Monday, 29 November 2021

AM — Jabs are coming for 12-15 year-olds + you need to be vaccinated to go the bank starting this Wednesday

TL;DR

WHAT WE’RE TRACKING TODAY

Good morning, wonderful people, and welcome to an exceptionally busy news day, where covid once again dominates our top three stories. On deck: 12-15 year-olds are going to get jabbed, you’re going to need to be vaccinated (or have a negative PCR test) to get into a bank starting this Wednesday, and we’ve been hit our first omicron-related travel restriction. We have more on all of these stories below.

Before we get started: THANK YOU to everyone who wrote in / called / messaged or otherwise reached out yesterday to discuss What’s Next, our new platform to identify the next generation of great businesses in Egypt and beyond. What’s Next will give participating companies the visibility, advice and access to capital and ideas that they need to grow their businesses. We’re interested in meeting startups with proven products all the way through big businesses looking to grow and stand the test of time. What’s Next will also give venture capital, private equity and public market investors a look at the companies whose people, ideas, technologies, products and markets will literally be What’s Next.

*** Are you a What’s Next company? An investor who wants to join us for our flagship event in 2022? Reach out to us on whatsnext@enterprise.press — we would love to hear from you.

PSA #1- You won’t be able to get into a bank and post office branch from Wednesday onward without proof of vaccination or a negative PCR test. Local Development Ministry spokesperson Khaled Qassem announced on El Hekaya last night that the Madbouly government would extend its no-vax no-go policy to include banks and post offices from Wednesday (watch, runtime: 5:02).

What you will need to do: Members of the public will need to display proof that they’ve received at least one dose of a vaccine (either with a paper certificate or the Health Ministry’s digital covid passport) or a negative PCR test. Qassem did not say how recent PCR tests would need to be if they’re to be accepted.

Need to get the app up and running? Here’s how.

Where is this going to apply? Qassem didn’t specify whether the rules would apply to all banks or only to state-owned institutions. It is also unclear how the government is planning on equipping bank and post office branches across the country with the tech necessary to scan QR codes or whether they would simply be looking for the green “vaccinated” logo in the top right corner of the app’s homepage.

REMINDER- You’re also unable to access government facilities without proof of vaccination / a negative PCR test from Wednesday under rules announced earlier this month. Unvaccinated public sector workers have already been prevented from entering their workplaces and this will be extended to the wider public the day after tomorrow.

PSA #2- The heat wave continues today, with the mercury headed for 33°C before it eases a bit to 29°C tomorrow. We’re due to return to a more seasonally appropriate 22°C by Wednesday, which should carry us through the weekend.


We don’t need to tell you what the big story abroad is this morning: Omicron is still plastered across the world’s front pages, as more countries detect cases of the latest mutation of the coronavirus. The World Health Organization yesterday called for calm after South African experts suggested that the symptoms associated with the strain are mild. The organization also said that understanding the risks would “take days to several weeks.”

That didn’t stop countries taking pre-emptive action, with a growing number of countries reimposing border restrictions and mandatory quarantines as the variant spread. See: Reuters | Financial Times | WSJ | Bloomberg.

Among them: Switzerland, which will now require all travelers (vaccinated and unvaccinated) from Egypt to present a negative covid test and quarantine for 10 days as the European country tightens restrictions on travelers visiting from countries with “variants of concern.” The restrictions will also apply to travelers from the UK, the Czech Republic, Malawi and the Netherlands, Israel, Hong Kong, and Belgium.

Morocco has gone full 2020 with a two-week ban on flights into the country — and the WHO is scolding governments that have imposed flight bans on southern African countries.

G7 to hold emergency Omicron meeting today: The UK has called an emergency meeting of G7 health ministers today to discuss the Omicron variant, it said yesterday.

Friday’s sell-off in western markets made its way to MENA in a big way yesterday as investors reacted to the Omicron developments and volatility in the oil markets. The Dubai Financial Market experienced it’s biggest single-day loss since March 2020, losing 5.2% of its value, while the Tadawul fell 4.2%, the most since October 2020. The EGX was comparatively unscathed, ending the session 1.3% in the red.

Asian markets are just slightly in the red this morning, and futures suggest that Wall Street could open in the green later today after Friday’s big selloff.

