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Sunday, 18 April 2021

TONIGHT: ACI is in effect for customs; China + US agree on climate; CI Capital management shakeup; BdC to expand e-payments abroad

The local press is as excited as you are that it is the last full work week of Ramadan as you are, with the Ramadan + Sunday news slowdown in full effect.

Shippers can sign up today for the Customs Authority’s new digital platform, which goes live later this year, the Finance Ministry said in a statement. Cargo data and documents such as the commercial invoice and bill of lading will have to be submitted to the new Advance Cargo Information (ACI) system, part of the National Single Window for Foreign Trade Facilitation (Nafeza), a digital customs system being rolled out by the Finance Ministry to speed up customs procedures and improve border security. The authority began trialing the ACI at the start of April and plans to make it compulsory at all seaports in July and land ports at an unspecified later date.

What is the ACI? ACI — otherwise known as a pre-registration system — is a World Customs Organization protocol that provides shipping lines, port operators and governments real-time information on shipments of incoming goods. Egyptian importers are required to file the paperwork at least 48 hours before the goods are shipped, after which they are given a unique ID known as an ACID. The shipping company must then submit documentation to Nafeza containing information such as the ACID and the bill of lading, which the ministry has now decided must be done at least 24 hours before the ship leaves port.

HAPPENING NOW- Greek Foreign Minister Nikos Dendias is in Cairo today to meet with his Egyptian counterpart Sameh Shoukry to discuss recent developments in the East Mediterranean, the Greek and Egyptian foreign ministries said on Twitter. Turkish overtures to get out of the corner and play nice with the region is likely to be on the agenda, especially as it is finding it harder to kiss and make up with Greece. Dendias will be headed to Saudi Arabia tomorrow in a regional tour that saw him meet with Libyan Presidential Council Chairman Mohamed Al Menfi yesterday.

** CATCH UP QUICK on the top stories from today’s EnterpriseAM:

  • Covid jabs: We could get up to 4.5 mn doses of the Oxford / AstraZeneca jab by the end of May.
  • Investor love: Egypt has been a “very resilient” market for Majid Al Futtaim.
  • Ever Given saga: Thousands of containers on board the Ever Given could be offloaded onto other ships.


One area the US and China apparently see eye-to-eye on: Addressing climate change. The two countries, which together account for nearly half of the world’s greenhouse gas emissions, agreed to cooperate in “multilateral processes” such as the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change and the Paris Agreement, US Special Presidential Envoy for Climate John Kerry and China Special Envoy for Climate Change Xie Zhenhua said in a joint statement after their Shanghai talks over the weekend. Kerry is the first official from the Biden administration to visit China, signaling hopes the two sides could team up on the global issue despite tensions on multiple other fronts. The two countries will develop long-term strategies to become carbon neutral, in time for the UN Climate Change Conference in Glasgow this November.

**So, when do we eat? Iftar is at 6:24pm today. You’ll have until 3:53am to eat / hydrate / caffeinate before the call to fajr prayers.


Renaissance Capital is holding a virtual conference titled RenCap ESG – a New Focus for EM from Tuesday-Thursday. The conference will have three panel discussions exploring ESGs from the focus of DFI interest and the energy transition, as well as a final panel to discuss how to be a successful ESG equity story in EMs. Notable speakers include Bertram Dreyer, senior investment manager at DEG-German Investment and Development Corporation, and Banji Fehintola, senior director and head of treasury at the Africa Finance Corporation. The panels will all be live streamed on the website.

The Middle East Angel Investment Network is hosting 'Mad Money: Rise of the Funds' on Clubhouse this Tuesday at 8pm. The panel discussion will discuss the recent spike in the number of funds that have been set up to invest in early-stage startups and their impact on the local and regional ecosystem. The panel will be moderated by Sara Gamay, a board member at Cairo Angels, and will also include speakers Plus VC’s Hasan Haider, Access Bridge Ventures’ Issa Aghabi, and Cairo Angels’ Nader Aboushadi.

iSheep, take note: Apple is running a virtual event this Tuesday at which pundits think it will unveil AirTags and a new iPad Pro with an improved display and faster processor, among other goodies. The headline: Spring Loaded. The event will stream at 7pm CLT on Apple’s website and on YouTube.


BTC volatility check: Speculation that the US Treasury may crack down on laundering activities through digital assets drove BTC to its biggest intraday fall since February this morning, declining as much as 15.1% to USD 51,707 before paring losses, Bloomberg reports. BTC had hit a record high of USD 64,869 last week ahead of crypto exchange Coinbase's trading debut on the Nasdaq, as mainstream interest in crypto grew as companies like PayPal and Square began accepting it in their systems.

