Author: Rania Hassan

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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The idea of using the world’s most abundant resource (hydrogen) as fuel is not new. According to the World Intellectual Property Organization, Swiss engineer François Isaac de Rivaz patented an engine that used hydrogen and oxygen as fuel in 1806. The idea died quickly when fossil fuel combustion engines proved more feasible. It was only in 2016 that hydrogen fuel came to the spotlight once more. Countries recognized its potential as a zero-emissions fuel when the EU certified it under the CertiHy Guarantee of Origin that classifies hydrogen’s eco-credentials based on its production methods. It can be “gray,” “blue,” or…

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With an annual growth rate of more than 16% for the past five years, ICT is the only sector in Egypt that has consistently maintained double-digit growth rates. That achievement was achieved through a mix of government investment in digitizing its services and operations, favorable regulations, and initiatives. Such rapid transformation, however, means banks and third-party companies serving them are exposed to more cyber risks than ever before. “Increased reliance on technology and digital services has increased our [vulnerable] surface area,” said Abeer Khedr, head of cybersecurity at the National Bank of Egypt (NBE), at a June AmCham Egypt event.…

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Starting a career in a wealthy country or one with economic promise has always appealed to Egyptians. According to research published by the Egyptian Journal of Commerce Studies (EJCS), “Egypt is considered the largest supplier of migrant labor in the Middle East and one of the largest emigrant populations in the world.” During a July press event, Soha El Gendy, the Minister of Population and Immigration, said Egyptian expats reached 14 million to date, nearly 14% of the population. She noted, “A significant percentage of them are businessmen working in the energy, export and import, and pharmaceutical sectors.” According to…

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With the economy increasingly strapped for foreign currency, the government has been seeking ways to increase the private sector’s contribution to GDP. In May 2022, it published the State Ownership Policy (SOP) document, which opens the door for the government to sell stakes in 32 state-owned companies by 2024 by listing them on the stock exchange or selling them directly to foreign investors. Prime Minister Mostafa Madbouly has said the sell-off would raise the private sector’s contribution to GDP from 30% to 65% in three years. In December, he told Al Ahram English the aim is to “increase the rate…

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It’s official: Inflation in Egypt is the highest since records began in the 1950s. In June, it reached an annual rate of 35.7% compared to 32.7% in May. Core inflation, which excludes energy and food, reached 41%. Analysts speaking to Reuters forecast the record reading, citing an “unfavorable base effect” since the previous year and greater demand during the Eid al- Adha holiday. Amplifying domestic inflation is the Central Bank (CBE) keeping its overnight interest rate at 18.25% (The second highest since 2017) since April. That and inflation negatively affect GDP growth prospects, deflating consumer sentiment. “Real GDP growth is…

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Digital transformation across the Arab World is driving GDP growth, finding solutions for incumbent problems, and creating new investment and job opportunities. “The Arab region has experienced remarkable growth and transformation across all sectors with the support of digital transformation,” the Information Technology Union (ITU), a UN agency, said in September. “Governments in the region have launched ambitious … plans [to create] an inclusive and sustainable digital economy for their citizens.” The next step is allowing artificial intelligence (AI) and machines that “learn and adapt without following explicit instructions” to recommend actions and make decisions. A PricewaterhouseCoopers report estimates AI…

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