Where markets go from here will heavily depend on what we learn about the risks posed by omicron — and it could be weeks until scientists have the answers. “At a minimum, volatility will be higher the next two weeks,” one strategist told Bloomberg.

EFG Hermes’ head of macro research Mohamed Abu Basha echoed the same point last night, telling Kelma Akhira’s Lamees El Hadidi that there remain a lot of unknowns about the new variant and that we can expert more losses in the markets as countries close their borders and halt flights (watch, runtime: 3:02).

Emerging markets will likely be hit hardest if omicron is (a) aggressive or if (b) the new restrictions are widely imposed and left in place for an extended period. Already facing pressure from the Fed taper and the strengthening greenback, emerging-market currencies — particularly those exposed to energy and tourism — could come under further pressure should the global health situation continue to deteriorate, analysts tell Bloomberg. The MSCI EM currency index is now down YTD after investors fled risk assets on Friday, and with the USD now at its highest since July 2020, even countries that have aggressively hiked interest rates are struggling to prevent currency losses.

The one saving grace (if you can call it that): A serious market shock would almost certainly push the Federal Reserve to back down on its taper and turn more dovish, easing some pressure on emerging markets.

Oil prices seem to have found some support: Brent prices had rebounded from Friday’s 11% plunge in a big way in early trading this morning, and were up 5.3% as of dispatch time.

HAPPENING TODAY

Sudanese military leaders met yesterday to discuss escalating tensions with Ethiopia in the disputed Al Fashaga region after Sudan said on Saturday that six of its soldiers were killed in an attack by Ethiopian forces.

Diplomats have low expectations for Iran’s nuclear talks today, Reuters reports, which aim to salvage a 2015 nuclear accord.

WHAT’S HAPPENING TODAY-

Young professionals can now apply for the recently-launched McKinsey Forward program which focuses on leadership, business, and the transition to digital, McKinsey announced in a press release (pdf). The six-month program aims to teach participants how their business can combat challenges and use them to their advantage, integrate tech, and be adaptable and resilient during times of change. Forward will be available without charge to those eligible to apply, and one of the requirements is having less than five years of work experience. You can apply via this link before the 12 December deadline.

The Egypt Defense Expo (EDEX) will kick off today and run until this Thursday, 2 December. Some 400 international manufacturers and suppliers are set to showcase military equipment and defense technologies at New Cairo’s International Exhibition Center, with live firepower demonstrations planned for the five days.

The Creative Industry Summit continues today at the Nile Ritz-Carlton, running through Wednesday.

The Cairo International Film Festival continues its 10-day run after kicking off on Friday. The festival wraps next Sunday, 5 December.

FOR TOMORROW-

KfW Development Bank is launching its open call for green project proposals in Egypt as part of their Investing for Employment facility (pdf) tomorrow. The facility will give grants to projects that drive job creation. You can find out more about the facility and the application process here.

CIRCLE YOUR CALENDAR-

A new month is around the corner. The key news triggers to keep your eye on as we approach December:

  • PMI: Purchasing managers’ index figures for November for Egypt, Saudi Arabia, and Qatar will be released on Sunday, 5 December. Figures for the UAE, which normally come out on the same day as Egypt and Saudi, will be released two days later on Tuesday, 7 December.
  • Foreign reserves: November’s foreign reserves figures will be released during the first week of the month.
  • Inflation: Inflation figures for November will be released on Thursday, 9 December. Data for inflation typically appears on the 10th of every month, but is moved up one day if that falls on a Friday.
  • Interest rates: The Central Bank of Egypt’s Monetary Policy Committee will hold its final meeting for the year to review interest rates on Thursday, 16 December.

The new round of Silicon Waha’s Startup Factory will kick off on 10 December at the Assiut Technology Zone. The program will offer marketing tips and tricks for startup founders, who can apply here.

Check out our full calendar on the web for a comprehensive listing of upcoming news events, national holidays and news triggers.

enterprise

*** It’s Blackboard day: We have our weekly look at the business of education in Egypt, from pre-K through the highest reaches of higher ed. Blackboard appears every Monday in Enterprise in the place of our traditional industry news roundups.

In today’s issue: Egypt is currently suffering from a classroom shortage of over 300k classrooms across the country — more than the state’s education budget can realistically solve anytime soon. As an alternative, the Education Ministry has proceeded to introduce modular classrooms equipped with the latest in smartboard technology. Today, we dive deeper into the program, explore where it is at right now, why we need it and how it can help solve the classroom shortage problem.

enterprise

COVID WATCH

Children between 12-15 can now get vaccinated against covid-19: Egypt has authorized the use of the Pfizer-BioNTech covid vaccine for children aged 12-15, the Madbouly cabinet said in a statement yesterday.

