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Sunday, 5 September 2021

Human rights + the new, “smart” capital are getting attention in the foreign press

Human rights is getting attention in the foreign press this morning: Amnesty International urged Egyptian authorities to follow in the footsteps of a judge who earlier this week dropped an investigation into six NGO workers accused in the foreign funding of civil society case, and dismiss charges for the rest of the accused. Meanwhile, Foreign Policy writes that Abdel Moneim Aboul Fotouh, the former Islamist leader turned ‘centrist’ presidential candidate, is allegedly suffering poor medical conditions in Tora Prison.

The new capital will be “smart” compared to Elmahrousa, according to Reuters, which reports that the government has so far signed USD 640 mn of tech and communications contracts, which could rise to as much as USD 900 mn. Making the city smart includes using smart cards and apps to unlock doors and make payments, surfing the web on public WiFi beamed from lampposts, as well as a network of at least 6k cameras to monitor activity on every street.

Also making headlines:

  • Egypt’s Benban Solar Park: The facility gets a mention in a piece that argues that North African governments should offer more incentives and support to consumers to adopt renewable energy. (AFP)
  • Egypt is a top importer of Russian grain, according to the Financial Times, which writes that Moscow is trying to up its “wheat diplomacy” game and increase its agricultural exports’ value by 50% by 2024.

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