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Sunday, 7 February 2021

What we’re tracking on 7 February 2021

Good morning, everyone, and welcome to a new workweek. You have 77 days left until your next holiday and c. 65 days left until Ramadan. Just sayin’.

IN THE HOUSE TODAY- CIT Minister Amr Talaat and Planning Minister Hala El Said will present their policy priorities to MPs today and tomorrow, according to the House agenda. El Said appears to be the last minister scheduled to deliver a policy statement, the total to 20 out of 33 cabinet members.

Kuwait is off limits for the next two weeks after the Gulf country last week decided to ban entry to foreigners amid a rise in covid cases. Emigration Minister Nabila Makram has advised Egyptians to postpone their travel plans until further notice. Saudi also lowered the gates early last week, banning flights from Egypt and 19 other countries, and on Thursday ordered closed all malls, restaurants, cafés, gyms and cinemas for a 10-day period.

GLOBAL NEWS worth knowing this morning:

The US isn’t going soft on China: Secretary of State Anthony Blinken “blasted” Beijing in a call during which he tweeted that he “made clear the US will defend our national interests, stand up for our democratic values, and hold Beijing accountable for its abuses of the international system.”

We’re not alone: India is setting out to privatize state-owned banks, the Financial Times reports. Indian media suggest that two small institutions — Punjab and Sind Bank and Bank of Maharashtra — are likely to go on the auction block first.

PSA #1- That directorship you just got offered? It’s more than just an easy honorarium for showing up sober to meetings. You have to pay attention, too — at least if you’re the director of a company in the United Kingdom, where the business department is about to make directors personally responsible for the accuracy of financial statements. The reforms will be outlined in a report to be made public this week, the Financial Times reports. Something bad happen while you’re sitting at the boardroom table? You could face a fine and a temporary ban from serving on boards.

PSA #2- If you or your spawn are planning to attend a private university in Egypt, you now need to go through the new admissions system set up by the Higher Education Ministry. Prospective students have until tomorrow to upload their secondary education certificates on the new website — and from Friday through to 8am on Monday, 15 February to register for a spot. Application results will be announced on Saturday, 20 February. Want to read more about the Tansik-style system? We looked at its merits and potential drawbacks in our weekly education vertical, Blackboard.

It’s about to get a little bit more expensive to register your car as proposed amendments to the Traffic Act would impose new fees on private, diplomatic, and public-sector vehicles depending on engine size, former assistant interior minister Medhat Koreytem said. Private vehicle owners could be required to cough up EGP 60-350 to help finance the smart transport system. The fees will rise 6% per year from the first value and will be capped at a 200% increase. Ahmed Moussa has the story on Ala Mas'ouleety (watch, runtime: 3:24 and runtime: 1:53).

We’re looking at warm weather all week, with the mercury rising from 23°C today to 27°C tomorrow and Tuesday, according to our favorite weather app. Then again, what does it (or the national weather service) know after the no-show of the rainapocalypse this past Thursday?


The annual African Union (AU) summit wraps up today: The virtual summit will see South Africa hand the chairmanship of the AU to Felix Tshisekedi, president of the Democratic Republic of Congo. President Abdel Fattah El Sisi stressed the importance of a coordinated African response to the covid-19 pandemic in an address to AU leaders yesterday, while Egypt was selected to represent the North African region in the union for the third year running.

Egyptian-Kazakh Business Forum: Representatives from 250 Egyptian companies and 110 Kazakh firms are in Sharm El Sheikh for the Egyptian-Kazakh Business Forum. The event, designed to promote increased cross-border commercial ties, kicked off on Friday and ends today.

Inflation figures for January will be released on Wednesday, 10 February.

Check out our full calendar on the web for a comprehensive listing of upcoming news events, national holidays and news triggers.

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