Top News: Egypt, Sudan and Ethiopia Agree to Form Supreme Trilateral Council

Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah al-Sisi, Sudanese President Omar Bashir, and Ethiopian Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn agreed Wednesday to form a supreme council for mutual economic and political issues. The meeting was on the margins of the African economic summit in Sharm al-Sheikh. The council is another step to strengthen ties between Egypt and Ethiopia after Cairo voiced fears over the Addis Ababa’s Grand Renaissance Dam project and its possible effect on Egypt’s share of water from the Nile. Meanwhile, Minister of Water Resources and Irrigation Hossam Moghazy said a trilateral three-day meeting between the ministers of water resources of Egypt, Sudan, Ethiopia, as well as a number of experts from the three countries would be held in Cairo on June 15, in order to present the technical offer proposed by two consultancies regarding the Renaissance Dam, before adopting it. [Ahram Online, DNE, 6/11/2015]


Change in cabinet is always on the table Prime Minister says
Responding to reports that recently circulated in the Egyptian media of a possible cabinet reshuffle, Prime Minister Ibrahim Mahlab said that “a cabinet reshuffle is possible anytime and for any person.”  Egypt Independent reported that up to six or seven ministers could be replaced. Mahlab’s comments were made during a talk show aired on the privately-owned Ten TV channel on Wednesday. He said, “I don’t have any information about a coming cabinet reshuffle,” commenting on speculation that he himself might leave office ‎sometime soon. The rumors emerged after President Abdel-Fattah al-Sisi on Sunday publicly criticized a number of ministers, including ‎Mahlab. [Ahram Online, Egypt Independent, 6/11/2015]

Also of Interest

  • Morsi and Sisi’s first year in office | DNE
  • Politician says government ‘precipitous’ on new capital project | Egypt Independent
  • Party chief urges government to cooperate with Europe rather than Russia in nuclear plant construction | Egypt Independent
  • Presidency denies attack on motorcade car returning from Sharm al-Sheikh | SIS


Egypt upholds acquittal of Mubarak-era tourism minister of graft
Egypt’s Court of Cassation turned down on Thursday a challenge to the acquittal of a former tourism minister who served under toppled president Hosni Mubarak of graft. The court upheld former minister Zuhair Garana’s acquittal in the case where he was charged with profiteering and facilitating the confiscation of public funds. The Giza Criminal Court had acquitted in March 2013 Garana of the charge of facilitating the illegal transfer of 5 million square meters of land near Suez to Emirati businessman Hisham Hatheq. [Aswat Masriya, 6/11/2015]

Investigation details of police officer accused of soliciting prostitution revealed
The Giza Prosecution has launched an investigation into a police officer from the Interior Ministry’s Hotels and Clubs Department, who is accused of soliciting prostitution. Three others, including a teacher and an oil company worker, were also accused of practicing prostitution in the officer’s apartment. Investigations found that the officer facilitated prostitution in return for 1,500 Egyptian pounds per hour in his flat. Judicial sources said the officer, who denied the charge, assaulted a detective during his arrest, which was documented on video. The officer claimed the charge was fabricated because he exposed violations made by the Interior Ministry, as well as excesses carried out by police. He also contended that the other defendants are friends who were visiting him. The defendants were detained for twenty-four hours pending further investigation. [Egypt Independent, 6/11/2015]  

Also of Interest

  • Former passport control officer referred to criminal court for cocaine trafficking | Egypt Independent
  • Egypt to resume Morsi Qatar espionage trial Thursday | Ahram Online
  • Egypt court adjourns Al Jazeera journalists’ retrial to June 25 | Reuters, Cairo Post
  • Life sentences for seven suspects involved in violent acts outside Ahly Club | Egypt Independent, Cairo Post
  • Journalists Syndicate to file thirteen claims with top prosecutor | Egypt Independent  


Egypt, World Bank sign $500 million loan deal for public housing project
Egypt and the World Bank signed an agreement on a $500 million loan to support a government project for affordable housing, state-owned news agency MENA reported on Wednesday. The loan will be used to develop Egypt’s Social Housing Fund and to subsidize mortgages for low-income earners. The project, which was unveiled in late 2014, aims to build 1 million residential units across the country for low-income earners. Low and medium-income Egyptians will benefit from a subsidy of 5,000 to 25,000 Egyptian pounds on each housing unit through the Bank’s loan. Up to 170,000 housing units are slated to be built by the end of 2015. [Ahram Online, 6/10/2015]

