Wednesday, 25 May 2022

PM — Generating solar power at night could be the next big thing



Good afternoon, wonderful people, and welcome to what we affectionately call almost-THURSDAY. The weekend is almost upon us — but it’s a mad rush to the finish line.


Egypt’s economy grew at a 5.4% clip in 3Q2021-2022 — its slowest pace yet this fiscal year, as fallout from the war in Ukraine begins to reflect on the economy, according to a cabinet statement. 9M figures show the economy growing 7.8%, bolstered by a solid 1H, which saw 9% growth. The government has now upped its growth forecast for the fiscal year to 6.2%, after having trimmed it in March to 5.7% from 6.4% due to the economic impact of the war in Ukraine.

^^We’ll have more on this story and others in tomorrow’s edition of EnterpriseAM.


Yesterday’s mass shooting in a Texas elementary school is still topping headlines across much of the international press this afternoon.The Wall Street Journal is reporting further details on the incident as they have emerged, while Reuters takes note of US President Joe Biden’s renewed push to tighten gun laws in the country.

** CATCH UP QUICK on the top stories from today’s EnterpriseAM:

  • Some foreign car manufacturers have suspended sales to Egypt after a change to how imports are paid for has left local dealers unable to purchase vehicles, industry sources say.
  • Egypt hopes to finalize a fresh assistance program with the IMF “within two months,” Prime Minister Moustafa Madbouly told lawmakers yesterday in an address focusing on the government’s response to what he said was the worst global crisis since the Second World War.
  • Four miners have landed licenses to explore for gold in the Eastern Desert in the Madbouly government’s latest tender, including Ankh Resources, Sawiris-backed Akh Gold, Canadian miner Lotus Gold, and Marine Logistic.

LISTEN TO OUR PODCAST ON WHAT AI CAN MEAN FOR YOUR BUSINESS. Last month, we explored how the government has made artificial intelligence a national priority. We spoke with the former ICT Ministry’s advisor for AI Sally Radwan about the government’s national AI strategy and how it is being implemented (Part 1 | Part 2).

In another of our podcast roundtables, we sat down with the companies building AI systems in Egypt to get a bird’s eye view on what’s happening in the sector: Who’s adopting it, how they’re going about it, and what challenges they’re facing.

You can catch the episode on our website here (listen, runtime: 44:01), or tune in via Apple Podcasts | Anghami | Google Podcasts | Spotify). Or you can read edited excerpts of our conversation here.


The Madbouly government will hold public consultations on its privatization plans over three months, according to a cabinet statement out yesterday. “We as a government are ready to hear all opinions and approaches because our objective is the interest of the country and the advancement of the economy,” PM Moustafa Madbouly said at a Cabinet meeting.

We got our first look at its policy document last week: The government intends to fully withdraw from as many as 79 industries over the next three years as part of plans to restructure the economy in favor of the private sector, according to a draft copy of its state ownership policy document obtained by the local press last week. The final version of the document is expected to be published before the end of this month.

The Fin Expo Egypt is kicking off tomorrow and will run until Thursday at the Intercontinental Citystars. The expo will feature over 25 companies exhibiting their fintech products and services with 3k visitors expected.

El Gouna International Squash Open 2022 will kick off on Friday and run until the following Friday, 3 June. The competition will feature some of Egypt’s top seeds including world #1 Nouran Gohar and world #2 Ali Farag (who just earned the PSA squash championship cup). The prize pool for each of the men’s and women’s competitions is USD 180k.

☀️ TOMORROW’S WEATHER- Expect the mercury to inch up again tomorrow to a high of 36°C before cooling off to a low of 21°C in the evening.

WE’RE LOOKING FOR SMART, TALENTED PEOPLE to help us build some very cool new things. Today, we run two daily publications, five weekly industry verticals, and a monthly newsletter designed to make our readers feel just a bit smarter.