What we know about the jab for minors: Phase three trials conducted by Pfizer and BioNTech have shown that their mRNA covid jab remains 100% effective against the virus for up to four months in children aged 12-15 years-old. The trials didn’t reveal any serious safety concerns six months after the second dose, they said.

The rollout starts on Wednesday — that’s when kids as young as 12 can register on the Health Ministry’s website (www.egcovac.mohp.gov.eg) to receive their jabs, presidential health advisor Mohamed Awad Tag El Din told Lamees El Hadidi Kelma Akhira (watch, runtime: 5:28).

Worst field trip ever: Authorities are coordinating with schools to vaccinate their students in a field trip-like manner, gathering them on a school bus and driving them to vaccination centers to get their jabs, cabinet spokesperson Nader Saad told Al Hayah Al Youm (watch, runtime: 9:40). He explained that the Pfizer shot can’t be offered in schools because it needs to be kept at -70°C before being thawed for administration.

High schoolers, you’re up: The ministry has reportedly set aside 8 mn of those doses for high school students following the decision to roll out Pfizer shots for children aged 12-18 earlier this month. The shipment also comes just a week after the government announced it will be rolling out booster shots to at-risk Egyptians.

Will some students also get locally made Sinovac? Tag El Din told Lamees that schoolkids could get jabbed with Sinovac when they’re bussed in to roll up their sleeves. The government has yet to approve the jab for use in 12-15 year-olds, but its Chinese developer has said the vaccine is safe for use in children as young as three. The jab received regulatory approval from Chinese authorities earlier this year. We don’t expect Sinovac to be used for 12-15 year-old kids until cabinet has given explicit approval, and we’ll be looking for the Health Ministry to make its intentions clear soon.

This comes only weeks after the authorities approved the Pfizer covid vaccine for children between 15 and 18 and jabs in schools started. Earlier this month the US Center for Disease Control officially recommended that 5-11-year-olds receive Pfizer’s pediatric covid jab.

The latest vaccine stats: Some 15.6 mn Egyptians are now fully vaccinated against covid-19, the cabinet statement said. Another 29.6 mn have received their first dose of a vaccine. The government is aiming to vaccinate 40% of the population (around 40 mn people) by the end of the year.

The Health Ministry reported 951 new covid-19 infections yesterday, up from 931 the day before. Egypt has now disclosed a total of 356,718 confirmed cases of covid-19. The ministry also reported 42 new deaths, bringing the country’s total death toll to 20,347.

INVESTMENT WATCH

DP World has another USD 25-35 mn lined up for Ain Sokhna port

Emirati port operator DP World will invest USD 25-35 mn in Ain Sokhna seaport over the next 2-3 years, DP World Sokhna CEO Gerard van den Heuvel tells Al Mal, less than a week after completing the multi-mn USD expansion of the Red Sea port. The next round of investment will be geared towards improving the logistics services at the port and increasing capacity at the newly-built second dock, the CEO said.

DP World completed its USD 520 mn expansion last week, which included building a second dock that will double the port’s capacity to 1.75 mn TEU and enabling it to handle the largest container ships in the world.

The company aims to be a commercial provider for trade in Egypt: It has established DP World Egypt for Logistics Services, which will provide additional warehousing and transport services inside and outside the ports.

Background: Dubai state-owned DP World has already invested USD 1.6 bn in Egypt, with more expected to roll in after the company set up a joint USD 1.7 bn African investment platform last month with CDC Group, the UK government’s development finance arm. The partnership plans to invest in ports and logistics infrastructure, like container depots and business parks, across Africa to increase trade.

OTHER INVESTMENT NEWS-

Tashawer Medical Consultants and real estate developer Owagik are in talks to build a EGP 4 bn, 400-bed hospital in the new administrative capital, Tashawer Chairman Khaled Samir tells Al Mal. The two companies are currently in talks with the New Administrative Capital Company for Urban Development for a land plot, which Samir expects to wrap before the end of the year with an eye to begin construction at the start of 2022.

