Monday, 6 March 2023

AM — Private sector contracts at a slower pace in February amid signs inflation could be cooling



Good morning, everyone. It’s a big day for the regional finance community as the EFG Hermes One on One gets underway in Dubai in just a few minutes’ time. But before we jump in, please join us in extending our deepest sympathies to our friends in the Allam family as Hassan, Amr, May, and Mariam mourn the loss — and celebrate the memory — of their father.

IN MEMORIAM- Hassan Allam Holding’s Essam Allam passed away yesterday. Essam was an elder statesman of one of the nation’s most prominent and storied business families and the father of Amr and Hassan Allam, the company’s CEOs today. Hassan Allam Holding traces its roots to 1936, when Hassan Mohamed Allam (Essam’s father) founded Hassan Allam Construction. The business flourished and was eventually nationalized in the 1960s, with family members remaining in control of the company even as ownership passed to the state.

Essam and his brothers, including chairman Kamal, launched Hassan Allam Sons in 1976. In testing the boundaries of Sadat’s Open Door policy, the brothers built the foundation of a world-class business. Where only one third of family businesses make it through the second generation, they prepared a third generation to lead.

Essam passed on to his sons the human decency, competitive drive, and innovative spirit that characterize the business today. With the second generation’s support, Amr and Hassan have transformed Hassan Allam into a champion of the private sector — a fully institutionalized business with 34k employees, a growing international footprint, and a board dominated by both independent and non-executive members.

The aza will be held tomorrow (Tuesday, 7 March) at Field Marshal Tantawi Mosque in New Cairo. Essam Allam’s obituary is here in Al Ahram. His passing is being widely noted in the press: Al Shorouk | El Watan | Masrawy.

The global emerging and frontier market finance community is gathering in Dubai as the EFG Hermes One on One kicks off in a few short minutes. The largest investor conference in frontier and emerging markets — which is running this year under the theme Outplaying Challenges — brings together more than 560 fund and portfolio managers and C-suite execs from almost 180 companies in 29 countries.

What to expect from day one: The day will kick off with a welcome note from EFG Hermes Holding CEO Karim Awad, followed by a chat and Q&A session with our friend Sovereign Fund of Egypt CEO Ayman Soliman. EFG Hermes Research managing director and head of strategy Simon Kitchen will also be running the conference’s customary live poll. Attendees will then break out for one-on-one meetings that will see global investors meet face-to-face with top execs from top frontier and emerging market companies.

We’ll have coverage of day one and the results of the 2023 One on One Survey for you tomorrow.


Today in the Senate:

  • The Senate will examine a request by Senator Hayam Benjamin to offer Egyptian expats incentives to increase remittances;
  • Financial Regulatory Authority head Mohamed Farid will join the Senate Economic and Financial Affairs Committee to discuss regulating guarantees from clients of NBFS firms;
  • The Industrial Committee will look into efforts to support SMEs;
  • The Education Committee will review the Education Ministry’s efforts to clamp down on tutoring centers. Minister Reda Hegazi last year scrapped plans to start licensing private tutoring centers following backlash.

WATCH THIS SPACE #1- Has the CBE moved forward its March policy meeting? That’s according to economist Mostafa Badra, who said on Ala Mas’ouleety last night that the central bank will now meet on Saturday, 18 March, rather than 30 March as is currently scheduled (watch, runtime: 17:14). Badra didn’t explain how he obtained this information. As of this morning the meeting schedule on the CBE’s website is unchanged.

WATCH THIS SPACE #2- Signs of more investment from ADP? The CEO of Abu Dhabi Ports was in town yesterday for talks with President El Sisi about developing ports and logistics zones, Ittihadiya said in a statement.

REMEMBER- The ADQ-owned company has been pushing aggressively into Egypt’s maritime sector. It said in 2021 that it could invest USD 500 mn to develop a terminal at Ain Sokhna port and one at Safaga port, and is expected to bid in the upcoming tender for the Tenth of Ramadan dry port. It also recently purchased a controlling stake in local shipping and logistics firm International Associated Cargo Carrier. It was also reported to be in talks to take over the development and management of the Suez Port, which the government has denied.

DATA POINT: Egypt’s net foreign reserves inched up to USD 34.35 bn in February from USD 34.22 bn in January, according to central bank data out yesterday. Reserves have been on a gentle upward slope the past six months and are now up by more than USD 1.2 bn since the end of August. Reserves fell 20% last spring on the back of the war in Ukraine and tightening financial conditions.