We have tons more in the pipeline — come help us build new publications. We offer the chance to work in a fast-paced newsroom on a broad range of topics and in a variety of formats. Our goal is simple: To create value for our growing community of 200k readers by telling stories that matter.

We’re looking for editors who want to run publications and teams, editors to help reporters craft stories and talented reporters. Egyptian and foreign nationals alike are welcome to apply. So are job-switchers: If you’re an equities analyst tired of the rat race, we’re a great place to come work.

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Pfizer will sell its entire portfolio of meds at cost to 45 low-income countries, the pharma giant said in a press release, in what Bloomberg is calling “one of the most comprehensive and ambitious drug-access programs ever announced.” Pfizer will at first offer 23 different meds and vaccines that treat infectious diseases, some cancers, and rare and inflammatory diseases in Rwanda, Ghana, Malawi, Senegal and Uganda. It will then expand the initiative to include all its current and future brand-name meds and vaccines. There will be no limit to the amount of meds Pfizer will provide — and the company could up manufacturing if demand exceeds supply, CEO Albert Bourla told Bloomberg.

More than just meds: Pfizer says it will also offer officials in the targeted countries help to improve their healthcare systems. “As we learned in the global COVID-19 vaccine rollout, supply is only the first step to helping patients,” Bourla said. “We will work closely with global health leaders to make improvements in diagnosis, education, infrastructure, storage and more.”

Roman Abramovich has officially sold Chelsea FC for GBP 4.25 bn, the highest amount ever paid for a sports team — and the proceeds are going to Ukrainian war victims. Sanctioned Russian b’naire has sold the London club to a consortium fronted by Los Angeles Dodgers part-owner Todd Boehly, the Guardian reports, after Abramovich agreed to UK government terms guaranteeing he would not benefit from the sale. The Premier League approved the takeover yesterday. Abramovich earned nothing from the sale of the club, which rose to become one of the most successful teams in Europe during his 19-year stretch as owner. Instead, the proceeds will go into a frozen account before going to an independent charity for victims of the war in Ukraine. “Given the sanctions we placed on those linked to Putin and the bloody invasion of Ukraine, the long-term future of the club can only be secured under a new owner,” British Sport Secretary Nadine Dorries said. “We are satisfied the proceeds of the sale will not benefit Roman Abramovich or other sanctioned individuals.”


(all times CLT)

Irreverent Canadian dramedy Workin' Moms is back with a binge-worthy sixth season on Netflix. The series star and creator is Catherine Reitman, who plays Kate Foster, a new mom struggling to maintain her successful but demanding career in public relations. The show follows themes of motherhood against the backdrop of a Mommy and Me group, and much like your favorite toddler’s temperament, it has the ability to bounce from cheerful to dark to awkward to messy and back, all within the span of a 20-minute episode. There is an appealing rawness to Workin’ Moms and while — a lot like motherhood — the show isn’t perfect, it’s one of the most accurate depictions of the peculiar situations parents in the workforce often go through. If you’ve ever felt the pressure to parent like you don’t have a job and work like you don’t have children, then you’ll definitely relate to these workin’ moms.

It’s the Europa Conference League final: Italy’s Roma and the Netherland’s Feyenoord will face-off in the inaugural final tonight at 9pm.

IN OTHER FOOTBALL NEWS- Egyptian midfielder Mohamed ElNeny has renewed his contract with Arsenal. “Almost seven years with Arsenal but they don’t seem to be enough 😉 I’m still learning, I’m still growing, and I want to do so much more for the team and the club I love,” said ElNeny.

(all times CLT)

Breaking Walls Festival kicks off tonight at the Italian Cultural Institute at 7:15pm. Exploring arts in the age of climate change, the program includes a live performance and a panel discussion featuring Sarah Rifaat, theater performer and environmental educator, Alaaedeen Tawfik, brand manager of Greenish, and Hazem Header, the artistic director of NÜT Dance Company and Breaking Walls Festival.

