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Sunday, 14 November 2021

THIS MORNING: Things Egypt is hosting: Prince Charles (this week) and COP27 (next year). Also: We’ve made the World Cup qualifiers.

Good morning, friends. We’re finding it a bit difficult to be chipper this morning after politicians the world over failed us all — the best they could do in Glasgow at COP26 was to agree that we need to be more ambitious about climate change. The saving grace: After two weeks of torrid newsflow, things are a bit quiet this morning. Expect things to pick up later today — we’re more than a month away from the end-of-year news slowdown.

Global leaders are patting themselves on the backs this morning having reached an agreement at COP26 that looks to merely be rearranging the chairs on the Titanic at a slightly faster pace. Although we do now have a global agreement for phasing outphasing down” coal use, the conference doesn’t seem to have achieved any of its key goals: agreeing to cut emissions in half by the end of the decade, finalizing a financial package to help the developing world transition away from fossil fuels, and crucially, agreeing a roadmap that would limit warming to 1.5°C .

Politicos failed us — and the planet. Full stop. Amid the talk of “increased ambition” and “accelerated action,” it is the headline of the final statement that is most revealing: “COP26 keeps 1.5°C Alive.” We still have a chance at averting a global climate catastrophe, but right now we’re trying to get away with doing the bare minimum. “We did not achieve [our] goals at this conference … We are still knocking on the door of climate catastrophe,” UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said in a statement.

The story is everywhere in the foreign press this morning — and we have more in this morning’s news well, below: AP | Reuters | NYT | Washington Post | CNBC | FT | Bloomberg | WSJ | BBC.

Are you a CEO, C-suite officer or senior exec? Today would be a good day to ask what you can do to help cut your company or firm’s environmental footprint — whether that’s allowing folks to keep working from home two days a week or having a policy on A/C and light use. Any one of these four primers is a good place to start if this is your first time thinking this through (here | here | here | here).

MEANWHILE- The next round of strategic talks with the US could be hosted in Egypt in 2023, Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry told reporters in Washington last week, according to Al Ahram. Shoukry commended the Biden administration for resuming the talks — which did not take place while Agent Orange was in office — so early in his presidency. Shoukry’s comments followed the conclusion of the two-day US-Egypt strategic dialogue, the first such meeting between the two countries in six years.


Egypt made it to the World Cup qualifying play-off after clawing their way back to a draw in their penultimate group stage game against Angola over the weekend. The Pharaohs staged a dramatic comeback in Luanda after Angola took a shock 2-0 lead in the first half before Mohamed Elneny pulled one back in the dying minutes of the first half. Akram Tawfik equalized for the visitors in the 58th minute, ensuring that Egypt will qualify top of Group F, making them the fifth team to make the play-offs after Morocco, Senegal, and Mali. The play-offs will take place in March.

We’ll know the details of our very own, Egyptian-made covid jab any minute now. Higher Education Minister Khaled Abdel Ghaffar will hold a presser later today to discuss the details of the our locally made Covi Vax going to the clinical trials stage, Health Ministry spokesperson Khaled Megahed told Ala Mas’ouleety (watch, runtime: 4:15).


We’re getting a royal visit this week: British royal family members Prince Charles and the Duchess of Cornwall will be in Cairo on Thursday and Friday (18-19 November). It’s the heir to the British crown’s first visit here since 2006 — and the first overseas jaunt by a member of the royal family since the pandemic hit. Charles will meet with President Abdel Fattah El Sisi and Al Azhar’s Grand Imam, Ahmed El Tayyeb, among other government officials. Expect climate change to be high on the prince’s agenda given his personal interest in the topic and Egypt’s selection as host of COP 27 next year.

Follow Charles and Camilla during their visit: You can check out the prince’s Clarence House website or Twitter feed or check in on UK Ambassador to Egypt Gareth Bayley’s Twitter.

All unvaccinated public sector workers won’t be allowed into their workplaces from tomorrow. If you still haven’t been jabbed, you’ll be required to take a PCR test every week in order to get access to your place of work. University students will also be unable to access campuses without proof of vaccination.

From tomorrow, car dealers will have to comply with new consumer protection rules requiring price stickers to be displayed on vehicles. Companies that could be fined up to EGP 2 mn if they don’t comply with the rules.

The two-day Africa Fintech summit kicks off this Tuesday, 16 November. The summit looks at innovation in the fintech ecosystem, venture capital and other forms of investing, and will also discuss the rise of healthtech.

The International Finance Corporation is hosting an invite-only forum in Cairo on Wednesday with a focus on sustainable finance in Africa. Egyptian speakers include Central Bank of Egypt First Sub-Governor May Abulnaga, the Financial Regulatory Authority’s Sina Hbous and CIB’s Dalia Abdel Kader.

Comesa summit next week in Sharm: Egypt will host the 2021 Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (Comesa) summit on 23 November in Sharm El Sheikh.

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


Prepare for volatility in the US bond market, which is already displaying withdrawal symptoms as the Federal Reserve prepares to begin unwinding its huge bond-buying programme, Bloomberg says. Unexpectedly high inflation data on Wednesday led to the worst 30-year bond auction in a decade and the yield on two-year treasuries experiencing its biggest upward move since March 2020. Now, a measure of liquidity in the treasury market is suggesting that trading conditions are at their most turbulent since the market seized during the initial wave of covid.

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