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Wednesday, 20 January 2021

Last Night’s Talk Shows on 20 January 2021

The main event on the airwaves last night: Masaa DMC’s extended interview with World Bank senior VP and former investment minister Mahmoud Mohieldin. The broadcaster’s YouTube channel is down at the moment, so you can only check out half of the discussion here on El Face (watch, runtime: 10:29).

Here are the key takeaways:

It’s still too soon to tell what path the global economy will take, Mohieldin said. Current IMF / World Bank projections have global GDP coming in at 4-5% this year, though this will be conditioned on a fast vaccine rollout and the avoidance of debt crises. But even if global growth does mount a strong recovery, this is unlikely to be evenly distributed, with countries such as China and India seeing c.8% growth and states in Africa lagging behind at 2-3%.

Much more needs to be done to help poorer countries fight the pandemic: Low-income countries require some USD 26 bn to receive adequate supplies of vaccines, Mohieldin said. Developed and some emerging countries need to step up to the plate and provide quick funding to the less fortunate or the world risks the pandemic dragging on for longer. By the end of this year, developed countries will have completed vaccination of 60-70% of their populations, however according to some projections some developing countries won’t receive the jabs before 2023-2024, he said.

The time is now for investment in digital: Investment in productivity-enhancing areas of the economy such as digital technology will be critical if the world is to see a strong recovery from the covid crisis, he suggested.

A jobs apocalypse at the hand of technology isn’t a dead cert: The automation brought about by the fourth industrial revolution doesn’t have to result in huge job losses. Although mns of jobs will be made redundant by new technologies, Mohieldin said that new jobs will be created too. It will, however, be important for governments to step in with adequate social protection as societies transition towards a heavily automated future.

Also on the airwaves: Ala Mas’ouleety’s Ahmed Moussa invited on a stream of MPs to berate Information Minister Osama Heikal, who had his turn to address the House of Representatives yesterday. Guests accused him of breaking the law (watch, runtime: 4:16), failing to address issues with the media (watch, runtime: 8:28).

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