Author: Rania Hassan

This article first appeared in June’s print edition of Business Monthly. For Egypt, the IMF is more than a lender offering support after the exodus of foreign investors. “Staff-level agreements reached with the IMF are [like] an international certificate asserting the economy’s strength and resilience and the success of the government’s reform program,” Parliamentarian Ahmed Abaza said at a hearing in March. The latest agreement was in April, days after Egypt secured a commitment of $35 billion from the Abu Dhabi Developmental Holding Co. for the Ras El Hikma triangle. The staff-level agreement saw the IMF increase the $3 billion…

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This article first appeared in June’s print edition of Business Monthly. Business leaders are quickly realizing artificial intelligence (AI) will be an indispensable tool to guarantee growth regardless of their sector. “We are on the brink of a technological revolution that could jumpstart productivity, boost global growth and raise incomes around the world,” IMF Managing Director Kristalina Georgieva said in a January blog post. The revolution is impacting global job markets. “Historically, automation and information technology have tended to affect routine tasks, but one of the things that sets AI apart is its ability to impact high-skilled jobs,” a January…

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This Q&A first appeared in May’s print edition of Business Monthly. The U.S. International Development Finance Corporation (DFC) is the development finance agency of the U.S. Government with a focus on supporting private sector projects in low- and middle-income nations. DFC is authorized under the Better Utilization of Investments Leading to Development (BUILD) Act passed in 2018 and began operations in January 2020. The BUILD Act consolidated, modernized and reformed the U.S. Government’s development finance capabilities – primarily the Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC) and the Development Credit Authority (DCA) of the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) – into…

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This article first appeared in April’s print edition of Business Monthly. Geopolitical tensions in the region over the past couple of years have affected Egypt’s economy and supply chains, causing macroeconomic disruption and driving up the prices of imported commodities. That meant tighter monetary policies in Egypt and abroad, limiting fiscal policy’s ability to deliver on its objectives. Domestic economic policies have added to the pressure. To create jobs and attract investors, the government has been focusing on public investment in infrastructure, critical to solving many of the country’s incumbent problems, such as electricity, gas and roads. Most experts agreed…

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This Q&A first appeared in March’s print edition of Business Monthly. Antony Cook, Microsoft Corporate vice president and deputy general counsel, discusses the future of AI in daily life. Replies were edited for length and clarity. What is the role of AI in emerging economies in the short, medium, and long terms? At Microsoft, we believe in the transformative power of AI to reshape personal and professional life, helping people advance critical thinking, stimulate creative expression, and be more productive. That is one reason we have partnered closely with OpenAI since 2019 to accelerate breakthroughs. That has included building an…

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This article first appeared in February’s print edition of Business Monthly. The government is betting entrepreneurs and startups can lower youth unemployment, position Egypt as a regional business innovation hub and grow the country’s GDP. “Entrepreneurship can provide innovative and realistic solutions to economic challenges,” said Minister of Planning and Economic Development Hala El Said during the One Million Entrepreneurs campaign launch in April 2021. That strategy” will stimulate the economy with new small projects for young people to become a productive social force that effectively contributes to efforts to achieve development.” The steps to transform ideas into a stable…

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Like other countries, Egypt is witnessing longer and hotter summers. Air conditioners remain on longer, using more electricity. One reason the Ministry of Electricity cited for extending rolling blackouts from the end of August to the end of October was higher-than-normal electricity consumption because temperatures were noticeably higher than last year. Green and sustainable architectural concepts when designing new homes can keep new homes and developments cooler, thus requiring less power. “It is always cost-efficient to introduce best practice at the start of the project brief and integrate climate resilience in the construction and operational functions, says Sarah El Battouty,…

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Since 2016, Egypt has been almost entirely dependent on the IMF’s money to provide foreign currency and a “vote of confidence” to attract overseas direct and portfolio investments. It started with the IMF approving a $12 billion loan after the government “developed a homegrown economic program, which will be supported by the IMF’s [money], to address longstanding challenges in the Egyptian economy,” said the November 2016 announcement. The primary conditions were liberalization of the exchange rate regime, reduction of fiscal deficits, and structural reforms. In 2020 and 2021, Egypt got additional assistance worth $5.2 billion over 12 months with almost no restrictions to help…

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As startups grow into small and medium enterprises, owners and top executives must create layers of middle managers to oversee day-to-day operations, entry-level and front-end employees, and lower-level middle managers. Those employees, who must lead their teams and follow explicit instructions from superiors, are under the most pressure in any organization. “Managers face pressures from above and below,” noted a March report from McKinsey. “They tend to be underdeveloped and unempowered, and they face growing pressure to deliver flatter, faster and leaner organizational structure. All of [that] leads to being underutilized and unappreciated.” That puts the entire organization at significant…

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Given that the world just witnessed its hottest summer on record and projections next year will be even hotter, efforts to decarbonize economies must be immediately effective. That comes as many countries, including Egypt, face economic pressures. “Despite the economic challenges, the government remains committed to work to protect the environment,” Minister of Environment Yasmine Fouad told state-owned Ahram English in June, Her ministry’s work includes initiatives to promote eco-friendly (green) projects, attract private sector investment, and support zero-emission infrastructure and projects. The ministry also is raising public and civil servants’ awareness of the need to decarbonize the economy. Financing…

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