrica, won the Best Music Video Award at the 9th annual MoziMotion-iPhone Film Festival in the Netherlands, for their performance of Mercury Rising: A Queen Tribute, a reduplicated medley of the band’s most famous songs. 

In a video, the troupe captured its spectacular performance of the prominent band’s most famous songs. As the camera follows members of Fabrica backstage, each comes out singing parts of Queen’s songs, each adding a new vocal layer.

The video saw the light last January, a few months after the release of the award-winning Bohemian Rhapsody hit theatres causing a buzz from the performance of Egyptian actor Ramy Malek as Freddie Mercury. This starring role got him the Academy Award for best acting. 

The seven-minute, one-shot video is directed by Mohamed Koushi, with art direction and choreography by Omar Warda. 

“What captured everybody’s attention was – and it shows that they’re theatre actors – the first, I would say, 90% of the first, is a continuous camera roll, it’s all one take. You go all the way to the end and if you mess up, you’ve got to start all over again,” said MoziMotion co-founder, Ruben Kazantsev.

The fact that Fabrica members are also theatre actors helped raise the ranks of the video. According to the jury, the single-shot showcased them actually acting, not just performing the songs emotionally. 

“The acting is brilliant. Wardrobe change is brilliant,” Kazantsev added. “It’s a no-brainer that this takes the first place.”

“When I first saw that it lasts for seven minutes, I didn’t think I could last until the end; but it captures you at every minute,” Kazantsev pointed out.

The medley’s arrangement was made by Mohab Kaddah, with music production, recording and piano by Mina Samy, and mixing and mastering by Ali Farouk at Blue Mango Studios. Co-Founder and CEO of Fabrica Neveen Allouba produced the video and was responsible for the musical supervision.  

The 30 members of the troupe took part in the video performing almost all the hit songs of the band. 

The video captured the hearts of the jury, due to the number of songs they managed to perform in a single shot. 

“In true Queen fashion, they made it last seven minutes,” Mobile Movie Days anchor Cesar Majorana said.

The team was showered with praise, also for the fact that they come from Egypt, to be the first reviving Queen’s music videos, just like the band was the first to shoot a music video. 

“I love those guys and girls from Egypt. Brilliant work,” said Mobile Movie Days founder Ruud van Gessel.

The medley was shot at Al-Falaki Theatre in downtown Cairo, at the stage of the American University in Cairo’s old campus. 

Fabrica entered the scene in 2013, under the support and supervision of Soprano singer, Neveen Allouba. The band is known to localise international shows, including the Egyptian translation of the Musical “Les Misérables,” Brecht’s “Threepenny Opera,” as well as adapting local shows such as El-Leila El-Kebira (The Big Night) by Salah Jahin and Sayed Mekawy to the stage.

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Egypt to apply participatory budgeting in FY 2020/21: Finance Ministry official https://wwww.dailynewssegypt.com/2019/10/17/egypt-to-apply-participatory-budgeting-in-fy-2020-21-finance-ministry-official/ Thu, 17 Oct 2019 19:42:42 +0000 https://wwww.dailynewssegypt.com/?p=711259 The results of the Citizen Budget initiative encouraged introducing the participatory budgeting, says Sarah Eid

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Believing in the youth’s impact on work performance, the Ministry of Finance (MOF) dedicates a unit for fiscal transparency and citizen engagement as part of its 2030 vision. One of the youth models in the ministry is Sarah Eid, the unit’s head.

The ministry takes successive initiatives to increase citizen participation in preparing and evaluating the state budget to meet the people’s aspirations, including the citizen budget which started four years ago, and was followed recently by the participatory budget initiative.

Daily News Egypt interviewed Sarah Eid who elaborated on participatory budgeting and the importance of such initiatives undertaken over the past period.

The term “citizen budget” is new; what is its goal?

The Citizen Budget is an effective tool that we have already started five years ago for boosting communication between the government and citizens to engage them in preparing the budget and restoring the people’s trust.

It aims to disclose the provisions of the state budget approved in the new fiscal year and the most important trends of the country’s fiscal policy, as well as the phases of preparing the budget, tax and non-tax policies, and social programmes, in a way that the average citizen can understand.

The Transparency and Community Participation Unit issues the citizen’s budget after coordination with all sectors concerned in the ministry and some external governmental bodies.

When is the Citizen Budget report issued?

In September of every year, after both the House of Representatives and the president approve the general budget for the new fiscal year.

Why is this report important and useful?

It is a simplified explanation to clarify the vision and objectives of economic reform and the role of the Ministry of Finance in financial restructuring. It is one of the basic documents used by the ministry to communicate directly with citizens and involve them in the vision of the government in order to build bridges of communication, which increases the credibility and transparency in the presentation of the latest trends of the state’s fiscal policy.

Does the Citizen Budget report have high credibility for international institutions?

It is one of the most important reports on the international financial transparency assessment of Egypt, which is issued under the sponsorship of several international institutions, topped by the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank.

Who would benefit from the budget report other than the citizens?