LEGISLATION WATCH

House approves multi-bn USD bank loan

House says ‘yea’ to more Khaleeji money: A multi-bn USD bank loan agreed between the government and a syndicate of international banks led by Emirates NBD and First Abu Dhabi Bank earned approval by the House of Representatives yesterday, according to Al Mal.

We’re still not totally sure how much the government is borrowing: We were initially under the impression that the government was looking to repeat the USD 2 bn loan it borrowed from the banks last year, but sources told Reuters last week that high demand among lenders had pushed the value of the transaction to USD 3 bn.

What we do know: The facility will be split between a conventional tranche that will be used to fund green projects and a Sharia-compliant portion.

INVESTMENT WATCH

A slice of the GBP 2 bn pie?

Could Egypt get a slice of CDC’s planned GBP 1.5-2 bn in annual investment between 2022 and 2026? CDC Group, the UK government’s development finance arm, is planning to invest GBP 1.5-2 bn every year between 2022 and 2026 as part of a new strategy announced last week. The lender said it plans to “scale in Africa and … pivot to Asia” during the five-year period, and has earmarked 96 developing and emerging countries as eligible for funding, one of which is Egypt.

Where’s the funding going? The strategy will see CDC investing in “the critical infrastructure that will allow all countries to build back better,” with a particular focus on climate finance and green infrastructure. The new strategy targets channeling 30% of CDC’s investments over the five-year period towards climate finance. The development finance institution also plans to earmark 25% of its commitments under the strategy to gender and diversity finance, “to ensure our investments are inclusive and that the benefits are shared with the more marginalised segments of society.” CDC will also invest in digital transformation efforts across the spectrum, “from large-scale digital infrastructure to early-stage venture capital.”

And there are a few other changes coming to CDC: CDC Group is rebranding to become British International Investment on 4 April, 2022. The institution will also be chaired by Google President of EMEA Partnerships Diana Layfield as of 1 January, 2022, marking the first time CDC Group will be chaired by a woman, the statement said.

DID YOU KNOW? CDC has invested USD 440 mn in Egypt, with 41 companies across a range of sectors receiving funds. The DFI, which has a permanent presence in Egypt, has invested in CIB, been a limited partner in funds raised by our friends at Sawari Ventures and Ezdehar, acquired a big stake in pharma maker Adwia, and provided financing for some 800 MW of capacity in the Benban solar park. More CDC funding is apparently being earmarked for Ain Sokhna Port.

CDC plans to hold an event on 14 December to dive deeper into the details of its strategy (pdf).

DEBT WATCH

GB Lease gears up for new securitized bond issuance

GB Auto’s financial leasing arm, GB Lease, is planning to take a multi-tranche EGP 1.6 bn securitized bond issuance to market in December, Al Shorouk reports, citing unnamed sources in the know. CIB is acting as primary lead manager for the issuance. The sale follows a separate issuance in January, when GB Lease took a triple-tranche EGP 2.04 bn issuance to market.

The securitization market has been showing signs of warming up again: In the past two months, CI Capital’s leasing arm Corplease, consumer lender valU, real estate developer Palm Hills, mortgage lender Qasatli, and EFG Hermes Corp-Solutions have all announced plans for fresh issuances.

Also coming this quarter: We’re expecting Corplease to close a EGP 3+ bn issuance and GlobalCorp to sell EGP 1.1 bn of asset-backed securities before the end of the year.

STARTUP WATCH

Courier startup Bosta to expand to UAE, Saudi next year

Bosta heads east: Egyptian courier startup Bosta will launch in the UAE and Saudi Arabia in 2022 following its bumper funding round earlier this year, Wamda reports. The expansion into the two countries — which together account for almost half of the region’s e-commerce industry — is being aided by the USD 6.7 mn series A round the company closed in May, a little over a year after it raised USD seven-figures in a separate series A.

Why Saudi Arabia and the UAE? The two countries account for almost half of the e-commerce industry in the Middle East and are both promising growth markets. CEO and co-founder Mohamed Ezzat had said earlier this year that the company was looking to enter the two countries before the end of 2021.

Kuwait + Africa next? Ezzat also said earlier this year that Kuwait and several African countries were among the seven new markets Bosta wants to enter in the next five years.

Bosta has ambitious plans to scale up: The company wants to quintuple its daily deliveries to 100k in 2022 from 20k.