FACT CHECK- No, public transport fares have not increased. The cabinet released a statement yesterday denying rumors that mass transit (microbuses and buses) fares increased in response to the latest round of fuel price hikes. Last week’s decision by the fuel pricing committee should have no impact on fares because diesel prices were left unchanged at EGP 7.25 per liter, the statement said.

PSA- The mercury in the capital is set to dip in the coming days following a brief balmy spell, with daytime highs falling to 21-23°C through to Wednesday, according to the latest forecast from the Egyptian Meteorological Authority. Temperatures will rise to 26°C by the end of the week.


The Higher Education Ministry is due to unveil a national strategy for higher education tomorrow.

The US defense secretary is in Egypt: US Secretary of Defense Lloyd J. Austin is in the region this week for a multi-day trip that will take him to Egypt, Israel and Jordan. The Pentagon has not disclosed Austin’s itinerary.’

Austin started the visit in Jordan yesterday, where he met with King Abdullah to discuss the escalating violence in the West Bank. Abdullah emphasized “the need to restore calm and de-escalate in the Palestinian Territories, as well as cease any unilateral measures that undermine stability and peace prospects, the palace said in a statement following the talks.

Inflation figures for February will land at the end of this week. Consumer prices accelerated at their fastest pace in five years in January on the back of record food price inflation triggered by the devaluation of the EGP.


There’s no single story dominating the global conversation this morning: US politics is getting play in the Associated Press, Reuters and the New York Times, which are running stories on Biden’s trip to Selma to commemorate Bloody Sunday, growing conflict in the Republican Party ahead of the 2024 presidential race, and Trump rival Ron DeSantis’ potential run for the Republican nomination.

MEANWHILE- The Wall Street Journal reports that public companies are revealing CEO pay for the first time while the Financial Times leads with the news that one of Credit Suisse’s oldest shareholders has offloaded his entire stake.

In Tunisia: Things are getting ugly as President Kais Saied pivot to anti-immigrant rhetoric triggered attacks on sub-Saharan Africans and the arrest of hundreds of migrants by authorities, according to the Wall Street Journal. Saeid — who’s facing mounting opposition following his power grab in 2021 — last month accused opposition parties of a “criminal plot” to replace Arabs and Muslims with black African immigrants.


  • Things aren’t getting easier for US tech startups: Having burned through more than USD 12 bn last year, newly-listed US tech companies are struggling for cash and many face having to make a difficult choice between steep capital raises, major cutbacks or takeovers. (Financial Times)
  • People aren’t rushing to the Metaverse: Facebook’s parent company Meta has cut the price of some of its Quest virtual reality headsets by up to a third, in part thanks to lower-than expected demand. (Bloomberg)
  • The US army loves robot dogs: Robotic quadrupeds of the sort popularized by Boston Dynamics are increasingly being integrated into US military ops for surveillance and security. (Task and Purpose)

Missed this week’s Inside Industry? In our weekly vertical exploring all things industry and manufacturing, we looked at how the government’s recent steps to reduce our reliance on imports and cut down on the trade deficit have affected export growth.


UAE denies report claiming it wants to split with OPEC: The UAE “has no plans” to exit the OPEC oil cartel, unnamed officials told Bloomberg, denying a report in the Wall Street Journal that claimed the country was considering splitting from the group amid a rift over output levels. The officials told Bloomberg the country has for years been considering a move away from the cartel but decided that the potential fallout with key neighbors would be too great a price to pay. The UAE has repeatedly said it will stick to planned OPEC production cuts through the end of 2023, though investment bank RBC Capital Markets has said the country may be itching to up output as it deploys USD bns to boost upstream production.

The WSJ report triggered an oil sell-off: Brent crude fell as much as 2.8% on the WSJ report on Friday, before paring losses to finish 1.3% in the green. Brent was down 0.6% ahead of dispatch this morning.


We are delighted to share with you that the Enterprise Exports & FDI Forum will be taking place on Monday, 15 May at the Four Seasons Hotel at Nile Plaza.

DO YOU WANT TO ATTEND? The first wave of invites is going out soon. If you’re a C-suite exec, exporter, investor, official, banker, or someone who should be part of the conversation, please TAP OR CLICK HERE to request a spot at this exclusive event.

What’s the Enterprise Exports & FDI Forum? It is the latest in our series of must-attend, invitation-only gatherings for C-suite-level business leaders. The Enterprise Exports & FDI Forum will discuss the critical topics of exports and foreign direct investment (FDI) in Egypt.