This report makes use of the major research centres and credit rating agencies on a large scale based on the transparency index as a strong sub-indicator that reflects the degree of safe investment in the country, in order to disclose fiscal and tax policies in a transparent manner through a stable tax system, helping investors develop their future plans. Transparency is linked to low corruption rates and has a direct relationship with improved economic and social development indicators, as well as improved economic competitiveness.

What are the most important financial allocations in FY 2019/20?

There are many distinct figures in this year’s budget. For instance, there is EGP 140bn to finance investments by the state treasury to channel additional resources, develop the infrastructure to increase the competitiveness of the economy, and improve the roads, electricity, water, and sanitation networks. Moreover, there is EGP 57bn allocated for the energy sector, including clean and renewable energy projects. There is EGP 6bn for the programme of export support and development, in addition to EGP 5.5bn allocations for industrial utilities, and EGP 5.3bn for programmes to supply natural gas to homes.

What about the controversial education budget?

The citizen budget of the year included important figures in the education sector and more in detail, different from previous years. We have allocated EGP 2.4bn for the kindergarten stage to increase kindergarten classes, especially in the deprived areas in the governorates of Upper Egypt. There is also EGP 8.62bn for the primary and preparatory stages and EGP 5.26bn for general and technical secondary stage. This budget includes the students’ skills development programmes in terms of scientific research methods, and training; qualification programmes for teachers; and the application of modern technological teaching methods, such as the school tablets, in addition to the establishment of new schools within the Egyptian-Japanese system.

What kind of programmes do you provide to the people with special needs in education?

We allocated EGP 1bn for education programmes for the people with special needs, including improving the educational skills of teachers, and other programmes to integrate the people with minor disabilities in pre-university education.

With the introduction of the universal health insurance; how much was allocated to health care within the budget?

The introduction of the new Comprehensive Health Insurance Law aims to extend universal insurance coverage to all citizens over six stages. It started with the governorate of Port Said, then the programme will be applied to other governorates of the first phase including Suez, Ismailia, North Sinai, and South Sinai.

About EGP 6.3bn allocation was directed to support health insurance and medicines, including EGP 5.1bn to support medicines and infant formula, EGP 3.1bn to cover the health insurance subscriptions of the financially unable people, and EGP 351m to support health insurance for school students.

Moreover, there’s an allocation of EGP 9.1bn for the purchase of medicines and medical supplies, and EGP 6.6bn for the publicly funded treatment programme.

How much is spent on social protection?

The Egyptian administrative system witnessed this year the largest number of promotions in its history. The ministry approved 7% periodic bonus for civil workers and 10% for others, with a minimum of EGP 75. Pensions were increased by 15% and a minimum of EGP 150, with raising the minimum pension to EGP 900.

To ensure a decent life for the Egyptian citizen, the 2019/20 state budget includes an increase in the allocations of subsidies to include EGP 89bn to support the supply of commodities, in addition to EGP 5.18bn for cash support. This falls under the social security pension and the Takaful and Karama [a social protection programme], which included 100,000 new families this year. In addition, EGP 9.3bn was injected to support the social housing programme.

This is in addition to EGP 5.3bn to support passenger transport, of which EGP 5.1bn was allocated for the Cairo and Alexandria passengers transport authorities, and EGP 6.1bn for student subscriptions on railways and subways.

Why did the participatory budget come after the citizen budget?

The success of the citizen’s budget in providing information to the citizen and raising the standard of transparency, locally and internationally, encouraged us to engage citizens in the preparation of the budget, which is linked to the criterion of social satisfaction. When citizens know where the money was spent, they feel like the budget meets their needs. We started the initiative in Alexandria, and we found it very successful. We also sat with people with the special needs to know their requirements for the budget to take them into account.

The implementation of the strategy of the Transparency and Community Participation Unit in the ministry will start with the principle of participatory state budget starting from the next fiscal year 2020/21, adopting an effective mechanism to involve the Egyptian citizen in preparing his country’s budget.

Regarding the budget, do the size of debt represent a big problem?

The state does not want to burden future generations with more debts. Debts get accumulated for years and are divided into instalments. The ministry is working to allocate the initial surplus inside the budget for debt instalments, and for the first time in 15 years, the revenues cover the expenses. 

What are the main features of the 2020/21 budget?

The slogan of the next budget is “Budget for human and economic development”. The government is working to make every Egyptian citizen feel the fruits of the economic reform. Spending on health, education, and investment will increase, in addition to expanding the base of community participation in budget planning and setting priorities.

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Egypt’s tourism sector: poised for success after decade of fluctuations https://wwww.dailynewssegypt.com/2019/10/17/egypts-tourism-sector-poised-for-success-after-decade-of-fluctuations/ Thu, 17 Oct 2019 19:09:43 +0000 https://wwww.dailynewssegypt.com/?p=711255 Egypt enjoys all tourist possibilities, that should allow tourism sector to achieve revenues exceeding the $20bn, says ETTA member

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Egypt’s tourism sector revenues recorded $12bn in 2018, according to the United Nations World Tourism Organisation’s (UNWTO) latest report.

Meanwhile, Egypt’s tourism sector revenues hiked by 28.2% during last Fiscal Year (FY), recording $12.570bn, compared to only $9.804bn in FY 2017-2018, according to the Central Bank of Egypt’s (CBE) balance of payment.