ENERGY

Egypt, Jordan agree to double electricity link to 1 GW

Egypt and Jordan will double the capacity of the electricity link between the two countries to 1 GW, Jordan’s energy ministry said in a statement yesterday after Energy Minister Mohamed Shaker met his Jordanian counterpart.

The increased capacity will allow excess Egyptian power to be exported to countries beyond Jordan. Egypt has said previously that it is looking to ship electricity to Syria and Iraq. Jordanian Energy Minister Saleh Al Kharabsheh said yesterday that Amman will issue tenders to establish an electrical link with Iraq in the next two months.

The big picture: The Egypt-Jordan electricity link is part of a larger project to eventually link Egypt’s grid to Libya, Palestine, Syria, Lebanon, Iraq and Turkey. The project has been in the works for years, with major parts of it already completed. It is partly funded by the Arab Fund, and its completion is one of the keys to our bid to become a regional energy hub.

The story is getting plenty of international press: CNBC | Asharq | CNN.

enterprise

LAST NIGHT’S TALK SHOWS

The nation’s talking heads couldn’t stop saying the C word last night as Omicron fears, market uncertainty and vaccine news dominated the news agenda. Head to this morning’s Covid Watch (above) for more details on the vaccination of minors and the Omicron variant and to What We’re Tracking Today (also above) for more about the new variant’s impact on the markets, globally and regionally.

EGYPT IN THE NEWS

It’s a quiet morning in the foreign press as far as Egypt is concerned: The opening of the Avenue of the Sphinxes in Luxor last week is still getting attention with a solitary article in China’s Global Times, while Reuters picks up Egypt’s authorization of Pfizer’s covid vaccine for 12-15 year-olds (head to this morning’s Covid Watch for more).

ALSO ON OUR RADAR

CIB will allow clients to open bank accounts without proof of income under a new type of account dubbed Bedaya that aims to give youth, home-makers and freelancers access to financial services as part of its drive for financial inclusion, according to a statement (pdf).

A retail investor is selling a 5% stake (49 mn shares) in Rameda Pharma to an unnamed foreign institutional investor, after shareholders approved the sale during their annual general meeting on Thursday, the company said in a disclosure to the bourse (pdf). The shareholder — Seddik Mohamed Seddik — is selling the shares on the condition that the investor holds onto the shares for the remainder of the post-IPO lock-up period.

French hotelier Accor will open a Movenpick residential property featuring 150 serviced apartments in the new administrative capital in 2026, in partnership with Al Burouj Egypt.

PLANET FINANCE

Powered by
EFG Hermes - https://efghermes.com/

Half of this year’s large IPOs aren’t doing so great: Despite smashing global records this year, half of the 2021’s major IPOs are now trading in the red even after US stocks hit new record highs, the Financial Times writes. Dealogic data shows that of the 43 companies to have raised more than USD 1 bn this year, 49% are now trading below their issuance prices, raising questions about the valuations produced by underwriters and large investors.

Putting that figure into perspective: Only 33% of 2019’s big IPOs were trading below issuance prices a year after their debut, while only 27% of 2020’s big IPOs were in that position.

Best of the worst: Indian fintech firm Paytm had one of the worst debuts in the country’s history, falling more than 40% in its first two days trading. UK food delivery startup Deliveroo remains below its issuance price after becoming one of the UK’s most disastrous IPOs in March, falling 26% on its first day.

Saudi Tadawul Group sets share price at SAR 105 ahead of IPO: The Saudi stock market has completed its book-building process, setting its price at SAR 105 per share, valuing the bourse at SAR 12.6 bn, the company’s financial advisor SNB Capital said in a regulatory filing yesterday. At SAR 105 per share, the bourse could raise up to USD 1 bn for the Public Investment Fund, the exchange’s only shareholder. The group had initially set the price per share between SAR 95-105, only to settle on the higher end after the offering was 121x oversubscribed.