We will be taking an in-depth look into some of the most vital industry topics, including:

  • How to effectively break into new export markets
  • How to leverage domestic trends in order to create export opportunities
  • What foreign investors are looking for
  • What the government’s role should be

Why now? Exports and foreign direct investment (FDI) have never been more important to our economy — or our businesses — than in the wake of the float of the EGP. We think we have a once-in-a-lifetime chance to build an export-led economy that makes us a magnet for FDI, and all the benefits that will come with it for our nation.

Think of the Enterprise Exports & FDI Forum as a hands-on lab for how to turn the devaluation of the EGP into something that will turbocharge your company and our economy.

WANT TO SHARE YOUR STORY ON STAGE? Drop a note to Patrick here and let’s talk.

WANT TO BECOME A COMMERCIAL PARTNER? Ping a note to Moustafa, our head of commercial, here.

CORRECTION- The Samih Sawiris-led redevelopment of the Mogador resort in Essaouira, Morocco could be worth upwards of MAD 4 bn, not as much as AED 4 bn as we wrote in yesterday’s EnterpriseAM and EnterprisePM. The story has since been updated on our website.


The House is still out: The House of Representatives will reconvene on Sunday, 19 March.

RiseUp Summit 2023: The annual RiseUp Summit takes place at the soon-to-open Grand Egyptian Museum at the Giza pyramids complex from 16-18 March. The event brings together more than 150 startups and 250 speakers from around the world to talk entrepreneurship and innovation. Tickets can be purchased at TicketsMarche.

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


*** 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.

In today’s issue: We give a rundown of the scholarships and financial support packages available for students amid soaring living costs.


Somabay brings out the best in majestic natural elements where raw beauty and endless activities reign supreme. Immerse yourself into a picturesque getaway all year long. This is simply Somabay. For more information, call 16390 or visit


Private sector contracts at a slower pace in February amid signs inflation could be cooling

Private sector contracts at a slower pace in February: Activity in Egypt’s non-oil private sector contracted for the 27th consecutive month in February, albeit at a slower pace, according to S&P Global’s purchasing managers’ index (pdf). The PMI reading rose to 46.9 in February from 45.5 a month earlier, but remained below the 50.0 mark that separates growth from contraction. The report attributes the contraction to persistently high inflation as supply chain pressures and the ongoing depreciation of the EGP took a toll on demand.

Private firms “are likely to face a prolonged downturn in 2023” on the back of persistent inflation, weakened demand, and ongoing import controls, despite initial signs of improvement in the global economy, S&P Global economist David Owen said. “S&P Global Market Intelligence believes that FX markets are not yet at their equilibrium state and that inflation will likely remain in double-digits this year."

The upside: Is inflation softening? Two of the index’s key price metrics “saw a notable softening” last month after hitting multi-year highs in January. Purchase price inflation retreated to its lowest since October from a four-and-a-half-year high in January as businesses “suffered to a lesser extent from weaker exchange rates and rising import costs,” said Owen. Output price inflation similarly dropped to its lowest in four months following a near six-year high in January. “The findings provide some hope that inflation may start to soften,” Owen writes, while conceding that prices are still rising sharply on the back of the ongoing depreciation of the EGP.

REMEMBER- We’ll know more about the direction prices are headed at the end of this week.when official inflation data for February lands.

Business sentiment fell to a near-record low: Business confidence fell to come in only slightly above October’s record low, with just 5% of survey respondents forecasting a rise in output over the next 12 months.

Fewer hands on deck: Businesses slashed headcount for the third month running and at the

fastest rate in nine months as demand continued to drop.

The news got international coverage: Bloomberg.


The Saudi non-oil private sector grew at its fastest pace in almost eight years: Saudi Arabia’s PMI (pdf) rose to 59.8 in February from 58.2 in January on the back of a sharp surge in demand on better macro conditions.

Non-oil business activity in the UAE saw its strongest upturn since October, with the PMI (pdf) inching up to 54.3 in February from a 12-month low of 54.1 in January. That said, new business grew at its slowest rate in 17 months, “suggesting the improved growth picture may be short-lived.”


Economic “overhaul” needed to make IMF program a success, says IIF

Egypt needs to “overhaul” its business environment for the latest IMF program to succeed: That’s the conclusion of the Institute of International Finance (IIF), which published a report last month following a visit to Cairo to talk with policymakers and representatives of financial institutions, including the IMF.