The tourism sector in Egypt has been full of ups and downs since the 2011 Revolution. It suffered a devastating blow, especially when a Russian passenger plane crashed in Sinai with no survivors in late October 2015.

Following the plane crash, Russia imposed a travel ban on Egypt, while the UK suspended all flights to Sharm El-Sheikh amid concerns over the airport’s security measures, banning travel to Sinai.

In January 2018, the Russian government gave permission for flights to resume to Egypt after a two-year hiatus, and Russian flights returned to Cairo in April 2018. On the other hand, the UK is still imposing travel bans Sinai, and hence tourism to Sharm El-Sheikh is very limited.

However, although Russian tourists have not returned to Egypt until now, Egyptian tourism has recovered some of its revenues since 2018, attempting to reach 2010’s numbers.

Daily News Egypt dug into the phases of the recovery of tourism in the following numbers in terms of both tourism revenues and the number of tourists.

In 2010, which was the peak for tourism revenues in Egypt, the sector achieved revenues of $12.5bn, with 14.7 million tourists.

In 2011, the number of tourists to Egypt fell to 9.8 million tourists, dropping revenues to $8.7bn.

Furthermore, in 2012 a slight increase was witnessed in the revenues reaching $9.9bn, with a total number of 11.5 million tourists to Egypt.

In 2013, Egypt’s tourism sector achieved revenues worth $5.9bn, bringing 9.5 million tourists, according to the governmental figures.

In 2014, a hike was witnessed in revenues achieving $7.5bn, with a total number of 9.9million tourists.

A slight decrease was witnessed in revenues in 2015, recording $6.1bn, with a total of 9.3 million tourists.

In 2016, a great decline was witnessed in both the number of tourists and tourism revenues due to the travel ban, in which the number of tourists dropped to 5.3 million, with total revenues worth $3.4bn.

In 2017 a recovery began to start, in which Egypt’s tourism revenues recorded $7.6bn, with a total of 8.3 million tourists.

The recovery continued in 2018 and 2019 as mentioned before, and experts expect more.

Yasser Sultan, Partner of Egyptian Valley company and Member of the General Assembly of the Egyptian Travel Agents Association (ETTA), told Daily News Egypt that he expects Egypt’s tourism sector to achieve at least $15bn by end of the current FY.

“Egypt enjoys all the types of touristic products, in addition to its amazing position, which together should allow the tourism sector to achieve revenues exceeding $20bn,”  he further explained.

Late September, British Tourism company Thomas Cook officially announced that it collapsed after failing to secure its necessary funding, which raised concerns over how this collapse may affect   tourism.

Commenting on that, Hesham El Damery, former president of the Tourism Promotion Board Authority told Daily News Egypt that the market will witness a shake until another great company like Thomas Cook absorbs the number of travellers.

Agreeing with El-Damery, CEO of Jaz Hotel Group Alaa Akel explained that the hotels that were highly dependent on Thomas Cook’s travellers will decrease their prices, to compensate their loss, stating that following this decrease, more travellers will come to Egypt.

“But if  Russian tourism returns to Egypt this coming winter season, a shortage there will be a shortage in hotel rooms. Hotels will need to increase their prices which will affect the Egyptian economy positively,” he asserted.

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MEDAF Investment acquires Guardian for portfolio and funds management https://wwww.dailynewssegypt.com/2019/10/17/medaf-investment-acquires-guardian-for-portfolio-and-funds-management/ Thu, 17 Oct 2019 18:05:39 +0000 https://wwww.dailynewssegypt.com/?p=711248 The company is in negotiations to manage investment funds with new ideas, announcing its first product next month: chairperson

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MEDAF Investments, a newly established business group, has acquired the full shares of Guardian company for the formation and management of securities portfolios and investment fund management.

Chairperson of MEDAF finance holding Hamdy Rashad, told Daily News Egypt that Guardian will launch its first product next month or before the end of this year, adding that the company is currently in negotiations with banks and financial institutions to issue a new investment fund managed by Guardian. However, he declined to announce the type of fund.

Rashad pointed out that Guardian is not currently engaged in any activities and does not have any investments.

The new fund will be its first product, with other products that are planned to be announced in the coming period, all of which will be different from the current funds’ schemes.

He said that the ideas for the funds that the company intends to manage includes establishing a real estate fund, but legislation problems may hinder this step.

Rashad added that the goal of acquiring Guardian is to enter into the field of establishment and management of funds and investment portfolios, within MEDAF’s strategy to spread in the local and regional market in addition to some African and European financial markets.

Guardian is an Egyptian joint stock company specialised in the formation and management of securities portfolios and investment fund management with an authorised capital of EGP 50m, while the issued capital is EGP 5m.

The founders of Guardian are BPE Partners (45%), Acumen Asset Management (45%), while renowned economist Hany Tawfik holds 10% of the company’s shares.

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CBE issues new regulations for microfinance in banks https://wwww.dailynewssegypt.com/2019/10/17/cbe-issues-new-regulations-for-microfinance-in-banks/ Thu, 17 Oct 2019 17:58:55 +0000 https://wwww.dailynewssegypt.com/?p=711250 Excluding credit portfolios purchased from micro finance companies or associations in 20% allocated to SMEs from loan portfolios at banks

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The Central Bank of Egypt (CBE) has placed new controls to regulate financing granted by banks to NGOs, institutions, and microfinance companies.

