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Monday, 18 November 2019

Last night’s talk shows for Monday, 18 November 2019

Last night’s talk shows were remarkable for an open discussion of whether we’re getting a new central bank governor — and for intimations that a cabinet shuffle could be in the words.

El Saeed, Ezz El Arab, Okasha in the running for central bank governor post? Planning Minister Hala El Said, CIB Chairman Hisham Ezz El Arab, and National Bank of Egypt Executive Chairman Hisham Okasha are among the names that could potentially succeed CBE Governor Tarek Amer if his four-year term, which is due to end this month, isn’t renewed, Al Kahera Alaan’s Lamees El Hadidi said (watch, runtime: 11:38). Amer’s achievements since he assumed office on 27 November 2015 include eliminating the USD black market after the EGP float and increasing the level of foreign reserves to the highest recorded in Egypt’s history, El Hadidi said.

A message that a cabinet shuffle is coming? Yasser Rizk, chairman of state-owned Akhbar Al Youm and reported confidante of President Abdel Fattah El Sisi, was on Ahmed Moussa’s show Ala Mas’ouleety last night to deliver a message: We could be seeing over 10 new faces in the cabinet soon. “This is my gut feeling as a journalist who’s been in the field for 35 years,” Rizk said (watch, runtime: 3:12).

Who’s out? Rizk singled out the supply minister, who he says mishandled reform of the ration card subsidy program.

Who’s safe? Rizk suggested that the prime minister, along with the ministers of planning, electricity, housing and religious endowments, are all likely to return to the cabinet table.

GERD talks also get some airtime: Irrigation Ministry spokesperson Mohamed El Sebai provided more details yesterday on last week’s Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam negotiations after Sudan’s irrigation minister, Yasser Abbas, took the lead earlier with statements to the press showing signs of an impending breakthrough. Abbas said Egypt, Ethiopia, and Sudan agreed that filling the reservoir should not exceed seven years, depending on the Blue Nile’s hydrologic cycle. We have the full story in Diplomacy + Foreign Trade, below.

El Hadidi phoned El Sebai, who echoed previous statements said Egypt is looking to minimize the impact of filling on Nile water levels, while not compromising Ethiopia’s development needs (watch, runtime: 8:09).

El Hekaya’s Amr Adib, meanwhile, spoke to Ethiopia’s ambassador to Egypt Dina Mufti, who said that the talks last week were a step in the right direction and achieved notable progress (watch, runtime: 1:37 and runtime: 2:29).

Egypt has spent three years preparing a human rights progress report for the UN review, Parliamentary Affairs Minister Omar Marawan told Adib in a phone interview (watch, runtime: 7:12). Human rights has been a recurrent topic on the airwaves since the UN Human Rights Council held a periodic review of Egypt’s rights record in Geneva last week.

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