The good: “Egypt’s challenges are not insurmountable.” The reform program has the capacity to transform the country into a more open, market-based economy with the private sector at its heart. The terms agreed with the IMF go deeper than ever before, for the first time containing commitments to level the playing field between the state and the private sector, and reduce the economic footprint of state- and military-owned companies. Implementing these reforms — via the state ownership policy, the plan to sell stakes in 32 state-owned companies and efforts to improve transparency — will be “critical” to the success of the program, the IIF says.

But it’s not without uncertainty: “The success of the program hinges on regaining investor confidence, strong determination to stay the course in the face of challenges, resistance to vested interest groups, and rapidly adopting to potential headwinds.” There is also uncertainty about the amount that the government will be able to raise via asset sales — and thus the program’s impact on Egypt’s estimated USD 17 bn external funding gap. Then there are the political challenges of divesting state-owned assets, which the IIF says could be “overwhelming.”

The big questions outside of privatization:

  • Do we stick to a flexible exchange-rate regime?
  • Where will the government drum up higher tax revenue — without choking companies that are already participating in the tax system?
  • Can we massively ramp up exports of goods and services as a percentage of GDP, where we (at less than 20%) lag far behind Thailand, Morocco, and Turkey (35-70%)?
  • How do policymakers respond to and readjust policies in the face of future economic headwinds?

And the big one: “Unless deep reforms, focused specifically on the overhaul of the business environment, are implemented, it is difficult to see how the objectives of the authorities’ program can be met,” the IIF said.


Veerle De Laet (LinkedIn) has been appointed executive director of English-language publisher AUC Press, according to a press release (pdf). A cultural historian, De Laet previously served as managing director and publisher at Belgium’s Leuven University Press, where she held various positions over more than a decade.



Offsetting a major lull on the news front, our talking heads had a lot to say last night, covering the latest container ship to block the Suez Canal, unstable weather conditions, and concerns about Brazilian beef.

We’re getting more deja vu after container ship MSC Istanbul ran aground in the Suez Canal during its trip from Malaysia to Portugal yesterday. Thankfully it didn’t stay stuck for long, with tug boats able to refloat the vessel in less than four hours, Suez Canal Authority spokesperson Goerge Safwat told Kelma Akhira (watch, runtime: 5:52). Ala Mas’ouleety (watch, runtime: 5:12) and Masa’a DMC (watch, runtime: 0:45) also covered the news.

Keep calm and eat Brazilian beef: The discovery of the mad cow disease in one Brazilian cow has prompted several countries to ban imports of beef from the country. Egypt is not expected to join them, according to the head of the Agriculture Ministry’s Veterinary Services Department Ehab Saber, who told Lamees El Hadidi that it was just a single atypical case and shouldn’t be cause for worry (watch, runtime: 9:31). The case comes a week after the government’s decision to increase imports of Brazilian chicken triggered rumors that spoiled and expired chicken was being sold in the local market.

So, is it summer yet? Not quite. Kelma Akhira (watch, runtime: 3:59) and Masa’a DMC (watch, runtime: 4:55) both covered the volatile weather conditions, which will see temperatures fall as of today following a brief hot spell.

Also on the airwaves last night:

  • The fresh package of social protection measures continued to get attention last night, with Masa’a DMC looking at the changes to the Takaful and Karama program. (Masa’a DMC | watch, runtime: 8:18).
  • ADP CEO in Egypt: President El Sisi and PM Madbouly’s meeting with the CEO of Abu Dhabi Ports yesterday got some airtime. (Al Hayah Al Youm | watch, runtime: 3:47).
  • Egypt x Iraq: Iraqi Prime Minister Mohammed Shia Al Sudani’s visit to Cairo reflects the strong ties between the two sides, Iraqi political analyst Basil El Kazemi told Al Hayah Al Youm (Al Hayah Al Youm | watch, runtime: 7:00 | 4:18).
  • Foreign reserves: Rising foreign reserves — which inched up to USD 34.4 bn in February — will help bring an end to black market USD trading, Cairo University Economics Professor Hisham Ibrahim told Al Hayah Al Youm (Al Hayah Al Youm | watch, runtime: 5:49).


The news flow internationally is as slow as it is on the home front this morning: Heads at Reuters and the Associated Press were turned when a container ship ran aground in the Suez Canal yesterday. Meanwhile, the Associated Press reports that authorities have sentenced 14 people, including lawyers and rights activists, to jail terms of between five and 15 years on terrorism charges, and gives ink to yesterday’s meeting between President El Sisi and the prime minister of Iraq.