In 2017 CBE decided to include microfinance granted directly to individuals, companies, establishments, microfinance associations, and foundations to the 20% provision allocated for small and medium enterprises (SME) out of the banks’ total loans portfolios.

At the time, the decision also included setting up guidelines for banks to use when preparing credit studies to finance these entities.

However, decided to tighten control on banks in this regard. Accordingly, the CBE Governor, Tarek Amer announced that the Board of Directors of the CBE agreed on its meeting on 9 October on the addition of policies to tighten control over the funding granted by banks to NGOs, institutions, and microfinance companies.

To achieve this goal, CBE’s controls issued included declaring, monthly, both authorized or used credit limits granted to companies or NGOs for microfinance to i-Score.

Also, banks will have to continue to adhere to what is reported to the General Directorate of Credit Risk Collection at the Central Bank of Egypt.

Per the new guidelines, before granting a loan, banks should also obtain a commitment from these companies or associations to inquire about customers to verify that the number of loans granted per customer does not exceed three loans from three institutions.

Moreover, the CBE also obliged banks not to include credit portfolios purchased from companies or associations of microfinance within the 20% allocated to SMEs from the loan portfolios of banks.

The CBE required banks to obtain a letter from the Financial Regulatory Authority(FRA) stating the sound performance of companies or microfinance associations, their compliance with the standards and rules of practising the activity specified by the authority, and the absence of any irregularities that exist until the issuance of these controls.

CBE’s instructions also included that companies must disclose to i-Score all their customers, and their credit behaviour, per the contract between these institutions and i-Score. The CBE will also be reviewing the credit data contained in an i-Score report to analyse and evaluate customer payment behaviour.

According to the CBE’s instructions, the leverage of microfinance associations should not exceed 10x the original granted amount or the commitment of companies or associations working in microcredit to the maximum amount granted to microfinance, by law 141 for 2014.

The CBE asserted that in case of company’s violation or association to the provisions of this law or the rules of practising the activity, banks shall not increase the volume of financing granted to them or grant them new financing until the violations are corrected according to the time stipulated by the FRA.

Furthermore, the leverage of microfinance associations should not exceed 10x the original granted amount or the commitment of companies or associations working in microcredit to the maximum amount granted to microfinance, by law 141 for 2014.

The CBE asserted that in case of company’s violation or association to the provisions of this law or the rules of practicing the activity, banks shall not increase the volume of financing granted to them or grant them new financing until the violations are corrected according to the time stipulated by the FRA.

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Prime Hospitality Management Group launches Prime Residence and Prime Select https://wwww.dailynewssegypt.com/2019/10/17/prime-hospitality-management-group-launches-prime-residence-and-prime-select/ Thu, 17 Oct 2019 17:42:09 +0000 https://wwww.dailynewssegypt.com/?p=711215 Concurrent with this launch, PHMG is excited to announce its first two product offerings as part of the Group’s portfolio; “Prime Select” offering a curated selection of luxurious furnished serviced apartments, and “Prime Residence” offering serviced apartments in buildings with full amenities.

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Prime Hospitality Management Group (PHMG) announced that it opened its doors to real estate owners who are looking to turn their dormant assets into income-generating serviced apartments.

Khaled El Sayyad, founder of Prime Residential and PHMG Executive Chairperson, teams up with hospitality expert Moataz Amin, the Group CEO, and New York-based investment professionals, Karim El Sayyad and Ahmed El Saharty, to establish Prime Hospitality Management Group (PHMG), Egypt’s first dedicated third-party property management company.

Concurrent with this launch, PHMG is excited to announce its first two product offerings as part of the Group’s portfolio; “Prime Select” offering a curated selection of luxurious furnished serviced apartments, and “Prime Residence” offering serviced apartments in buildings with full amenities.

“We have launched PHMG intending to maximize rent potential for owners by offering serviced apartment amenities and features while leveraging a dedicated corporate and property management team to minimize costs,” El Sayyad added.

“It’s taken time, hard work and adaptation but today the combination of our strong team and technology has allowed us to reach a 72% year-on-year revenue increase in our managed properties,” Amin said.

 

“This is a great opportunity for real estate owners given the current economic dynamics in Egypt, where the rental market has not fully developed after the 2016 currency devaluation,” said El Saharty.

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FEI concludes its visit to Berlin, awaiting a series of bilateral meetings on digital development https://wwww.dailynewssegypt.com/2019/10/17/fei-concludes-its-visit-to-berlin-awaiting-a-series-of-bilateral-meetings-on-digital-development/ Wed, 16 Oct 2019 23:01:28 +0000 https://wwww.dailynewssegypt.com/?p=711194 Egyptian companies should benefit from the ongoing trade war between the United States and China: Managing Director

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Berlin –The Federation of Egyptian Industries (FEI) concluded its meetings on Wednesday, as part of a work visit that began on Monday to the German capital Berlin. The delegation met with representatives of the German Electrical and Electronic Manufacturers’ Association (ZVEI) and the software and digital transformation company SAP.