Down

EGX30

11,278

-1.3% (YTD: +4.0%)

None

USD (CBE)

Buy 15.66

Sell 15.76

None

USD at CIB

Buy 15.66

Sell 15.76

None

Interest rates CBE

8.25% deposit

9.25% lending

Down

Tadawul

10,788

-4.5% (YTD: +24.2%)

Down

ADX

8,230

-1.8% (YTD: +64.5%)

Down

DFM

3,006

-5.2% (YTD: +20.7%)

Down

S&P 500

4,595

-2.3% (YTD: +22.3%)

Down

FTSE 100

7,044

-3.6% (YTD: +9.0%)

Down

Brent crude

USD 72.72

-11.6%

Up

Natural gas (Nymex)

USD 5.48

+7.1%

Up

Gold

USD 1,788

+0.1%

Up

BTC

USD 56,491

+3.3% (as of midnight)

THE CLOSING BELL-

The EGX30 fell 1.3% yesterday on turnover of EGP 775 mn (46.6% above the 90-day average). Foreign investors were net sellers. The index is up 4.0% YTD.

In the green: Rameda (+3.1%), Mopco (+1.1%) and Heliopolis Housing (+0.9%).

In the red: Orascom Development Egypt (-5.9%), AMOC (-5.1%) and Pioneers Properties (-4.1%).

blackboard

PROJECT PROFILE- How the Education Ministry is using modular classrooms to tackle classroom shortages: In mid-October of this year, a photo circulated that showed school children in Qalyubia sitting on the floor because there was no space in a classroom for them. The online outrage that ensued prompted Education Minister Tarek Shawki to discuss a major problem facing Egypt’s education system — a shortage of classrooms. Shawki went on El Hekaya (watch, runtime: 31:04) to explain that Egypt already had a shortage of 250k classrooms when he took office in 2017. The shortage has only increased since then as every year 800k new students join the school system and require 28k new classrooms, he added. Classroom shortage currently stands at over 300k classrooms across the country, he said.

As such, the ministry launched a program in 2019 whereby it would set up modular, easy to build and easy to dismantle classrooms. Its thinking is that these classrooms would be easier to build and would be equipped with the latest in smartboard technology. Today, we dive deeper into the program, explore where it is at right now, why we need it and how it can help solve the classroom shortage problem.

So what are modular classrooms exactly? Modular classrooms are mobile trailer-like structures that are either parked on school grounds or on a plot of land near a school. They’re similar to the caravans workers sleep and work in when they are on-site in places without land infrastructure such as the desert. The modular classrooms are equipped with electricity, AC, desks, and chairs — all with the aim of increasing the amount of space and seats for students in each school.

Where does the program stand today? So far, 156 modular classrooms were established as part of a pilot phase of the initiative with the first modular classrooms set up at Al Sayeda Khadija Official Language School near Maadi, sources at the ministry told Enterprise. Chinese firm NetDragon Websoft Holdings is providing Egypt with these modular classrooms, which they call Intelligent Classrooms, as part of a strategic partnership between Egypt and China, according to the company’s press release.

The Education Ministry is planning to establish 3,125 modular classrooms during the current academic year to accommodate 141k students, the ministry sources added.

Modular classrooms are a lower-cost alternative to building physical classrooms, the sources told us, but we couldn’t get a specific price tag for each unit. Modular construction in general allows for spaces that are easy and fast to transport, install, and adapt. Want to know more about modular building? We go into more detail about this building technique in our story for Hardhat.

And with the current state of our education spending and classroom shortage, these classrooms could be necessary. Each classroom costs EGP 500k on average to build, which means Egypt requires a budget of more than EGP 150 bn to meet the current student density, Minister Shawki had said. Egypt’s total budget for the education sector for FY2021-2022 amounts to EGP 110 bn, with only EGP 12 bn earmarked for infrastructure investments, he explained. The average number of students in each classroom is 49, according to statistics (pdf) published by the Education Ministry in the last academic year.

Another main benefit is the introduction of educational technology: Back in May, the Education Ministry signed a cooperation protocol with the Arab Organization for Industrialization and NetDragon’s subsidiary Promethean to provide the Intelligent Classrooms with interactive smart screens, according to a statement. The ministry also teamed up at the time with local tech startup Si-Vision to develop devices that would integrate with the screens.

A first for some rural schools: For many schools across the country where access to technology is low, these mobile classrooms fitted with smart screens can allow students to experience new educational technologies, Hassan Shehata, a professor of Education at Ain Shams University, told Enterprise. This is especially the case in small villages and rural areas where schools are sometimes so outdated that they do not have electricity in classrooms, he added.

