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Monday, 15 May 2017

El Sisi takes questions from audience after speech, Moselhy on wheat silos, Arafat on road building

President Abdelfattah El Sisi’s press conference in Qena was front and center on the airwaves last night, but the unexpected highlight of the night was the surprise appearance of Mahmoud Mohieldin. (We have additional coverage of the president’s remarks in Speed Round, below, and you can watch his full speech and the Q&A session here.)

Kol Youm’s Amr Adib aired a clip of a citizen complaining to El Sisi about not yet having received land promised for agricultural projects (watch, runtime: 5:32), which Adib took as underscoring that we are world leaders in freedom of speech: “There’s no other country in the world where a citizen can speak to their president directly like here” (watch, runtime: 6:30).

Adib also aired a report about the Tahya Misr Fund providing seed financing to a venture that’s setting out to build a solar-powered car in Zewail City (watch, runtime: 3:47).

On Hona Al Asema, Lamees Al Hadidi spoke to Supply Minister Ali El Moselhy aboutthe 25 new high-tech wheat silos El Sisi inaugurated on Sunday, which were paid for by the UAE and can accommodate up to 3.5 mn tonnes of wheat. The silos are designed to protect wheat from weather changes and equipped with control units that allow operators to monitor the sifting process (watch, runtime: 7:07).

Lamees also hosted Transport Minister Hisham Arafat, who talked mostly about the costs of building new roads under the national roads project (around EGP 70 mn per kilometer). According to Arafat (watch, runtime: 46:04).

Yahduth fi Masr’s Sherif Amer hosted former investment minister (and Enterprisefavourite) Mahmoud Mohieldin, who is now a senior vice president at the World Bank group. Mohieldin had very nice things to say about the Ismail government’s economic reform agenda, which he described as “crucial,” accusing previous government of wasting so much on energy subsidies that would have been better allocated to healthcare, education, infrastructure development and the like. Mohieldin also said that Egypt can benefit from the examples of countries like Korea and Singapore and felt confident that the country’s rating on the Doing Business Index would improve over the next two years thanks to legislative reform.

Protecting low- and mid-income earners during economic reform is also of the utmostimportance, Mohieldin said, through salary raises, healthcare and insurance schemes, and improvements to public transportation infrastructure.

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