What we’re tracking on 21 March 2021
Good morning, friends, and welcome to a new workweek — and the second day of Spring. The first quarter is over next week — and we have just 23 days until Ramadan.
THE BIG STORIES AT HOME- Egypt is one step closer to getting its own covid-19 vaccine out the door, after regulators signed off on the start of clinical trials for a jab developed by the National Research Center. And the central bank has left rates on hold. We have all the details in the news well, below.
THE BIG STORY INTERNATIONALLY- Only residents of Japan will be able to attend the delayed 2020 Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics this summer The move is part of a bid to contain the spread of covid-19, the organizers said in a statement yesterday. The organizers will refund the cost of 900k tickets snapped up by fans from outside Japan. CNBC has more. The Olympics, postponed by a year due to the pandemic, are now scheduled for 23 July to 8 August, and the Paralympics from 24 August to 5 September.
SIGNS OF THE TIMES for you to consider as this workweek gets underway:
- Egypt has tapped a former top congressional defense aide to help Cairo lobby policymakers in the US House and Senate. ForeignLobby.com has a full rundown on the hire, which is running through Brownstein Hyatt, Egypt’s lobby firm in DC (background here and here)
- China and the US had a “hostile encounter” at a sit-down in Alaska that saw top foreign policy officials on both sides trade recriminations. Two must-reads to get you up to speed on all the nuance are in the Economist and the New York Times.
- The US Securities and Exchange Commission is going to be tough on oil companies when it comes to climate issues, telling ConocoPhillips and Occidental that they need to hold shareholder votes on emissions targets, the Financial Times writes.
Thinking of a flexible WFH / work from the office policy? How are you going to cope with everyone wanting to work from home Sundays and Thursdays? How will you make sure folks still working from home feel included? And don’t get us started on whether you should have a mandatory vaccination policy. All of this and more is on the minds of corporate chieftains globally, the Wall Street Journal writes in Companies wrestle with hybrid work plans — awkward meetings and midweek crowding.
Goldman Sachs investment banking interns are getting plenty of attention for a deck they created (pdf) that says they’re working 105 hours a week, are sleeping five hours a night and routinely leave the office at 3am. The result? Their mental and physical health are cratering, they say in a presentation done in the style of a typical GS presentation, which concludes with a call for an 80-hour workweek.
PSA #1- Did you need us to tell you it’s warm out? Look for waves of dry, hot and dust-laden weather in the capital city and coastal areas continuing through Tuesday, before the mercury returns to a more seasonally appropriate range on Wednesday, the national weather service says. We’re looking at a daytime high of 36°C today, 35°C tomorrow and 32°C on Tuesday.
CIRCLE YOUR CALENDAR-
Talking sustainable manufacturing with BEBA: The British-Egyptian Business Association (BEBA) will host a virtual conference on how Egyptian and UK firms can work together on sustainable manufacturing projects in Africa in the post-Brexit environment on Tuesday, 23 March. Check out the agenda here (pdf).
The AUC’s Women on Boards Observatory will launch its 2020 annual monitoring report at an event on Tuesday, 23 March, with remarks from National Council for Women chief Maya Morsy, UN Women Egypt Office boss Christine Arab, and observatory founder Ghada Howaidy, among others. Check out the agenda here (pdf).
The second edition of the Egypt Retail Summit takes place at the Nile Ritz Carlton hotel this Tuesday 23 March, bringing together retail brands in Egypt and the region.
PSA #2- You have until 31 March to visit the moroor and get an RFID sticker affixed to your car’s windshield — or run afoul of the Traffic Police.
Check out our full calendar on the web for a comprehensive listing of upcoming news events, national holidays and news triggers.