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Sunday, 13 September 2020

Building code violations dominate the airwaves

Building code violations and the reconciliation law were all the rage on the airwaves last night after Prime Minister Moustafa Madbouly announced that the government would reduce fines in rural areas to EGP 50 per sqm (more on this in this morning’s Speed Round, below). Among the highlights from the wealth of coverage last night:

Masaa DMC’s Eman El Hosary spoke with Agriculture Ministry spokesperson Mohamed El Qersh, who discussed the prime minister’s announcement. He said that Egypt has lost more than 90k acres and bns of EGP since 2011 from construction on agricultural land. El Qersh noted that reclaiming one acre costs the state EGP 200k (watch, runtime: 11:43).

El Hosary spoke with Atef Makhlif, a member of the House of Representatives’ Housing Committee, who discussed amendments to the reconciliation law. He said that the government realized the burden on citizens and reduced the cost of the reconciliation to EGP 50 per sqm (watch, runtime: 6:09).

El Hekaya’s Amr Adib praised the government’s decision to reduce the fines (watch, runtime: 0:58) and rang up the governors of Damietta (watch, runtime: 2:12) and Qalyubia (watch, runtime: 3:18) to discuss local developments.

Al Hayah Al Youm (watch, runtime: 7:53) and Masaa DMC (watch, runtime: 4:22) both had coverage of the prime minister’s presser .

Covid-19 vaccines: El Hekaya’s Amr Adib phoned Health Minister Hala Zayed who said that Egypt is collaborating on the development of four covid-19 vaccines with international partners, one of which has entered phase three clinical trials. Working with China and Emirati health firm G42 Healthcare, the Health Ministry is looking for 6k Egyptians to participate in the tests. Around 35k people in other countries have already been through trials and no complications have been detected, Zayed said. The ministry will contact them 24 hours after taking the vaccine to check for side effects, and will administer a second dose after 21 days, she said, adding that volunteers will not receive financial compensation for taking part.

Meanwhile, Zayed said covid-19 has become less virulent in Egypt and elsewhere in the world and said precautionary measures are in part responsible for the declining death rate (watch, runtime: 3:05), (watch, runtime: 3:42), (watch, runtime : 3:10). (watch, runtime: 2:06), (watch, runtime: 2:09). Al Hayah Al Youm Lobna Assal phoned health advisor Noha Assem to comment on the vaccines (watch, runtime: 7:45).

Electricity exports: Al Hayah Al Youm’s Lobna Assal had coverage of the Bloomberg article we picked up last week about how Egypt’s electricity surplus could allow it to export power to energy-hungry countries in Europe and Africa (watch, runtime: 4:30). Assal phoned Electricity Ministry spokesperson Ayman Hamza, who said that Egypt’s abundance of renewable energy could allow it to become a gateway between Africa and Europe to export electricity, and said that rumours claiming Egypt would be exporting electricity to Europe at “subsidized rates” were false (watch, runtime: 5:39).

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