Minister Plenipotentiary and head of the Egyptian commercial office in Berlin Maher El-Sherif, suggested to the ZVEI to organise a visit to Egypt, which includes a number of member companies to identify industrial investment opportunities, and to discuss signing partnerships with local Egyptian companies.

Managing director of the association, Patricia Solaro, said that Egyptian companies should benefit from the ongoing trade war between the United States and China, as German and European companies in general are looking for a way away from that war, which means a possibility to use Egypt’s position to become a base for German companies in the direction of African and Arab markets.

She added, “Under the trade war, global competition has become fierce and therefore companies need to develop their potential in order to strengthen competition since this creates a wide scope for cooperation between German and Egyptian companies in the field of digital development.”

The ZVEI has around 1,600 member companies and is active in five areas: industry, energy, health, and real estate.

On the side lines of the second meeting held with officials of SAP, which is one of the global public companies in the field of programming and technology, Tarek Tawfik, Vice-Chairperson of the FEI, said that Egyptian industry needs to catch up with the train of technological development, as the world is witnessing a rapid development in the field of adopting artificial intelligence. He pointed out that the meetings held by the FEI delegation were aimed at identifying the latest technologies used in the industry and the possibility of transferring them to Egypt.

Caroline King, senior director of the digital transformation unit at SAP said that her company, which has an office in Egypt since 2007, supports Egypt’s Vision 2030, which includes the axis of the digital transformation plan and the government’s orientation towards relying on technology in its dealings. She noted that the company works with the public and private sectors in Egypt to promote the use of technology in projects.

The company is currently dealing with seven major Egyptian companies, including Egypt Post, Elaraby Group, Swvl, Edita, and TAQA with plans to work with more companies in the near future.

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Shoukry, Croatian top officials discuss tourism, economic cooperation  https://wwww.dailynewssegypt.com/2019/10/17/shoukry-croatian-top-officials-discuss-tourism-economic-cooperation/ Wed, 16 Oct 2019 22:08:38 +0000 https://wwww.dailynewssegypt.com/?p=711191 FM expressed hope that the Egyptian-Croatian committee would be held in 2020

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Egypt’s Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry and his Croatian counterpart Gordan Grlić Radman discussed means to enhance their countries’ various cooperation frameworks on both the political and economic fronts, on Tuesday.

During the meeting, Shoukry and Radman agreed on the importance of continuing consultations on the main bilateral, regional, and international issues of common concern.

The two officials focused on boosting cooperation in the fields of natural gas and maritime transport, in addition to seeking to increase their trade exchange rates to be in line with their distinguished political relations.

Shoukry also briefed Radman on the level of progress achieved in the Egyptian economy, following the implementation of the economic reform program. He also referred to its promising investment opportunities that Egypt provides.

On another note, consultations tackled the common challenges facing Egypt and Croatia, especially terrorism and illegal immigration

Shoukry expressed his aspiration that his visit to Zagreb would yield a significant breakthrough in bilateral relations, which have been witnessing growing momentum in recent years.

Moreover, Shoukry discussed boosting cooperation with Croatian President Kolinda Grabar-Kitarović.

At the beginning of the meeting, Shoukry conveyed greetings of President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi to the Croatian President, inviting her to visit Egypt soon.

According to a statement by the ministry, Shoukry congratulated Kitarović on her country’s upcoming presidency of the European Union in the first half of 2020.

During the meeting, Shoukry expressed Egypt’s keenness to cooperate with Croatia during its upcoming EU presidency in all fields.

Both officials discussed cooperation in the tourism, technology, renewable energy, and food industries, as well as the possibility of signing agreements between the Egyptian and Croatian ports.

Shoukry reviewed also Egyptian vision on ways of facing the joint challenges as well as the Egyptian stances towards regional issues, topped by the Syrian crisis and the Turkish aggression in Syria.

The Croatian president welcomed Shoukry’s first-ever visit to Zagreb, saying her country pays attention to enhancing ties with Egypt.

The Egyptian minister also held talks with Croatia’s Prime Minister Andrej Plenković to discuss ways of boosting bilateral relations across various fields.

Shoukry asserted the importance of working to develop economic relations with Croatia and discussed cooperation in the tourism field.

He also expressed hope that the Egyptian-Croatian committee would be held in 2020. A committee that the two countries signed a protocol to establish for economic cooperation in 1995.

Plenković praised the level of relations and coordination with Egypt and was keen to get acquainted with Egypt’s stance on the regional developments and various challenges facing the region, mainly the situation in Syria, according to the ministerial statement.

Shoukry started his tour to Eastern Europe on 13 October to Vienna, Austria, Croatia, Lithuania, and Latvia to enhance ties.

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Egypt, France carry out joint maritime drills in Mediterranean  https://wwww.dailynewssegypt.com/2019/10/16/egypt-france-carry-out-joint-maritime-drills-in-mediterranean/ Wed, 16 Oct 2019 21:46:31 +0000 https://wwww.dailynewssegypt.com/?p=711188 Egypt’s Minister of Defence witnesses “Ra’d 31” military manoeuvres

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Egyptian and French armed forces on Wednesday conducted maritime drills in the Mediterranean Sea, according to Egyptian military spokesperson Wednesday statement.