Here’s the catch: there aren’t enough teachers to teach in these new classrooms: If the classroom shortage wasn’t enough, Egypt is also suffering from a shortfall of teachers across public schools in the country that has translated into a delay for the rollout of modular classrooms, Shehata explained. With 21 mn students in K-12 public schools and 900k teachers currently staffed, the teacher-to-student ratio is one teacher for every 23 students. It is estimated that Egypt needs 250k more teachers to meet student demands and have the most effective class sizes, Shawki said.

Minister Shawki noted that the ministry will need EGP 10 bn to hire the needed amount of teachers, with EGP 1 bn more every year to go towards mandatory yearly raises, he added. Instead the ministry has called on people to volunteer as teaching assistants to fill in the gap, paying them EGP 20 a class.

And the teachers we do have, need to be trained to use the new tech: While the Promethean smart screens are a useful educational tool, public school teachers are not always equipped with the knowledge to utilize them in their teaching, Shehata says. The government is currently undertaking this, but Shehata also posed the solution that the private sector could step in and provide low-cost and accessible training sessions for these teachers.

Nonetheless, modular classrooms are a temporary band aid but not a permanent solution. Magda Nasser, a member of the Parliament’s Education Committee, is among those that believes that the initiative can not be a substitute for physical classrooms in schools, she told Enterprise. However, she agrees that modular classrooms help create more equitable access to technology.

How effective the introduction of modular classrooms will be is yet to be seen, but with mns of students currently in K-12 public schools and the physical classroom shortage only getting worse, it’s important to find long-term solutions that ensure students have access to education.


Your top education stories for the week:

  • We’re attracting more foreign students: The number of foreign students enrolled in Egyptian universities rose 115% over the past three years from the academic year 2018-2019 to 2021-2022, the Education Ministry reported.
  • Two new schools will be set up in the Sixth of October’s Cosmic Village under a private-public partnership between CIRA, El Sewedy, and the SFE, with EGP 350 mn invested in the project.
  • CIRA is also bringing the US’ IVY Camps to Egypt, starting off with an online winter camp next month, according to a statement (pdf).
  • A call for desert farming students: King Salman International University in cooperation with the Agricultural Bank of Egypt will provide 30 full scholarships in the field of desert farming in efforts to attract more students to the field, the Education Ministry said.
  • Hayah International Academy is coming to West Cairo as it looks to open its Sheikh Zayed campus Hayah West in September 2022, according to a statement (pdf).

CALENDAR

24 November-7 December (Wednesday-Tuesday): Designated period for SODIC shareholders to subscribe to Aldar Properties and ADQ’s mandatory tender offer (pdf).

26 November-5 December (Friday-Sunday): The 43rd Cairo International Film Festival.

28 November-1 December (Sunday-Wednesday): Creative Industry Summit, Nile Ritz-Carlton.

29 November (Monday): Deadline for registration for MCIT’s online career training program by Digital Egypt Youth.

29 November-2 December (Monday-Thursday): Egypt Defense Expo, Egypt International Exhibition Centre.

30 November (Tuesday): Launch of open call by KfW for green project proposals in Egypt as part of their Investing for Employment facility (pdf).

End of November: El Nasr Automotive expects to have found a replacement for Dongfeng as its partner for its local EV assembly plans.

1 December (Wednesday): Members of the public will need to show proof of vaccination / a negative PCR test to access banks, post offices and government facilities; unvaccinated students will be prevented from accessing university campuses.

1 December (Wednesday): Government departments will begin moving to offices in the new capital.

2 December (Thursday): The 23rd OPEC and non-OPEC ministerial meeting.

5 December (Sunday): Purchasing managers’ index figures for November for Egypt, Saudi Arabia, and Qatar will be released.

7-8 December (Tuesday-Wednesday): North Africa Trade Finance Summit.

8-10 December (Wednesday-Friday): Global Forum for Higher Education and Scientific Research (GFHS), Cairo, Egypt.

9-10 December (Thursday-Friday): The US’s Summit for Democracy. Egypt is not among the invitees.

9-12 December (Thursday-Sunday): The 6th Edition of Cairo Woodshow, Cairo International Convention Centre, Cairo, Egypt.

10 December (Friday): Capmas will release November inflation figures.

10 December (Friday): Silicon Waha’s Startup Factory program kicks off in Assiut Technology Zone.

12 December (Sunday): Raya Holding’s Ordinary General Assembly meeting.

12 December (Sunday): Deadline to apply to the McKinsey Forward program for young professionals.

12-14 December (Sunday-Tuesday): Food Africa Cairo trade exhibition, Egypt International Exhibition Center, Cairo, Egypt.

