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Sunday, 27 October 2019

Last night’s talk shows for Sunday, 27 October 2019

It was a mixed bag of nuts on the airwaves, with no particular coverage steering the conversation. Last night saw the talking heads tackle last week’s downpours, UK tourists in Egypt, and President Abdel Fattah El Sisi’s meeting with senior cabinet ministers. Oh, and it’s week two of Amr Adib’s version of open political debate.

The Irrigation Ministry declared a state of emergency after “irregular” weather patterns hit the nation last week and into the weekend, Homa Al Asema’s Reham Ibrahim reported (watch, runtime: 1:25). Teams will be commissioned in every governorate to respond to heavy rainfall and floods in the coming period.

El Hekaya’s Amr Adib phoned the acting head of the Meteorological Authority, Ashraf Saber, who said that a certain news outlet spread rumors that a medicane cyclone hit the country over the weekend (watch, runtime: 4:45). We recap this story in this morning’s What We’re Tracking Today, above.

Nearly half a mn Brits will visit Egypt this year -UK ambassador: Some 500k British tourists will come to Egypt this year to “enjoy [a] happy, trouble-free holiday,” the UK’s ambassador to Cairo Jeffrey Adams told El Hekaya’s Dina Abou El Fadl in an interview. Adams said that cooperation between British and Egyptian authorities was the key to last week’s decision by his government to lift its four-year ban on flights to Sharm El Sheikh (watch, runtime: 3:13). Abou El Fadl’s co-host Adib also showed a series of tweets from frequent British Sharm travellers excited to return to their happy place (watch, runtime: 0:31).

Egypt’s sovereign wealth fund now has a PPP investment mandate: El Sisi directed his top officials in a meeting yesterday to focus the EGP 200 bn sovereign wealth fund on partnerships with the private sector, whether in Egypt or abroad in the presence of the fund’s newly-appointed chief executive Ayman Soliman, Al Hayah Al Youm’s Lobna Assal reports (watch, runtime: 6:21). El Sisi, Prime Minister Moustafa Madbouly, Finance Minister Mohamed Maait, and Planning Minister Hala El Said also recapped macroeconomic indicators and discussed revamping Egypt’s tax collection mechanism during the meeting.

Adib gives the floor to “the opposition”: The host has lined up in the coming weeks interviews of political figures he says would give a counter view that is “critical” of the current state of affairs (watch Adib’s announcement: runtime: 1:28). Last week’s guest was urologist-turned-public intellectual Mohamed Ghoneim, who urged the government to go easy on taxing manufacturers and exporters, sort out its national priorities, and ease restrictions on civil society groups.

Next up: politician and intellectual Osama Al Ghazaly Harb, one of the co-founders of the pre-2011 opposition Democratic Front Party. Harb said that although Egypt is going in the right direction, there continue to be serious obstacles (watch, runtime: 0: 38). Harb echoed Ghoneim’s call for re-aligning priorities by saying that the money spent on the new capital and New Alamein could have been better spent to improve education (watch, runtime: 0:38). He also said that, despite its problems, the 2016 EGP float was “a great achievement” (watch, runtime: 1:15).

Harb also called for the release of his nephew, Shady El Ghazaly Harb, who has been a political detainee for a year-and-a-half (runtime: 1:49).

Miscellany from the interview: You can watch other snippets of the interview here (where he speaks of Egyptians civility), here (on the impact of social media), and here (where he likens the president to a homing missile).

Cabinet shows off its InDesign skills: The cabinet’s Information and Decision Support Center was out with an infographic yesterday highlighting unemployment hitting a 30-year-low in the second quarter of the year, Al Hayah Al Youm’s Lobna Assal reported (watch, runtime: 6:23). Capmas stats pinned down the number at 7.5% last August.

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