Regulators are increasingly concerned about “funny business.” European Central Bank president Christine Lagarde said BTC is used for laundering activities and has loopholes that need to be closed (watch, runtime 1:12). The Turkish Central Bank on Friday banned the use of crypto in payments, claiming “their use in payments may cause non-recoverable losses … and include elements that may undermine the confidence in methods and instruments used currently in payments,” Reuters reported. As we had reported last month, India is considering a full ban on crypto, while China currently does not allow mining or trading. Our own CBE issued another warning against trading in crypto just last month.

SpaceX is helping to get the first woman on the moon: Elon Musk’s SpaceX has landed a USD 2.9 bn contract from NASA to build a moonlander as part of the Artemis Program which aims to see the first woman and first person of color land on the moon, according to a NASA statement. This new lady of history will be chosen from among the nine female astronauts on the Artemis team, which CBS has profiled here. The space agency’s Space Launch System rocket will launch four astronauts for a multi-day journey to lunar orbit and once there, two crew members will transfer to the SpaceX human landing system (HLS) for the final leg of their journey to the surface of the moon. SpaceX was competing against a joint bid from traditional aerospace giants and Amazon founder Jeff Bezos, as well as Alabama-based Dynetics, according to BBC.


Make some room in your Ramadan mosalsalat viewing to catch Sherlock before it gets taken off Netflix on 15 May. If the mystery series has been on your list of things to watch for a while, now’s the perfect time to get reacquainted with the world’s favorite detective. We love that Sherlock is a modern version of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's stories that follows Holmes from the very beginning — from teaming up with John Watson to making a name for himself in London. The hour-long episodes are almost a feature film each, but never get boring with their dark comedy and never-ending plot twists. We’ve tried to deduce clues alongside the detective as he solves the mysteries, but are usually surprised by the ending. Of course, Benedict Cucumber Patch (we’re sticking with the autocorrect version) takes the show to another level with his spot on performance of the character and the show has been praised for the quality of its writing, acting, and directing.

Al Ahly and El Zamalek are going head-to-head today in a match at 9:30pm in the Egyptian Premier League.

Meanwhile, Arsenal and Fulham are already on the field in the English PL, while Man United and Burnley will be playing soon at 5pm.

There are a few big matches to look out for in La Liga tonight: Atletico Madrid is playing against Eibar at 4:15pm while Getafe will face Real Madrid on the field at 9pm.

Ditto for Serie A: Milan beat Genoa 2-1 in a match earlier this afternoon, but if you hurry you can still catch some of the game between Juventus and Atalanta. Later tonight Napoli will play against Inter Milan at 8:45pm.


Delight’s creations are sure to be a hit at any gathering — not least because they’re changing things up. We love their tarts on any occasion, so getting a taste of their new Ramadan desserts will definitely be the highlight of the day after a long day of fasting. If you’re looking to try something beyond the typical mango or Nutella kunafa, Delight is offering everything from pumpkin, creamy orange, and pecan kunafas to strawberry panna cotta aish el saraya. Their banoffee tart is a tried-and-true gem that’s very near and dear to our hearts (and is offered year-round), and we’ve been looking forward to trying their new baked blueberry yogurt.


It’s comedy open mic night at The Room New Cairo, so if you have a bit you’ve been rehearsing in front of your mirror, head to the venue at 9pm.

Check out the Royal Mummies’ Hall that opened today at The National Museum of Egyptian Civilization. The mummies were transferred to the new museum last month in an elaborate parade that garnered weeks of acclaim for Egypt. The hall includes 20 mummies from the 17th to the 20th dynasty, most notably Queen Hatshepsut. The museum is located in El Fustat and is open every day from 9am-3pm in Ramadan, with an evening slot on Fridays from 6-9pm.

Visit sohour tent Layaly Ramadan at The Marquee at Cairo Festival City. The food is catered by Zaza Cuisine and the tent will feature a live performance every night. The first week of Ramadan is all about El Mouled, the second will see old music performances, the third week has folklore on the schedule, and the fourth week is stand up comedy. You can buy tickets to visit Layaly Ramadan here.


Economists must take social issues more into account, argues Raghuram Rajan in his book The Third Pillar. Rajan is a former IMF chief economist and head of India's central bank and is now a University of Chicago professor. He offers up a big-picture framework for understanding how three forces of the economy (the state, markets, and our communities) interact, why things begin to break down, and how to settle into a state of equilibrium in cases such as major technological change in a society. He doesn’t shy away from making provocative predictions for the future, including that decision-making has to devolve to the grassroots to prevent democracy from withering.

???? TOMORROW’S WEATHER- More short sleeves: Expect daytime highs of 41°C and nighttime lows of 20°C tomorrow in what seems to be the last day of a heatwave that has forced us to become reacquainted with the AC in recent days, our favorite weather app signals.

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