13-17 December: United Nations Convention against Corruption, Sharm El Sheikh, Egypt.

14 December (Tuesday): Inquiry session for the Industrial Development Authority’s licenses to manufacture steel products.

14 December (Tuesday): CDC event to announce the details of its 2022-2026 strategy period.

14-19 December (Tuesday-Sunday): The Cairo International Festival for Experimental Theater.

14-15 December (Tuesday-Wednesday): The Federal Reserve meets to review interest rates.

15 December (Wednesday): Deadline for joint stock companies and investment companies in Cairo to join e-invoicing platform.

15 December (Wednesday): Target date for snackmaker Edita to wrap up due diligence on its acquisition of the Ole brand owner Egyptian Belgian Company.

15 December (Wednesday): The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development will give its final approval for a USD 100 mn facility to state-owned Banque Misr to finance local SMEs working on green projects.

16 December (Thursday): The CBE’s Monetary Policy Committee will meet to review interest rates.

End of 4Q2021: EdVentures plans to have closed at least one more edtech investment round.

End of 4Q2021: Fawry plans to have launched its MyFawry card.

1H2022: The World Economic Forum annual meeting, location TBD.

1H2022:: e-Aswaaq’s tourism platform will roll out its ticketing and online booking portal across Egypt.

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

1Q2022: Launch of the Egyptian Commodities Exchange.

1Q2022: Swvl acquisition of Viapool expected to close.

Second Half of January: Egypt will host the Egyptian-Bahraini Joint Committee.

The end of January: The Egyptian-Romanian business forum will take place with the aim of strengthening joint investment relations.

1 January 2022: Capital gains tax comes into effect on the EGX for local investors.

7 January 2022 (Friday): Coptic Christmas.

10-13 January 2022 (Monday-Thursday): World Youth Forum, Sharm El Sheikh.

15 January (Saturday): Target date for the finalization of snackfood giant Edita’s acquisition of the Egyptian Belgian Company, owner of the Ole brand.

17-19 January 2022 (Monday-Wednesday): World Future Energy Summit, Abu Dhabi.

27 January 2022 (Tuesday): National holiday in observance of 25 January revolution anniversary / Police Day.

11 February 2022 (Friday): Deadline for Anghami SPAC merger.

11-13 February (Friday-Sunday) FIBA Intercontinental Cup, Cairo.

14-16 February 2022 (Monday-Wednesday): Egypt Petroleum Show, Egypt International Exhibition Center, New Cairo, Egypt.

15 February 2022 (Tuesday): The Industrial Development Authority’s deadline for receiving offers from companies for licenses to manufacture steel products.

19 February 2022 (Saturday): Public universities begin the second term of the 2021-2022 academic year.

March 2022: 4Q2021 earnings season.

March 2022: World Cup playoffs.

2 April 2022 (Saturday): First day of Ramadan (TBC).

4 April 2022 (Monday): CDC Group will formally change its name to British International Investment.

22-24 April 2022 (Friday-Sunday): World Bank-IMF spring meeting, Washington D.C.

24 April 2022 (Sunday): Coptic Easter Sunday (holiday for Coptic Christians).

25 April 2022 (Monday): Sham El Nessim.

25 April 2022 (Monday): Sinai Liberation Day.

Late April – 15 May 2022: 1Q2022 earnings season

May 2022: Investment in Logistics Conference, Cairo, Egypt.

2 May 2022 (Monday): Eid El Fitr (TBC).

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

27 June-3 July 2022 (Monday-Sunday): World University Squash Championships, New Giza.

30 June 2022 (Thursday): June 30 Revolution Day, national holiday.

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

8 July 2022 (Friday): Arafat Day.

9-13 July 2022 (Saturday-Wednesday): Eid Al Adha, national holiday.

30 July 2022 (Saturday): Islamic New Year.

Late July – 14 August 2022: 2Q2022 earnings season.

6 October 2022 (Thursday): Armed Forces Day, national holiday.

8 October 2022 (Saturday): Prophet Muhammad’s birthday.

18-20 October 2022 (Tuesday-Thursday): Mediterranean Offshore Conference, Alexandria, Egypt.

Late October – 14 November 2022: 3Q2022 earnings season.

**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 below 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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