After a long hiatus, rapper Marwan Paplo is taking over Cairo Jazz Club 610 tonight at 9pm. Rising stars Flex & Husayn will set the stage with a performance ahead of the grand return of the hip-hop pioneer.


Elif Batuman brings back the elation and existentialism of undergraduate life in the charming Either/Or, a sequel to her first novel The Idiot, which was a finalist for the 2018 Pulitzer Prize. Selin, the overachieving daughter of Turkish immigrants, is on a path to find out if a person should spend their brief time on Earth in the pursuit of pleasure, or on the path of morality and responsibility? As she grapples with her sophomore year at Harvard in the 90s, Selin observes the absurdities of the rules and beliefs that seem to govern contemporary behavior, and starts to question the fundamentals of love, life, and literature — and the lyrics of Alanis Morissette.


The EGX30 fell 1.6% at today’s close on turnover of EGP 694 mn (18.3% below the 90-day average). Arab investors were net buyers. The index is down 14.2% YTD.

In the red: GB Auto (-10.7%), MM Group (-7.9%) and Ibn Sina Pharma (-6.5%).




Could we soon be seeing solar power generation at night? A recent breakthrough (pdf) by a team of researchers at the University of New South Wales (UNSW) could pave the way to a new form of energy generation that uses heat emitted from the Earth’s surface. Using a similar process to how solar cells convert sunlight into electricity, it could allow us to produce energy at night.

Solar panels use visible light produced by the sun: PV cells rely on silicon semiconductors that absorb the photons beamed down by the sun, and convert the thermal energy into electricity.

But this technology uses photons from a different source: The researchers used a device called a thermoradiative diode to instead capture energy produced by infrared light that is released by the Earth’s surface at night.

Solar energy minus the sun: This is still technically a form of solar energy. The infrared light is energy produced by the solar radiation that heats up the planet during the day. At night, these infrared photons are released, and can be captured using the device deployed by the UNSW scientists.

The technology is still in its infancy: The device was only able to generate 2.26 MW per square meter of electricity at 1.8% efficiency, which one of the study’s authors admits is “relatively very low power.” By comparison most commercial solar panels range between 15-20% efficiency. The team anticipates it could increase to some 19.4 MW per square meter or about “a tenth of the power of a solar cell,” under different conditions, one of the study’s co-authors said.

This isn’t the only option for night-time solar: Over on the other side of the Pacific, researchers at Stanford University have outfitted regular solar panels with thermoelectric generators to absorb infrared photons, says New Scientist. Though the amount of power the researchers have been able to generate has been small — 50 milliwatts per square meter or 0.04 percent of the output of an ordinary solar panel during the daytime — the technology could eventually be useful tools in powering small devices in remote regions.

This discovery could become a helpful supplement to solar power generation but not a substitute: There’s still a long way to go for this technology to be applied at scale and reach a point of higher efficiency but there are already some potential applications researchers have pointed to. Applying these same thermoelectric principles to biomedical devices could eliminate the need for batteries in artificial hearts by harnessing the power of body heat. Another example could include recharging or doing away with batteries on personal devices entirely.

But this is where private industry can really step in to help bolster uses for this technology: Similar to how the solar industry was supported by a huge boost in private investment, thermoradiative electricity could benefit from the same kind of attention. “ There's still about a decade of university research work to be done here. And then it needs industry to pick it up. If industry can see this is a valuable technology for them, then progress can be extremely fast,” Associate Professor and co-author of the study Ned Ekins-Daukes said.


OUR CALENDAR APPEARS in two sections:

  • Events with specific dates or months are right here up top
  • Events happening in a quarter or other range of time with no specific date / month appear at the bottom of the calendar.


22-26 May (Sunday-Thursday): Davos 2022.

25 May (Wednesday): The deadline for private companies to pre-register ahead of bidding for the second phase of the PPP national project to establish and operate 1k language schools.