Also of Interest

  • $35 billion in Egyptian black market: CBE Governor | DNE
  • CBE governor: Law bans Egyptian public sector companies from dealing in US dollars | Egypt Independent
  • Inbound tourism to Egypt rises by 7.4 percent in April – CAPMAS | Aswat Masriya


Youth labor market conditions deteriorate by 2014 Population Council report shows
A study conducted in 2014 and released this week found that young people still aspire to migrate, less are interested in joining the Egyptian labor market, and more young women, especially in rural areas, suffer poorer educational outcomes, female genital mutilation, and less engagement in political and civic life, according to the Population Council. The Population Council report, entitled “Survey of Young People in Egypt,” looks at data regarding the social, economic and political conditions of youth from 2009 to 2014. The report read: “Youth labor market conditions have deteriorated during the transitional period. Although the unemployment rate has declined from 15.8 percent in 2009 to 13.6 percent in 2014, this decline was not associated with an increase in employment levels, but was due to the increase in the percent of youth who got discouraged and went out of the labor force.” [DNE, 6/11/2015]

Exam question leakers vow to stop in return for educational reform
Students claiming responsibility for leaking secondary school exam questions said they would not stop their activity until the government responds to their demands related to educational reforms. “It is not acceptable that teachers are paid such low salaries, they are raising the future generations. Teachers should restore their financial, cultural and social status, they are no less than doctors and engineers,” read the group’s post. Besides improving the financial conditions of teachers, the group voiced other demands, related to disposing of paper-based education and replacing the grade-based university enrollment system with skill-based standards. [Egypt Independent, 6/11/2015]

Also of Interest

  • Workers in Sisi’s Egypt’s: Muted by promises of ‘development’ | DNE
  • Tens of Egyptian journalists protest ‘shrinking press freedoms’ | Ahram Online  
  • Egypt’s journalists’ syndicate to protest press clampdown | Ahram Online
  • Military Engineering Authority starts first phase of renovations in Imbaba Cardiology Centre | DNE
  • Long lines appear outside fuel stations in Gharbiya | Egypt Independent  
  • Report: Forty-five sectarian conflicts resolved by customary reconciliation since 2011 | Egypt Independent
  • Copts affected by church’s refusal of second marriage say will address Sisi | Egypt Independent
  • Al-Azhar Imam, Archbishop of Canterbury vow to combat ‘terrorism’ | Cairo Post


Security forces prevent attack on North Sinai police station  
Security forces in North Sinai prevented on Thursday an attack on the Sheikh Zuweid police station. The attack was allegedly planned by militants belonging to the pro-Islamic State group, Sinai Province, previously known as Ansar Bayt al-Maqdis. Two attackers were killed by the security forces. The police station has previously witnessed a number of deadly assaults. North Sinai has seen a series of bloody attacks on security and army forces since the ouster of Mohamed Morsi in 2013. [Egypt Independent, 6/11/2015]

Also of Interest

  • Hard to suppress: Anti-government villages remain problematic for security | DNE
  • Torture in detention during second half of Sisi’s year | DNE


Sainsbury’s Mike Coupe acquitted of embezzlement charges in Egypt
The boss of one of Britain’s biggest supermarkets, Sainsbury’s, was acquitted on Thursday of embezzlement charges in Egypt brought against him as a representative of the supermarket.
The charges were related to claims by Amr al-Nasharty, who owned an Egyptian grocer, called the Egyptian Distribution Group, in which Sainsbury’s bought an 80 percent stake in, in 1999. In April, Nasharty claimed that Mike Coupe and Sainsbury’s tried to seize checks linked to a collapsed Egyptian business Sainsbury’s invested in sixteen years ago. Coupe was automatically convicted of the crime, however, because he “failed to attend the court hearings.” Sainsbury’s appealed the conviction and today Coupe was acquitted of all charges. [Business Insider, 6/11/2015]

Also of Interest

  • Turkey election results will reduce ongoing hostility with Egypt: Analyst | DNE
  • Egypt to regulate trade and investment forum in Africa next October says Sisi | DNE
  • Sisi delegates Mahlab to attend NEPAD meetings, AU Summit in South Africa | SIS
  • Egypt to host Africa Trade, Investment Forum in October: Sisi | Cairo Post