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Tuesday, 19 November 2019

Last night’s talk shows for Tuesday, 19 November 2019

An eventful night on the airwaves: The nation’s beloved talk show hosts continued to dwell on the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) negotiations and President Abdel Fatah El Sisi’s visit to Germany. The highlight of the night, however, came on Al Kahera Alaan as host Lamees El Hadidi looked into chatter on Sunday of an upcoming cabinet shuffle.

Lamees investigates cabinet shuffle speculation: El Hadidi asked whether rumors of an imminent cabinet shuffle — started by Akhbar Al Youm Chairman Yasser Rizk, who suggested on Sunday that up to 10 ministers could be on their way out — would bring about a fundamental change in government policy or result only in minor tweaks to the Sisi administration’s agenda.

El Hadidi spoke to political pundit Abdel Moneim Said. Said, who is also an advisor to the Egyptian Center for Strategic Studies and the CEO of Al Masry Al Youm, implied that shuffles based on ministerial performance are unlikely to result in substantial changes in policy direction. What we should turn to is research on good governance and rethink the abstract idea of a ministry, he said. Said also stressed the need for a less centralization and how the country should look to devolve power to our traditionally limited and underutilized local government.

You can watch Lamees’ phoneer with Said here (runtime: 10:25).

GERD also gets some airtime on Al Kahera Al Aaan: Lamees sat down for an interview with Ethiopian ambassador to Cairo Dina Mufti to talk about progress in the GERD talks. Mufti mostly echoed what he told El Hekaya’s Amr Adib earlier this week, but spoke in a much longer segment from a foreign affairs perspective (watch, runtime: 25:01).

Media’s focus on Abiy Ahmed war comments was a misrepresentation -Ethiopian ambassador: The media has “misconstrued” Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed’s statement last month about his country’s willingness to go to war, Mufti told El Hadidi. “He [Ahmed] was talking about the need for solving the case peacefully … without any war … without any conflict,” he said. Lamees also asked Mufti whether Ethiopia, with a dam now 69% complete, has been purposefully stalling the negotiations to establish de facto control over the Nile. “This is not the case,” Mufti said, adding that the fact that Ethiopia took the initiative and sent a delegation to Alexandria last summer to meet El Sisi proves otherwise.

GERD talks finally began showing signs of moving forward last weekend after Egypt, Sudan and Ethiopia were said to have reached the closest they have ever been to agreement on the timetable of filling the dam.

Travel diaries: Al Hayah Al Youm’s Lobna Assal, meanwhile, recounted El Sisi’s first day in Berlin, taking note of his meeting with German counterpart Frank-Walter Steinmeier and German Bundestag President Wolfgang Schäuble (watch, runtime: 6:52). We have more on this in Diplomacy + Foreign Trade, below.

Also getting some airtime: Prime Minister Moustafa Madbouly gave a keynote speech during yesterday’s AmCham-organized US-Egypt Prosperity Forum in Cairo. Madbouly noted that US investments in Egypt have witnessed 26% y-o-y growth so far into 2019, and the number of US companies has reached 1500 — operating in the sectors including oil and gas, renewables, manufacturing, and ICT. Assal was among those taking note (watch, runtime: 2:34).

ٍShehata isn’t the hero Egypt deserves, he’s the one it needs: No one can lead Egypt’s national football team better than former coach Hassan Shehata, football analyst Reda Abdel Aal tells Adib (watch, runtime: 3:26). Abdel Aal’s opening remarks when he phoned into El Hekaya come as the Pharaohs’ new coach, Hossam El Badry, led Egypt to two back-to-back draws against lower tier teams in the Afcon 2021 qualifying round.

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