25-26 May: (Wednesday-Thursday): Fintech gathering FIN Expo Egypt is taking place at Intercontinental Citystars, Cairo, Egypt.

27 May-3 June (Friday-Friday): El Gouna International Squash Open 2022.

30-31 May (Monday-Tuesday): Egypt Can with Industry, Cairo, Egypt.

31 May (Tuesday): Last day for EGX-listed companies to file 1Q2022 earnings

31 May (Tuesday): The application deadline for ITIDA’s annual Export IT program.

31 May (Tuesday): Extended deadline for EGX-listed companies to disclose 1Q 2021 earnings.

May: Investment in Logistics Conference, Cairo, Egypt.

May: General Authority for Land and Dry Ports to issue the conditions booklet for the tender to establish and operate the Tenth of Ramadan dry port.

May: Egypt to sign contracts for second and third high-speed rail lines with Siemens by the end of the month.

May: Government to announce its automotive strategy by the end of the month.


1-4 June (Wednesday-Saturday): The Islamic Development Bank will hold its 2022 annual meetings in Sharm El Sheikh.

2-3 June (Thursday-Friday): Islamic Corporation for the Insurance of Investment and Export Credit (ICIEC) will hold two high-level parallel meetings on climate action and digital transformation during IsDB’s 2022 annual meetings in Sharm.

5-7 June (Sunday-Tuesday): Africa Health ExCon, Al Manara International Conference Center, Egypt International Exhibitions Center, and the St. Regis Almasa Hotel, new administrative capital.

5 June (Sunday): GB Auto is hosting an extraordinary general assembly meeting (pdf).

7 June (Tuesday): Technology conference Tech Invest 4 will take place at the Grand Nile Hotel in Cairo.

9 June (Thursday): European Central Bank monetary policy meeting.

14-15 June (Tuesday-Wednesday): Federal Reserve interest rate meeting.

15-18 June (Wednesday-Saturday): St. Petersburg International Economic Forum (SPIEF), St. Petersburg.

16 June (Thursday): EU-Egypt Sustainable Food Value Chain conference, Grand Nile Tower Hotel, Cairo.

16 June (Thursday): End of 2021-2022 academic year for public schools.

21-22 June (Tuesday-Wednesday): Aswan Forum for Sustainable Peace and Development, Cairo.

23 June (Thursday): Central Bank of Egypt’s Monetary Policy Committee meeting.

27 June-3 July (Monday-Sunday): World University Squash Championships, New Giza.

30 June (Thursday): June 30 Revolution Day, national holiday.

30 June (Thursday): Deadline for bids for National Democratic Party HQ redevelopment contract.

June: Egypt will launch a unified ticketing system for all means of transport at the Adly Mansour Interchange Station.

June: Polish President Andrzej Duda will visit Egypt to coordinate ways to ship Ukrainian wheat to Egypt amid the war in Ukraine.


July: A law governing ins. for seasonal contractors will come into effect.

July: Fuel pricing committee meets to decide quarterly fuel prices.

1 July (Friday): FY 2022-2023 begins.

1 July (Friday): Official rollout of e-receipt system begins.

8 July (Friday): Arafat Day.

9-13 July (Saturday-Wednesday): Eid Al Adha, national holiday.

21 July (Thursday): European Central Bank monetary policy meeting.

26-27 July (Tuesday-Wednesday): Federal Reserve interest rate meeting.

30 July (Saturday): Islamic New Year.

Late July – 14 August: 2Q2022 earnings season.


August: Work to extend the capacity of the Egypt-Sudan electricity interconnection to 600 MW to be completed.

18 August (Thursday): Central Bank of Egypt’s Monetary Policy Committee meeting.


September: Egypt will display its first naval exhibition with the title Naval Power.

September: Central Bank of Egypt’s Innovation and Financial Technology Center to launch incubator for 25 fintech startups.

8 September (Thursday): European Central Bank monetary policy meeting.

18 September (Sunday): Deadline for brokerage firms, asset managers and financial advisors to register with the Egyptian Securities Federation.