The exercises are being carried out in the northern fleet region in the Mediterranean. The drills came at the same time of the arrival of the French multi-mission frigate Auvergne to Alexandria Port and with the participation of the Egyptian frigate Tahya Misr, the statement added.  

The drills aim at enhancing military cooperation between Egypt and France, exchanging expertise over the latest methods of fighting as well as supporting maintaining maritime security and stability in the region. 

Ealier on Tuesday, Egypt’s Minister of Defence and the Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces Mohamed Zaki, attended the main phase of the “Ra’d 31” military manoeuvres, stressing the armed forces’ ability to secure Egypt’s borders and defend its national security.

He stated that the armed forces have a developed arming system in all categories, in addition to professional fighters. 

The manoeuvres were conducted by the Western Military Zone in cooperation with the main branches of the armed forces. Live ammunition was used in shooting during the training which has lasted for days.

This came as part of the tactical fighting plan for both forces, in conjunction with the celebrations for the 46th anniversary of the October victories.

In his speech during the first stage of manoeuvres, the commander of the Western Military Zone pointed out the keenness of the General Command of the Armed Forces on supporting the zone and providing it with the latest weapons and equipment to keep the forces efficient for protecting Egypt’s western borders.

His speech was followed by a summary of the tactical idea of ​​the manoeuvring phases, a summary of previous actions, and the decision taken to achieve the assigned tasks. Another part of the training was combating operations with the support of air force.

Zaki also delivered greetings from President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi to the participants of the manoeuvres in his speech. He also tackled the method of controlling the battle formation, providing assistance in the implementation of tasks, and how to take the appropriate decision to face the sudden changes during the course of hostilities.

Furthermore, Zaki praised the role of the Western Military Zone’s forced in securing Egypt’s western borders and countering smuggling and illegal immigration. 

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PM Madbouly leads Egypt’s delegation, meets WB President, US VP at  IMF and World Bank meetings https://wwww.dailynewssegypt.com/2019/10/16/pm-madbouly-leads-egypts-delegation-meets-wb-president-us-vp-at-imf-and-world-bank-meetings/ Wed, 16 Oct 2019 21:12:30 +0000 https://wwww.dailynewssegypt.com/?p=711180 World Bank aims to increase cooperation with Egypt in the field of infrastructure

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Leading Egypt’s delegation, Prime Minister (PM) Mostafa Madbouly has attended the annual meetings of the World Bank (WB) and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) in Washington DC, United States.

The WB’s President David Malpass tweeted that Madbouly along with his team had “discussed private enterprise and policies to create broad-based growth,” adding that “opening markets and sound rule of law are key.”

During the meetings, Madbouly reviewed the measures taken by the Egyptian government to encourage the private sector’s investments.

On the sideline of world bank’s annual meeting, the Egyptian Minister of Investment and International Cooperation Sahar Nasr, had a meeting with the World Bank’s Vice President for the Middle East and North Africa Ferid Belhaj, in which they agreed to increase the cooperation with the Bank in the field of infrastructure.

The cooperation will support the initiative of digital transformation in Africa, activate regional integration, and transforming Egypt into a regional centre for energy export via renewable energy projects.

The cooperation will also focus on supporting the health and education sectors in Egypt under the initiative of the president Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi to invest in human capital.

In another meeting with the IMF’s Managing Director Kristalina Georgieva, Madbouly reviewed the financial and economic reforms undertaken by the government and the results reached on the management of public assets.

Georgieva commended Egypt’s reform program, saying that she had “a constructive meeting” with the Egyptian PM, asserting that “Egypt’s reform program has made significant strides towards economic stability.”

“This is a moment of opportunity to further advance reforms to achieve more inclusive private-sector-led growth and job creation,” she added.

Madbouly also discussed with the US Secretary of Energy Rick Perry, ways of boosting cooperation in the fields of energy, electricity, and clean coal technology.

Moreover, the Egyptian PM met the US Vice president Mike Pence at the White House. They discussed means to enhance bilateral relations and strengthen cooperation in various domains.

 

The two officials also exchanged views on regional security issues, as well as the latest developments at the regional and global levels.

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Egypt likely to launch electric buses, loaders by end-October: MUT Heavy equipment manufacturing company https://wwww.dailynewssegypt.com/2019/10/16/egypt-likely-to-launch-electric-buses-loaders-by-end-october-mut-heavy-equipment-manufacturing-company/ Wed, 16 Oct 2019 18:54:56 +0000 https://wwww.dailynewssegypt.com/?p=711131 State targets to full replace the current taxis by electric taxes within five years, says Knight

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Egypt is to celebrate the release of its Egyptian made electric buses on 29 October, Michelle Knight, Chairperson of MUT Heavy equipment manufacturing company stated during the “Egypt Can with Development and Investment,” on Wednesday.

Knight told Daily News Egypt that the company is partnering with the Ministry of Military Production in 19 projects.

He explained that the Ministry of Military production has the factories and the labour force, and the MUT has the Know-how.