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SCZone talks with Chinese investors: A high-level delegation from one of China’s largest industrial areas discussed potential investment in the Sokhna Industrial Zone and support for ongoing Chinese projects with representatives from the Suez Canal Economic Zone (SCZone) yesterday, according to a SCZone statement. The two sides are coordinating to put in place incentives to attract Chinese companies to the zone.

SCZone heads east next month: SCZone CEO Walid Gamal El Din was invited by the delegation to return the visit in April. A delegation of major Chinese companies is also planning to come to Egypt soon to study potential projects, the statement read. Gamal El Din last month said he could be making his way to China soon for a roadshow.


More electricity for Jordan? Egypt could increase the capacity of its electricity line with Jordan to up to 3 GW from its current 550 MW, Prime Minister Moustafa Madbouly told Iraqi Prime Minister Mohammed Shia Al Sudani yesterday, according to a cabinet statement. The two sides have been in talks to raise the capacity of the link to 1 GW since early 2022.


One step closer to Tarboul Industrial City: Real estate developer GV Developments and Qalaa Holdings’ Taqa Arabia have signed an agreement to set up a company to build the infrastructure at the Tarboul Industrial City in Giza, according to a press release (pdf). Tarboul Infra will be responsible for building and operating utilities at the planned city.


Not another Ever Given debacle: A Liberia-flagged container ship en route to Portugal ran aground in the Suez Canal yesterday for a hot minute before four tugboats managed to refloat it, the Suez Canal Authority said. Traffic at the canal was not affected by the incident, with ships passing through the waterway normally.

SPEAKING OF WHICH Two years later, Ever Given is still making headlines: Dutch marine response firm SMIT Salvage, the firm responsible for refloating Ever Given after it ran aground in the Suez Canal, is suing the ship’s owner Ever Green claiming it didn’t receive the appropriate financial compensation for its work, according to Bloomberg. This comes as we approach the two-year anniversary of the giant container ship blocking the vital trade artery for almost a week.


Sawiris is getting a chunk of Vitoria SC: Nassef Sawiris’ holding company V Sports will purchase 46% of the Portuguese Vitoria SC for EUR 5.5 mn, after the club’s shareholders voted for the acquisition, the club said in a statement yesterday. Some EUR 2 mn of the money V Sports will invest in the club will go towards its infrastructure.

This will be the company’s second club: V Sports, owned by Sawiris and American bn’aire Wes Edens, bought a 55% stake in Premier League club Aston Villa in 2018.


Cabinet’s IDSC hears from experts on macro matters: The cabinet’s Information and Decision Support Center (IDSC) held a forum on financial policy and debt sustainability attended by 22 senior bankers, economists, officials, and business owners, according to a cabinet statement. The forum touched on the IMF-backed reform program and privatization strategy, ways to boost FX inflows, steps to integrate the informal economy and widen the tax base, and our sovereign sukuk issuance last month, among other topics. The IDSC is set to incorporate the experts’ contributions in a forthcoming research project on how to handle global economic challenges this year and next. This is the eleventh such forum it has run of a planned 20.


A fresh World Bank grant to tackle waste: The World Bank will grant the government’s Greater Cairo pollution reduction project a USD 9.1 mn grant to improve the management of e-waste and healthcare waste disposal systems, according to a cabinet statement. The funding will be disbursed by the lender’s Global Environment Facility.


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Some of the world’s more vulnerable economies are being forced to take drastic measures as they struggle with fresh USD shortages, according to a Bloomberg article which namechecks Sri Lanka, Nigeria, and Pakistan, which are struggling to get their hands on raw materials and medicine thanks to hard-currency shortages. Pakistani factories have paused operations until they can get their hands on the needed hard currency to import raw materials. Nigerian airports are preparing for a drought after some international carriers suspended flights due being unable to repatriate USD. And Sri Lanka is postponing non-urgent surgeries due to a shortage of drugs and medical supplies.

The worst is yet to come: “There’s a real crisis brewing in these troubled nations and for some, things can still get even worse … Investors will need to be even more vigilant in screening for vulnerability and differentiating country risk to avoid being surprised by the next Ghana or Sri Lanka,” one EMs strategist said.

Egypt the exception? While strategists are advising investors to avoid some troubled nations that reached out for IMF support, some are more hopeful on Egypt. “Egypt could be an opportunity if the IMF program is successful at supporting the economy while tough reforms are implemented,” one EM strategist at Wells Fargo told the news outlet.