20-21 September (Tuesday-Wednesday): Federal Reserve interest rate meeting.

22 September (Thursday): Central Bank of Egypt’s Monetary Policy Committee meeting.

26–27 September (Monday-Tuesday): The Africa Women Innovation and Entrepreneurship Forum (AWIEF) at the Cairo Marriott Hotel.


October: World Bank and IMF annual meetings in Washington, DC

October: Fuel pricing committee meets to decide quarterly fuel prices.

1 October (Saturday): Use of Nafeza becomes compulsory for air freight.

6 October (Thursday): Armed Forces Day, national holiday.

8 October (Saturday): Prophet Muhammad’s birthday, national holiday.

18-20 October(Tuesday-Thursday): Mediterranean Offshore Conference, Alexandria, Egypt.

27 October (Thursday): European Central Bank monetary policy meeting.

Late October – 14 November: 3Q2022 earnings season.


November: Cairo Water Week 2022.

1-2 November (Tuesday-Wednesday): Federal Reserve interest rate meeting.

3 November (Thursday): Central Bank of Egypt’s Monetary Policy Committee meeting.

4-6 November: The Autotech auto exhibition kicks off at the Cairo International Exhibition and Convention Center.

7-18 November (Monday-Friday): Egypt will host COP 27 in Sharm El Sheikh.

21 November-18 December (Monday-Sunday): 2022 Fifa World Cup, Qatar.

13-14 December (Tuesday-Wednesday): Federal Reserve interest rate meeting.

15 December (Thursday): European Central Bank monetary policy meeting.


22 December (Thursday): Central Bank of Egypt’s Monetary Policy Committee meeting.


January EGX-listed companies and non-bank lenders will submit ESG reports for the first time.

January: Fuel pricing committee meets to decide quarterly fuel prices.


2Q2022: The Sovereign Fund of Egypt will invest in two companies in the financial inclusion and non-banking financial services sectors.

End of 2Q2022: The Financial Regulatory Authority’s new Ins. Act should be approved.

End of 2Q2022: Door for bidding for the contract to redevelop the site of the former National Democratic Party HQ to close.

1H2022: Target date for IDH to close its acquisition of 50% of Islamabad Diagnostic Center.

1H2022: e-Finance’s digital healthcare service platform, eHealth, will launch its services.

1H2022: The government will respond to private companies’ bids to build desalination plants.

1H2022: Egypt’s second corporate green bond issuance expected to be announced.

End of 1H2022: Emirati industrial company M Glory Holding and the Military Production Ministry will begin the mass production of dual fuel pickup trucks that can run on natural gas.

2H2022: The inauguration of the Grand Egyptian Museum.

2H2022: IEF-IGU Ministerial Gas Forum, Egypt. Date + location TBA.

2H2022: The government will have vaccinated 70% of the population.

3Q2022: Ayady’s consumer financing arm, The Egyptian Company for Consumer Finance Services, to release its first financing product.

End of 2022: e-Aswaaq’s tourism platform will complete the roll out of its ticketing and online booking portal across Egypt.

2023: Egypt will host the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank’s Annual Meeting of the Board of Governors in 2023.

**Note to readers: Some national holidays may appear twice above. Since 2020, Egypt has observed most mid-week holidays on Thursdays regardless of the day on which they fall and may also move those days to Sundays. We distinguish above between the actual holiday and its observance.

Enterprise is a daily publication of Enterprise Ventures LLC, an Egyptian limited liability company (commercial register 83594), and a subsidiary of Inktank Communications. Summaries are intended for guidance only and are provided on an as-is basis; kindly refer to the source article in its original language prior to undertaking any action. Neither Enterprise Ventures nor its staff assume any responsibility or liability for the accuracy of the information contained in this publication, whether in the form of summaries or analysis. © 2022 Enterprise Ventures LLC.

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