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Thursday, 23 November 2017

What we’re tracking on 23 November 2017

Prime Minister Sherif Ismail is in Germany today to receive treatment and undergo surgery for an unspecified illness, according to a statement from the cabinet on Wednesday. Ismail will be there for three weeks, the statement added. Cabinet spokesperson Ashraf Sultan made the rounds on the talk and news shows last night to explain that the operation was a routine procedure on the PM’s digestive system and made it clear that there was no cancer. Ismail had previously taken medical leave from cabinet while oil minister..

In a call to Al Hayat Al Youm, Sultan added that President Abdel Fattah El Sisi will appoint someone to mind Ismail’s portfolio while the PM is out. The announcement came amid heightened speculation about the prime minister’s health, which saw cabinet deny a month ago that Ismail was ill.

A short week next week? The EGX announced yesterday that it will be off on Thursday 30 November, according to a statement (pdf). We have no statement from the CBE on whether it will declare next Thursday a holiday, but Al Masry Al Youm claims it will, citing a statement from the central bank. Prime Minister Sherif Ismail declared the day a holiday for the public sector to mark the occasion of Prophet Muhammad’s birthday, which actually falls on Friday 1 December.

Then again, maybe I won’t. (With apologies to Judy Blume.)Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Al Hariri announced yesterday he would hold off presenting his resignation as prime minister in response to a request from President Michel Aoun to allow more dialogue, Reuters reports. “I presented today my resignation to President Aoun and he urged me to wait before offering it and to hold onto it for more dialogue about its reasons and political background, and I showed responsiveness,” Hariri said.

A delegation from the British Civil Aviation Authority will wrap its fourth and final day of security inspections in Cairo International Airport today, says Egypt Independent.

The French-Egyptian Sustainable City Week continue through 28 November. French Ambassador Stéphane Romatet, former Prime Minister Ibrahim Mahlab, and Electricity Minister Mohamed Shaker are expected to be in attendance along with a number of CEOs of French and Egyptian companies. Yesterday saw Investment Minister Sahar Nasr signed for a EUR 500k grant from the French Development Agency. Details are below in the Diplomacy and Foreign Trade section.

It’s the second day of Schneider Electric’s 2017 Innovation Summit Egypt, which runs until Friday. The firm will launch its EcoStruxure architecture and platform for end-to-end IoT-enabled solutions. CEO and Chairman Jean-Pascal Tricoire is expected in attendance, alongside the ministers of electricity and CIT.

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