THIS MORNING: Windows 11 is in the wild + CBE orders banks to improve access for persons with disabilities
Good morning, wonderful people, and welcome to your final workday of the week. The nation is off tomorrow in observance of Armed Forces Day, which is formally today.
Enjoy your last “good” commute until the end-of-year slowdown: Public schools and universities are both back in session for fall term as of Saturday, meaning rush hour is about to become a bit more ugly.
It’s a fairly busy news day here at home, including the latest on the PMI (confidence is at a record level), progress on the Egypt-Saudi grid interconnection project, and the launch of the country’s latest venture capital fund. On the covid front, there’s the prospect that Egypt may soon be jabbing 12-year-olds. We have more on all of this below.
MEANWHILE- Stay tuned for an imminent Mogamma announcement: The company chosen to redevelop the Mogamma building in Tahrir will be announced within days, Sovereign Wealth Fund CEO Ayman Soliman told Reuters on Monday. Planning Minister Hala El Said previously said that the announcement would be made before the end of September.
SMART POLICY- CBE instructs banks to improve access for people with disabilities: The Central Bank of Egypt has instructed banks to make their services more accessible to people with disabilities in a circular (pdf) earlier this week. Among the list of requirements: banks will need to ensure that at least 10% of their branches and ATMs are physically accessible to everyone.
THE BIG STORY ABROAD is still Facebook. US lawmakers accused the company of prioritizing growth of its business over user safety and urged regulators to step up their scrutiny of the social media giant as they listened keenly to former Facebook employee and whistleblower Frances Haugen. Haugen exposed Facebook’s continued efforts to boost user engagement at any cost during a Senate Commerce subcommittee hearing, and said that Facebook operates “in the shadows,” hiding its research practices away from public eyes. “The company’s leadership knows how to make Facebook and Instagram safer, but won’t make the necessary changes because they have put their astronomical [income] before people,” she said. Lawmakers on both sides of the political spectrum could finally be moved by Haugen’s testimony to take action on a raft of long-idling legislation, including a bill banning data collection on under-13s. The story is all over the international press: Reuters | Financial Times | NYT | CNBC.
** IN CASE YOU MISSED IT- Stories from yesterday’s edition of EnterprisePM:
- Egypt voices support for embattled IMF head: Egypt is among 16 African countries to come out in support of IMF head Kristalina Georgieva ahead of her interview with the Fund’s executive board regarding allegations of corruption during her time at the World Bank.
- In 2022, it could be deja vu: The energy crisis currently gripping some parts of the world is unlikely to be a one-off as the transition into renewable energy destabilizes markets and fuels inflation, analysts tell Bloomberg.
- Meet our analyst of the week: Alaa Tolba, consumer sector head at CI Capital.
Windows 11 is here, but some say it disappoints: Microsoft announced yesterday that the update is now available for PC users whose machines can support it. The most distinguishing feature of the new operating system is a revamped version of the Start menu, which will be at the center of the taskbar in the new iteration. But some users have lamented the absence of some anticipated features, including Android-app support, third-party widgets and a universal mute control, and warn you’re probably better off waiting for updates that will enable the operating system to run smoothly on PCs of various descriptions, rather that just the ultra-new Microsoft models it seems to be designed for. The Verge thinks it is “a work in progress,” in a piece headlined: A familiar home that’s still being renovated.
How can I get it? If your machine has gotten it, the download is available without charge under Settings > Windows Update. Or follow these instructions on how to download it.
CIRCLE YOUR CALENDAR-
Key dates for your diaries this month:
- Inflation: Inflation figures for September will be released on Sunday, 10 October.
- Interest rates: The Central Bank of Egypt will meet to review interest rates on Thursday, 28 October.
The Cairo International Fair continues today at the Cairo International Conference Center, running through 8 October.
A digital credit scoring webinar series will begin airing in mid-October. Organized by the Egyptian Banking Institute, the Financial Services Institute, and I-Score in partnership with GIZ Egypt, the line-up of sessions on the banking sector and banking regulations will be delivered online by Frankfurt School of Finance & Management according to a press release (pdf). You can tap/click here if you’re interested.
Check out our full calendar on the web for a comprehensive listing of upcoming news events, national holidays and news triggers.
*** It’s Hardhat day — your weekly briefing of all things infrastructure in Egypt: Enterprise’s industry vertical focuses each Wednesday on infrastructure, covering everything from energy, water, transportation, urban development and as well as social infrastructure such as health and education.
In today’s issue: We take a deeper dive into the long-awaited Egypt-Saudi interconnection project, which kicked into gear yesterday after the government awarded contracts to an Orascom Construction-Hitachi constortrium. We examine the details of the project, its potential to boost electricity efficiency and promote energy exports, and how it could affect our electricity supply glut.