  • Commodity traders look to have made record gains last year: Commodity traders likely piled up a record-breaking USD 115.6 bn in gross margin in 2022 — up 61% on 2021 — as prices soared in the wake of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. (Bloomberg)
  • Predictions for triple-digit oil as demand surges: Commodities giant Vitol and Goldman Sachs are expecting Brent to rise above USD 100 a barrel later this year as demand surges following the end of covid-19 lockdowns in China. Global demand for oil is expected to reach a record 101.7 mn barrels per day this year. (Bloomberg)
  • EM guru Mark Mobius turns away from China thanks to gov’t restrictions: B’naire emerging markets investor and longtime China champion Mark Mobius told Fox Business he’s pivoting to other markets including India and Brazil after finding himself unable to get his money out of China due to the country’s capital controls. (Fox Business)




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The EGX30 fell 0.1% at yesterday’s close on turnover of EGP 1.39 bn (31.5% below the 90-day average). Local investors were net buyers. The index is up 15.3% YTD.

In the green: Telecom Egypt (+7.7%), Sidi Kerir Petrochemicals (+1.9%) and Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank (+1.0%).

In the red: Madinet Nasr Housing and Development (-2.3%), Qalaa Holdings (-2.2%) and GB Auto (-1.8%).

Asian markets are mixed this morning: Chinese stocks are nursing losses to start the week while shares in Japan, South Korea and Australia are all comfortably in the green. Stock futures point to a mixed open in Western markets today: European bourses are on course to rise at the opening bell, while shares in London and New York will open in the red.


El Sisi meets Iraqi PM in Cairo: President Abdel Fattah El Sisi, Prime Minister Moustafa Madbouly and other senior officials sat down with Iraqi Prime Minister Mohammed Shia Al Sudani yesterday on his first visit to Cairo since taking office in October, according to separate Ittihadiya and Iraqi government statements. They discussed bilateral cooperation on trade and other fronts, as well as moves to strengthen tripartite relations with Jordan, the statements said, without providing further color.


Private universities’ scholarship landscape: With inflation at a five-year high and FX-denominated tuition fees at several private universities in the country jumping amid the weakening of the EGP, university students are feeling the pinch of rising costs. We give a rundown of the scholarships and financial support packages available for current and prospective students at several private universities in Egypt. While strong academic performance is a fixture of most scholarship eligibility criteria, scholarships dedicated to students who demonstrate a wide range of skill sets including athletic ability, artistic talents, or even strong leadership skills are also becoming widely available.

By the numbers: Around 7k of the British University in Egypt’s (BUE) current students have received partial or full scholarships, BUE’s Chief Marketing Officer Rasha Mabrouk told Enterprise. BUE students can apply for multiple scholarships they’re eligible for and will be awarded whichever scholarship is highest. Scholarships cover a maximum of up to 40% of tuition, with a few exceptions that could lead to a higher percentage of tuition being covered. Given the current economic climate, BUE is “trying to increase the cap so that scholarships can cover 45% of tuition,” Mabrouk said. At AUC, there are 1k scholarships — including more than 400 covering full tuition — allocated at any given time, Associate Provost for Enrollment Management at AUC Ahmed Abdel-Meguid told us.

Several universities provide need-based scholarships and financial aid, including BUE, AUC, and Nile University. All three universities have dedicated committees to review applications for financial support applicants, with each university offering differently sized packages. AUC offers several donor-funded, need-based scholarships that generally cover the full degree cost, while some also cover accommodation and/or other living expenses. Nile University typically grants a 10-50% deduction off tuition fees for students who demonstrate real financial need, while some students can be granted larger packages on an exceptional basis, a university representative told us. The university previously offered up financial aid once per academic year, but has opened up applications before each semester due to recent economic difficulties, the representatives said. Nile University also has several donor-funded scholarships such as the Banque du Caire Scholarship and the Housing & Development Bank Scholarship, each of which have their own eligibility criteria.

AUC’s financial aid scheme is being “repackaged” into a new scholarship program:

Effective Fall 2023, financial aid funds allocated for newly enrolled students each year

will be redirected to the new AUC Excellence Scholarship. This program is based on both merit and financial need and features six stackable categories. Combinations could result in total tuition coverage of 20-100%. Financial aid will continue to be a separate scheme for students enrolled before Fall 2023 until their graduation, but students must apply for renewal every academic year to demonstrate continued financial need, Abdel-Meguid told Enterprise.

For top academic performers in high school, several merit-based scholarships are up for grabs: The academic achievement category of AUC’s Excellence Scholarship Program is open to students with all types of all high school certificates, including national, international, private, and public schools. Merit-based scholarships at BUE are awarded to applicants based on high school grades, with each faculty setting different eligibility criteria depending on the type of high school degree. Nile University also has a merit-based scholarship program which grants eligible students either 15% or 30% off their tuition fees for first-year tuition fees based on high school scores. In subsequent years, students are evaluated based on their GPAs and can receive merit scholarships that cover either 20%, 40%, or 100% of their fees.