In terms of production capacity, he revealed that the first production phase will produce 500 buses in the first year, and will increase by 500 every year until Egypt achieves self-sufficiency.

He mentioned that we currently have more than 90,000 buses in Egypt, which need to be converted from being diesel buses to natural gas buses or electric buses.

He explained that diesel buses cannot be transformed into natural gas buses, so it is important that they are replaced by electric buses.

“Egypt operates 6,000 big buses annually, so we need to replace the big buses with the electric buses and the new ones to be either run on natural gas or electricity uses,” he stated.

Knight revealed that the target of the electric bus project is to end the importation of buses within the next five years.

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Women generate 30,000 financial transactions worth EGP1m through “Heya Fawry,” initiative https://wwww.dailynewssegypt.com/2019/10/16/women-generate-30000-financial-transactions-worth-egp1m-through-heya-fawry-initiative/ Wed, 16 Oct 2019 18:52:12 +0000 https://wwww.dailynewssegypt.com/?p=711165 We are targeting 600 additional women to benefit from the initiative in the next six months: AWEF`s Egypt country Director says 

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Women generate 30,000 financial transactions worth EGP1m through the Heya Fawry initiative reaching 150 Egyptian women across Egypt, according to the Arab Women`s Enterprise Fund (AWEF) Egypt Country Director, Yomna Mustafa.

The Heya Fawry initiative is the very first female e-payment agent network in Egypt that aims to empower low income women who either own retail shop, are home workers, or unemployed to become its agents, and encourage other female consumers in their local communities to access e-payments services and consumer goods.

The initiative is a joint effort between the private sector in which Fawry partners with Unliver, transnational consumer goods company, and insurance firm AXA, and several Egyptian NGOS including Baheya, Mersal, Resala, Plan International, and the AWEF programme.

On Tuesday, the initiative announced the official launching of the second phase of the e-payment network at a press conference at the Brutish Embassy.

As part of the six-month pilot phase, Mustafa explained during the conference that 150 women were successfully trained and received point of sales machines to act as Haya Fawry agents.

She declared that in the next few months, Heya Fawry partners will jointly scale up the initiative to attract more and more agents, targeting to 600 additional women during the next few months.

Mustafa asserted that the initiative is considered a great opportunity to increase women’s employment opportunities in Egypt, which will positively impact financial inclusion.

She revealed that the success of the initiative is due to the partnership with the private sector and a number of charities and associations.

The British ambassador to Egypt, Geoffrey Adams stated the embassy praised the

Egyptian government’s efforts in providing and supporting women in financial inclusion.

The ambassador added that the percentage of female employment is increasing annually, helping women become more independent.

He pointed out that there are great attempts by the Egyptian government to encourage women to be independent, adding that the initiative is an immediate and good example that proves Egyptian women can work well.

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Egypt is capable to compete and absorb more investments : Qalaa Holding https://wwww.dailynewssegypt.com/2019/10/16/egypt-is-capable-to-compete-and-absorb-more-investments-qalaa-holding/ Wed, 16 Oct 2019 18:51:59 +0000 https://wwww.dailynewssegypt.com/?p=711172 El Khazindar praised huge projects lead by the government

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Egypt is currently capable to compete and absorb more investments with its distinguished position, says Co-Founder and Managing Director of Qalaa Holdings Hisham El Khazindar, during “Egypt Can with Investment and Development” conference held on Wednesday.

He explained that the reforms Egypt undertook during the last years were difficult but necessary. “Egypt has passed by a difficult period, during the last five or six years, Egypt’s financial and economic situation was difficult,” he said.

However, he stated that Egypt’s economic and financial situation has improved a lot now, praising the huge projects lead by the government, including generating and developing the electricity network, in addition to enhancing the infrastructure that allowed more growth and investments in the country.

“This year’s conference’s fifth edition, but this year Egypt can proudly say proudly that we can truly do it,” he asserted.

El Khazindar stated that Qalaa holding was one of the companies that bet on the economic reform programme and the future of Egypt, stating that it pumped a lot of investments in Egypt to encourage the investment during the past five years, most notably through the Egyptian Refining Company (ERC).

Tackling Egypt’s future, El Khazindar mentioned the need to continue working on the reforms, especially in simplifying the procedures and investing in education.

He also stated that the next period needs more highlighting on the achievements that Egypt has achieved and more promotions for the investments.

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White House delegation heads to Turkey for ceasefire talks https://wwww.dailynewssegypt.com/2019/10/16/white-house-delegation-heads-to-turkey-for-ceasefire-talks/ Wed, 16 Oct 2019 18:47:57 +0000 https://wwww.dailynewssegypt.com/?p=711169 Erdoğan announced that he will never declare a truce in north-eastern Syria, will re-evaluate upcoming US visit

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A White House delegation including US Vice President Mike Pence, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, National Security Adviser Robert O’Brien, and special envoy for Syria Jim Jeffrey, headed to Turkey on Wednesday for ceasefire talks in northeast Syria.

“At President Donald Trump’s direction, tomorrow I will lead a delegation to call on Turkey to stop the invasion, enact an immediate ceasefire, and begin negotiations to restore peace and stability to the region,” Mike Pence said via Twitter on Tuesday.

