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Monday, 25 October 2021

TONIGHT: Ahmed Dallal inaugurated as AUC’s newest president + MNHD acquiring a stake in Minka Development + Russian hacks are back

It’s been quite an interesting Monday, ladies and gentlemen, with the local news being topped by a real estate M&A, management shake ups and AUC getting a new president. Meanwhile, Sudan’s coup has the entire world’s attention.


#1- Real estate M&A: Madinet Nasr for Housing and Development intends to acquire an undisclosed stake in real estate firm Minka Development, and has appointed the head of the developer as its new CEO, it said in a series of EGX disclosures today (pdfpdf).

#2- More vaccines have landed: A shipment of 1.06 mn Johnson & Johnson vaccines landed in Egypt, the Health Ministry said this morning.

^^ We’ll have more on all of these stories in tomorrow’s EnterpriseAM.

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

  • e-Finance could list two subsidiaries following IPO -chairman: State-owned fintech firm e-Finance could follow up last week’s blockbuster IPO on the EGX with fresh listings of its subsidiaries Khales and e-Cards.
  • Egypt could get EUR 1 bn for development from the EU by 2027: The plan will help drive “long-term socio-economic development and recovery” and sets water security as one of its top priorities, EU Commissioner for Neighborhood and Enlargement Oliver Varhelyi said.
  • Egypt on track to achieve self-sufficiency in fuel products by 2023: Large-scale upgrades to oil refineries and new facilities will come online and are expected to add an annual production capacity of 6.2 mn tonnes of refined products, including gasoline and diesel, Oil Minister Tarek El Molla said.

HAPPENING NOW- Ahmed Dallal is currently being inaugurated as AUC’s new president in a ceremony which you can watch online here. Dallal — a polymath and accomplished multilingual engineer who became a scholar of Islamic studies — becomes the first Arab president of the storied university. We look forward to good things from him in the years to come and we look forward to getting a chance to meet him and pick his brain on education here in Egypt.

CLARIFICATION- The folks at AUC would like you to know that “the protocol signed between the government of Egypt and the United States that led to the University’s foundation stipulates an American president. President Ahmad Dallal is an American of Arab origin. And beyond that limitation, the selection of an AUC president is based on qualifications, not ethnic origin or gender.”

That does not change our sincere hope that the president who follows Dallal (may it be many, many years hence) should be of Egyptian heritage. Surely, given how many of us there are, there is someone qualified academically, as a leader, and by virtue of citizenship.


So much for Sudan’s democratic transition: The Sudanese army has staged an apparent coup against the joint military-civilian administration that was supposed to hand over the reins of government to civilians next month, detaining the prime minister and dissolving the sovereign council in power since the overthrow of long-time dictator Omar Al Bashir in 2019. We have the full story in today’s Enterprise Explains, below. (AP | Reuters | FT | Bloomberg | WSJ).

Revelations in the “Facebook Papers” are being published — and it’s not a pretty picture. This morning, US and European news organizations began to make public information contained in the hundreds of documents handed over by company whistleblower Frances Haugen. The papers paint a picture of a company prioritizing its bottom line over the safety of its users, knowingly fuelling hate speech and censoring activists in authoritarian countries. Inexplicably, several documents suggest that the company has often been unable to understand its own algorithm. The news is everywhere in the global press this afternoon: AP | Reuters | Bloomberg | NYT | Washington Post | FT | WSJ.

ALSO IN TECH- Russian hacks are back: Russian state-backed hacker group Nobelium has successfully compromised 14 of more than 140 targeted cloud service providers and resellers, Microsoft said in a blog. The Russian intelligence-affiliated group that brought us last year’s SolarWinds hack was apparently not deterred by recent sanctions imposed on Moscow by US President Joe Biden over its work, nor by a list Biden handed to Putin noting 16 sectors that Russia definitely shouldn’t hack. The campaign aims to infiltrate the global tech supply chain for surveillance purposes, according to Microsoft. (Bloomberg | New York Times | CNBC | Wall Street Journal).


The European Investment Bank (EIB) will hold a seminar on financing water infrastructure (pdf) tomorrow at the Nile Ritz Carlton.

A webinar on sustainable transport featuring keynote speeches by EU ambassador to Egypt Christian Berger and Public Enterprises Minister Hisham Tawfik will take place tomorrow at 10am. Register here.


It’s interest rate week: The Central Bank of Egypt will meet this Thursday to discuss interest rates. All 12 analysts polled by Enterprise see the central bank leaving rates on hold for another meeting, citing the need to maintain portfolio inflows and uncertainty over inflation.

Female entrepreneurs have until 6 November to apply to a new accelerator program launched by NGO Nahdet El Mahrousa offering up to EGP 200k in grants, mentorship, and other business support. Founders and social enterprise leaders working in ICT, creative industries, or on projects that support gender equality are eligible to apply. The program, Rabeha, was launched in partnership with UN Women Egypt, the Egyptian National Council for Women, Global Affairs Canada, and other partners. You can apply here.

It’s another busy week for conferences, exhibitions, and other business events in Egypt:

  • The two-day Intelligent Cities Exhibition & Conference takes place this Wednesday and Thursday, 27 and 28 October.
  • The Middle East Angel Investment Network’s Angel’s Oasis retreat runs from Wednesday to Friday in El Gouna, with separate pricing for in-person and virtual attendance.
  • Grassroots community leaders aged 25-38 have until this Wednesday to apply for the US State Department-backed Community Solutions Program. Applications can be submitted here.

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

☀️ TOMORROW’S WEATHER- It’s another day of warm weather, with the mercury rising to 29°C in the afternoon and falling to 19°C at night, our favorite weather app tells us.

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