And there are specific packages for public school graduates: AUC’s Public-School Scholarship Fund is open to Egyptian students who graduate from public, experimental, STEM, and Nile schools with outstanding academic records and that demonstrate financial need. This scholarship covers tuition and fees, as well as accommodation at AUC dorms or AUC transport for eligible students. Students who earn top marks in Egypt’s national degree programs (Thanaweya Amma/STEM/Nile) will also be considered for the Egyptian National Certificates category of AUC’s Excellence Scholarship Program. Students applying to BUE from Egyptian public schools are eligible for scholarships, with each faculty setting different Thanaweya Amma score eligibility criteria. Nile University offers full scholarships for students’ entire duration of study (given that they maintain a 3.0 GPA or above) to the top 10 performing students in each Thanaweya Amma track (arts, mathematics, or science).

Athletes and students with special talents get some tailored packages: BUE offers three levels of athletic scholarships, based on whether a student has competed in an international, national, or university-level competition, and how they rank. The scholarship packages vary based on performance. “If you are a gold champion in the Olympics, for example, you would get an 80% scholarship,” Mabrouk told us. AUC’s sports scholarships will fall under the Talents category of the AUC Excellence Scholarship program. We previously ran down a detailed list of sports scholarships available in Egypt. AUC’s Excellence Scholarship program also includes a Talents category for students who have distinguished themselves in sports, art, music, writing, and other fields, with students required to provide supporting documentation that demonstrates their talent in and dedication to their field, Abdel-Meguid told us.

Other conditions that could make students eligible for scholarships:

  • Volunteering: Students who are actively engaged in community service or have demonstrated impactful leadership — such as “high school students that lead a student club, are active participants in an NGO, or have organized some sort of community service initiative” — are eligible for the Leadership and Community Service category of AUC’s Excellence Scholarship Program, Abdel-Meguid said.
  • Family benefits and extenuating circumstances: Students with a sibling currently enrolled in BUE and those whose parents are current faculty members at public universities are each eligible for a 10% scholarship. Students whose parent or guardian passes away after their enrollment at BUE are also eligible for 50% of their tuition fees to be covered.
  • Liberal arts students: Top-performing students applying to a liberal art major at AUC are eligible for the Liberal Arts majors category of the Excellence Scholarship Program. Students can also be eligible for this category in conjunction with the Talent category of the program, Abdel-Meguid told us.
  • Early admission + partner school applicants: BUE also grants partial scholarships for students accepted in early admission, as well as those applying from a specific list of BUE’s partner schools, according to its website.

Your top education stories for the week:

  • Thanaweya Amma exam schedules are out: Thanaweya Amma exams are scheduled to take place between 12 June and 15 July. (Education Ministry)
  • Alexandria’s first international applied tech school will open in 10 days: Education Minister Reda Hegazy and International Cooperation Minister Rania Al Mashat will inaugurate the first international applied tech school in Alexandria on 16 March. (Statement)
  • Public sector to see wage and pension hikes: Public school teachers and university faculty members are one group that will see raises of EGP 300-500 to their bonuses amidst measures to mitigate the impact of soaring inflation.
  • An Eva Pharma applied tech school in the making: Eva Pharma is partnering with the Education Ministry and the USAID to establish its own applied tech school, which is expected to start operations for the upcoming academic year. (Al Mal)
  • Emirati fertilizer company CFC Group will establish a school for applied science at its USD 400 mn industrial complex in Qena Governorate, set to start operations during the upcoming academic year.
  • Non-profit foundation, Educate Me, has released the results of its pilot project, Teaching at the Right Level, which addresses alternative learning methodologies to be implemented in Arabic in schools across the MENA region. (Statement, pdf)



19 February-11 March (Sunday-Saturday): 2023 Africa U20 Cup of Nations, Egypt, various locations.


March: 4Q2022 earnings season.

March: Gov’t to launch the National Governance Index.

March: Palestine-Israel talks in Sharm El Sheikh.

Beginning of March: Rice to be added to the EMX.

6 March (Monday): Telecom Egypt to announce its 2022 results.

6-9 March (Monday-Thursday): EFG Hermes One-on-One conference, Atlantis, Dubai.