In Ankara, Pence is expected to meet with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan on Thursday.

The move came after Trump asked Erdoğan for an immediate truce in north-eastern Syria before Erdoğan slapped down the US President’s calls.

On Wednesday, Erdogan said that he would decide whether to go ahead with a scheduled visit next month to the US after meetings with an American delegation in Turkey this week.

Erdoğan announced on Tuesday that he will never declare a ceasefire in north-eastern Syria or start negotiations with US allied-Turkish forces, describing them as “terrorists.” 

Moreover, Erdoğan expressed no concerns over the advancement of Syrian government troops in Kurdish-led towns in the north.

The remarks of the Turkish President also followed Trump’s order to sanction Turkey’s Defence, Energy, and Interior ministers over their involvement in the invasion into north-eastern Syria. 

The US President said on Monday that the US will “aggressively use economic sanctions to target those who enable, facilitate, and finance these heinous acts in Syria.”

Meanwhile, the US Congress also will push for a package of sanctions against Ankara including cutting military support to Turkey.

A week ago, Turkey began a massive military offensive against Kurdish led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) in north-eastern Syria, following Trump’s decree to pullback US troops from there. 

According to the SDF, dozens of Kurdish fighters and civilians, including women and children, were killed, while hundreds were wounded since the incursion began. More than 275,000 people have been displaced from their homes and towns, according to Kurdish administration. 

The Russian-backed Syrian government troops entered on Monday several towns which are controlled by Kurdish fighters in the north including the key city of Manbij, under a deal reached on Sunday between the two parts to fend off the Turkish offensive.

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Egypt plans to establish $1.2bn CSP solar power plants https://wwww.dailynewssegypt.com/2019/10/16/egypt-plans-to-establish-1-2bn-csp-solar-power-plants/ Wed, 16 Oct 2019 18:43:14 +0000 https://wwww.dailynewssegypt.com/?p=711163 Osama Kamal plans to submit legislation to replace the old stations with CSP ones

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Smart Engineering Solutions, in cooperation with the Ministry of Military Production, plans to launch concentrated solar power (CSP) plants and manufacture components of this system in Egypt with investments of $ 1.2bn.

Osama Kamal, company’s chairperson told Daily News Egypt that they started the selection process of CSP companies to cooperate with, “from a shortlist of up to16 companies, by the end of November, in collaboration with the international energy expert, Hany Al-Nokrashy.”

He added that upon the selection of the company, there will be a partnership, to deepen the CSP technology and start manufacturing within the factories of military production within 12 months.

Kamal revealed he is preparing draft legislation to replace old and outdated electricity stations with CSP power stations.

According to Kamal, the work plan the construction of five CSP power plants with a total capacity of 250 megawatts, 50 megawatts each, with $1.25bn investment, as each station costs around $250m.

“The state will not bear the burdens for the implementation of these projects, up to 70% of the financing will be from international bodies, 10-15% will be from local banks,” he explained.

In regards to the feasibility of CSP, Al-Nokrashy said that it has a higher yield and lower cost. He added that CSP plants use mirrors to concentrate the sun’s energy to drive traditional steam turbines or engines that create electricity.

“Energy can be stored and used to produce electricity when it is needed, day or night so that electricity can be produced over 24 hours,” he concluded.

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Sharm El-Sheikh, Hurghada to witness 35%, 24% RevPAR growth, respectively in 2019: Colliers https://wwww.dailynewssegypt.com/2019/10/16/sharm-el-sheikh-hurghada-to-witness-35-24-revpar-growth-respectively-in-2019-colliers/ Wed, 16 Oct 2019 17:55:54 +0000 https://wwww.dailynewssegypt.com/?p=711161 Cairo, Alexandria to achieve occupancy rates of 80%, 83%, respectively this year

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Cairo, Sharm El-Sheikh, Hurgahda, and Alexandria are to witness 10%, 35%, 24%, and 25%, respectively in revenue per available room (RevPAR) year-over-year (YoY), according to Colliers International’s latest MENA Hotels Forecast report in September.

Meanwhile, it also forecasted that Cairo, Sharm El-Sheikh, Hurghada, and Alexandria will achieve occupancy rates of 80%, 62%,67%, and 83%, respectively this year.

Concerning Lebanon, Colliers unveiled that Beirut is expected to witness a growth of 16% in YoY RevPAR in 2019, with an occupancy rate of 63%.

Moreover, Colliers expected Abu Dhabi city to witness a slight increase of 2% in YoY REVPAR in 2019, with an occupancy rate of 71%.

“Abu Dhabi Beach is expected to witness a slight growth of 1% in YoY RevPAR in 2019, with occupancy rates of 66%,” the Colliers forecasts.

Also, Colliers revealed that Saudi cities of Riyadh, Jeddah, Makkah, Madinah, and Al Khobar are expected to witness a decrease of 5%, 8%, 2%, 2%, and 6%, respectively in YoY RevPAR in 2019.

It also predicted that Riyadh, Jeddah, Makkah, Madinah, and Al Khobar will achieve occupancy rates of 58, 59%, 63%,62%, 54%, respectively this year.

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