7 March (Tuesday): Higher Education Ministry to unveil national strategy for higher education.

11-12 March (Saturday-Sunday): Techne Summit, National Museum of Egyptian Civilization.

13 March (Monday): BEBA Egypt hosts discussion and dinner with Oil Minister Tarek El Molla.

16-18 March (Thursday-Saturday): RiseUp Summit, Grand Egyptian Museum, Giza.

19 March (Sunday): House reconvenes.

21-22 March (Tuesday-Wednesday): Federal Reserve interest rate meeting.

23 March (Thursday): First day of Ramadan (TBC). Maghreb will be at 6:08pm CLT.

30 March (Thursday): Central Bank of Egypt’s Monetary Policy Committee meeting.

31 March (Friday): Finance Ministry to present draft budget to House of Representative by this date.


April: GAFI to launch the country’s first integrated electronic platform to facilitate setting up a business.

April: SCZone roadshow in China.

1 April (Saturday): Deadline for banks to establish sustainability units.

10-16 April (Monday-Sunday): IMF / World Bank Spring Meetings, Marrakesh, Morocco.

16 April (Sunday): Coptic Easter

17 April (Monday): Sham El Nessim.

21 April (Friday): Eid El Fitr (TBC).

25 April (Tuesday): Sinai Liberation Day.

27 April (Thursday): National holiday in observance of Sinai Liberation Day (TBC).

30 April (Sunday): Tenth of Ramadan dry port tender deadline.

30 April (Sunday): Deadline for self-employed to register for e-invoicing.

30 April (Sunday): End of Mediterranean, Nile Delta oil + gas exploration tender.

Late April – 15 May: 1Q2023 earnings season.


1 May (Monday): Labor Day.

2-3 May (Tuesday-Wednesday): Federal Reserve interest rate meeting.

4 May (Thursday): National holiday in observance of Labor Day (TBC).

4 May (Thursday): IEF-IGU Ministerial Gas Forum, Cairo.

9-11 May (Tuesday-Thursday): First edition of the Arab Actuarial Conference, Cairo.

12 May (Friday): Expat car import scheme ends.

15 May (Monday): Enterprise Exports & FDI Forum, Four Seasons Hotel Cairo at Nile Plaza.

16-18 May (Tuesday-Thursday): Egypt will host its first conference on cybersecurity and defense intelligence systems (CDIS-Egypt).

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

20-21 May (Saturday-Sunday): eGlob Expo, St. Regis Almasa Hotel, Cairo.

22-26 May (Monday-Friday): Egypt will host the African Development Bank (AfDB) annual meetings in Sharm El Sheikh.


7-10 (Wednesday-Saturday): The second edition of Africa Health Excon.

10 June (Saturday): Thanaweya Amma examinations begin.

12 June – 15 July (Monday-Saturday): Thanaweya Amma exams.

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

19-21 June (Monday-Wednesday): Egypt Infrastructure and Water Expo debuts at the Egypt International Exhibition Center.

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

28 June-2 July (Wednesday-Sunday): Eid El Adha (TBC).

30 June (Friday): June 30 Revolution Day.


18 July (Tuesday): Islamic New Year.

20 July (Thursday): National holiday in observance of Islamic New Year (TBC).

23 July (Sunday): Revolution Day.

25-26 July (Tuesday-Wednesday): Federal Reserve interest rate meeting.

27 July (Thursday): National holiday in observance of Revolution Day.

Late July-14 August: 2Q2023 earnings season.


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


19-20 September (Tuesday-Wednesday): Federal Reserve interest rate meeting.

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

26 September (Tuesday): Prophet Muhammad’s birthday (TBC).

28 September (Thursday): National holiday in observance of Prophet Muhammad’s birthday (TBC).


6 October (Friday): Armed Forces Day.

13 October- 20 October (Friday-Friday): The sixth edition of El Gouna Film Festival (GFF).

Late October-14 November: 3Q2023 earnings season.

31 October – 1 November (Tuesday-Wednesday): Federal Reserve interest rate meeting.


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

15-24 November (Wednesday-Friday): Cairo International Film Festival, Cairo.


12-13 December (Tuesday-Wednesday): Federal Reserve interest rate meeting.

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


2023: The inauguration of the Grand Egyptian Museum.

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

1Q 2023: Egypt + Qatar to launch joint business forum.

1Q 2023: FRA to introduce new rules for short selling.

1Q 2023: Internal trade database to launch.

1Q 2023: The Madbouly government will choose which state-owned hotels will be merged into a new hotels company ahead of an offering to foreign and Gulf investors.

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